Mar 20 2010
I’ve been known to say that if you can train a dog, you can raise a kid. Granted, I’ve grossly oversimplified child rearing but the fundamental tenets are the same, at least when it comes to Border Collies and toddlers: both canine and kid like to be given a job; encourage unfettered exercise each day — an open hay field will do; and don’t ovecorrect or micromanage. Just leave them alone and let them figure out the rest.
Well, the problem is that Hadley is starting to act a helluva lot like the Border Collie.
Just as Maisie has been on the loose, fleeing the confines of the farm for the wooded wonderland by the river, so Hadley has become a chronic flight risk.
And let me interrupt here: yes, it’s another blog. Trust me, the Boy is no patron saint. He just hasn’t been peppering me with constant blog fodder. And I can’t ignore that in recent weeks, Hadley’s been on the loose.
Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000001008 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000000974 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000000974 The first few incidents were purely parental misjudgement; just b/c one kid is unwaveringly mesmerized by the idiot box is no guarantee for all models. Apparently Hadley gives a tv a cursory nod then buzzes right out the door. One one occasion, retrning from the gym at the crack of dawn (Martin tasked w/morning chores while the kids slept), I saw the tell tale tiny footprints in the frost on the deck. Had, we’re outside? Yea, I went in the barn looking for you.
But then she started looking for us. Knowing that someone walks the dog up the drive, she set out early one morning clad in her flannel pjs – but no shoes or jacket. I spotted her on the driveway.
Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000001990 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000001956 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000001956 So we’ve modified our stellar parenting skills – and avoid leaving the solo in the house when we assume that they’re still asleep. But last weekend, around 10 am, with martin and kids having breakfast, my friend Linda and I set out to ride our horses in the neighbor’s indoor ring. We had nearly reached the ring when linda’s horse Mingo kept craning his head backwards… to look at the small figure – this time in pjs and boots, still no jacket – sprinting in flailing todder fashion toward us. She’d run off the deck, across the yard , through the barn, out the back gate, through the pasture and along the path toward us.
What are you doing? I asked?
Looking for you.
Where is your Dad?
In the house she said causally.
So another lesson learned: parental presence no longer discourages roaming Barbarians.
Martin’s solution: we need to give this kid a job.
Like what, she’s two .
she tries to be helpful, in a frightening way…on morning I heard her heaving something up the stairs: it was my laptop computer…..but what the hell are yougoing to have her do? Muck stalls? Walk the dog? throw down hay bales?
The short term solution has been to latch the gate on the porch using a spare leadrope. And that’s worked, though last night I saw Hadley scale what we thought was an unclimable railing.
So I think it’s time to rethink our door locking mechanisms. And get maybe some ankle tracking device. For both the dog and the kid.