Well, the day came we were hoping wouldn't.
Over the weekend, Joey and I went for a walk. We were sort of heading for the Memorial Day Illumination, but instead we met some of teh kids across the street and had some impromptu social interaction. Joey really enjoyed himself, and the trucks, and the bikes, and the kids, and can't wait until we "go for a walk" again. I also had fun, because I actually got to talk to other moms and dads, some of which have been int eh neighborhood a while, and I've never spoken to. Crossing the street is a big deal with two small kids, and we don't do it very much.
Today, he kept talking about a blue truck. He has lots of trucks and cars, and every time we found one that was blue, it was offered, and turned down. After speech, I took the baby upstairs for a nap, and mom took Joey outside for a ride on the tricycle, where I joined them, and yet another round of "want blue truck." He opened the back door and went into the house. "Are you getting your truck?" I asked casually. "Yes," he replied, and into the house he went.
Mom and I chatted abotu some local news, friends not doing so well, the allergist appointment tomorrow. The doorbell rang.
Not expecting anyone, I looked up. I can se right through the house from where I was sitting, back door to front- it is one of the reasons I habitually sit there. The door was open. A woman was coming into the house, following Joey. It was an odd sight, and about fifteen things raced through my mind- how did Joey get the door open? Who is this? Did we have therapy today and I forgot? No, its Tuesday. And why did they come to the door? Is Joey letting a stranger into the house? Does she need help?
I was to the door when my brain turned on and recognized my across-the-street neighbor, and the words emerging from her mouth. You guessed it, didn't you?
"He was in the middle of the street..."
Heading across the street, to get the blue truck he had played with days ago, which actually belonged to the little boy whose mother was telling me that she asked Joey where his mommy was, and he had said, "outside" but she didn't see me, so she brought him back across the street...
He was in the middle of the street.
My street is not a hustle-bustle big city disaster, but it is a bit of an artery across town, often taken slightly too fast by us townies. He could have very easily have been hit.
We lock our doors out of habit mostly, from living in places liek Charlottesville, where people were known to walk into homes while people were home and steal stuff or attack them. With Joey's new and unpredictable fondness for wandering off, we have taken this habit to heart. Usually we keep the key to the front door on a high hook. He can work keys, but since he can't reach the key, this has been our current compromise of keeping him locked down, while not being a major fire hazard. However, my mom had left her keys in the lock while she watched Andy (while Joey and I went to therapy). Those keys remained in the lock when I came home. Joey wanted to go across the street to get the truck, so he just turned the key and was gone.
The main problem now is that the back door does not have the double-key bolt, and he can work all the locks and latches I added to it now. Worse, he has actual motivation to leave the house, and determination to do so= we'll hear about this truck for days, maybe weeks. He has a reason to go across the street, and no concept of improper hour of night, danger of the street, and despite our best efforts and lectures, no concept of the reasons he can't just go across the street, walk into someone's house, and get what he thinks is his.
The locksmith comes on Friday. Until then, we have barricaded the back door. We're also seriously looking into alarms. At least we'd know if he opened a door.