Friday, September 11, 2009

Autumn and the Great Outdoors

Erica and I are both loving the gentler autumn weather. All the doors to the house have been open all day long, and Erica's has spent nearly the entire day outside. This is more in keeping with my Kiwi idea of what kids should be doing, not cooped up indoors to escape the heat, as we must do during the hottest days of summer. I love Japanese summer because there are so many fun events, and because the pools are open, but this wonderful fall weather allows us to enjoy the outdoors all day, every day.

She only escaped one and a half times. First time, she followed Amy and Lena to school. They called out their goodbyes, and I assumed they would remember to close the gate. The deafening silence that followed indicated how wrong I was, as I called out to "Erica! Erica!..."

She had gone down three streets, turning two corners, following their route to school. I heard her from the second street, calling out 'IIna, IIna' (Lena), and turned the corner to see her toddling off, barefoot, toward the next corner.

It's not as hazardous as it sounds, we only get about ten cars down those streets a day, but you never know....I'm just glad she goes that way, following her sisters, and not the other way towards the much busier street leading to Youme Town and the station.

The other time, I caught her trying to squeeze through the gate. She was just squeezing her head through as I walked out the front door. By the time I got to her, her body was through, and I was sure she was going to get through, only she seems to have gotten caught up on the bulkiness of her nappies or something, because she couldn't get the last bit of her body through. She was already getting distressed, and then I came along, and dragged her back, scraping her ear on the gate as I went. Oops, but...hopefully the memory of the trauma will scare her off trying again.

It's a concertina gate, consisting of two parts that bunch up at the sides when open, then stretch together to meet in the middle to close. It had been closed in such a way that the latch was one third the way across the space, meaning the gate slats were bunched up more than usual on one side, and more stretched than usual on another. I just have to be sure the latch is evenly placed to ensure the gaps are too narrow for her to fit.

This was all before we went swimming. After swimming, lunch and nap, she was out there again, she fetched her own cup and fork from the kitchen to play in the 'sandpit' (our back lawn). I thought I wouldn't have to bathe her tonight, after getting so very clean in the pool, but she's acquired three more layers of dirt since then!

Amy and Lena came home, and I promptly sent them off to photograph their school for me. They always come straight home, put on the latest NOW CD and dance. Lena LOVES Lady Gaga's Poker Face, but Amy is sick of her playing it all the time. Amy helped me cook dinner - spaghetti bolognese. Now she's doing her homework, and Lena and Erica are watching TV. The day ends quietly, we're off to bed very soon...

1 comment:

Lulu said...

Firstly, you are so lucky to have a yard. I am hoping ONE DAY our kids will be able to have a yard and be able to play outside (barefoot to boot!) but it is not going to happen for awhile.

How scary that she got half way down the street though- I would of freaked out. Thank god she was okay! So cute the way you found her calling "iina, Iina" though.....made me smile. She obviously misses her sisters when they go off to school