What did he do, you ask? While I was not home, and Adam was not watching (he was in the next room), Nolan managed to open the front door, climb down our porch steps, walk through our yard, up our neighbor's driveway, climb her porch steps, and knock on her door.
Fortunately, our neighbor was home, heard the knock on the door, and answered it. Upon discovering Nolan at the door and realizing he was alone and barefoot, she returned him to an oblivious Adam. In fact, the only clue Adam had that anything was wrong was our dog, Jetta. She was urgently scratching the kitchen door, near Adam, because she had likely witnessed Nolan's escape from the front and knew he was outside alone. Since poor Jetta can't talk, Adam was just confused by her behavior. In the future, I think he'll pay more attention to a sudden change in her like that. Now that we know she's a reliable alert system for Nolan-danger.
|Pretty sure they were enjoying the view together like this when Nolan decided to ditch his digs (and his dog) and venture out on his own!|
|Yep, I looked out to see him climbing off the deck to throw tennis balls for Jetta.|
I think because Nolan develops skills more slowly than most kids, we sometimes lose our edge as parents. We should be one step ahead of him all the time, anticipating his next move. But we never know when his next move is going to be! That's my excuse anyway! :)
Needless to say, we will now be very attentive to keeping all doors latched and locked. Fortunately, Nolan doesn't know how to turn knobs yet -the front door he opened was the outer glass door that only has a lever handle he pulled down. We knew Nolan loved to be outside, but we didn't realize how desperate he was to get out there. He was obviously very motivated to overcome obstacles to get what he really wanted. I'm happy to encourage his perseverance and independence -but in a safe manner.
I fear that teaching Nolan safety limits may be a challenge. He definitely struggles to understand new concepts, especially abstract ones. If he does something that hurts him immediately, like pinching his fingers in a drawer, he learns quickly how to close the drawer while keeping his fingers out of the way. But teaching him not to do something he wants (like go outside by himself) because of a consequence he can't comprehend is a different story. In fact, just following simple directions in general is something we're working on a lot right now. Fortunately, Nolan's a pretty cautious kid, for 2 and a half. He doesn't like to get hurt and if we tell him "be careful!" or "you're going to fall," he usually heeds our warning. But, outside is fun! It's not scary or foreign to him, so teaching him limits on it will be difficult.
|I wish I could put up gates and a moat to keep this kid safe!|
Thanks for reading!