Well we lived far enough off the road that you wouldn't really think it would be an issue. We had our challenges this spring with keeping Matthew off the road, so we weren't all to keen on having those issues again. But really ... how much trouble can you have when you're that far away from the road???
It took Matthew a matter of two days and I was out there scooping him off the road. Remember my dear runner .... oh he can ride even faster yet, and he always has a good head start on me before I discover where he's off to. I had to scoop him off the road twice and then surprisingly we seemed to get through to him that he was not allowed that far down the driveway. He would also follow the girls when they went biking up and down the driveway ... except he only went one way and refused to come back. We had to adjust the girls biking, which was a bit frustrating for them, but they were only allow to bike down the driveway when Matthew was sleeping or not outside. After a few days of discipline he seemed to understand that he could only go there if someone was with him.
There was some concern about the ponds on the property and what Matthew would do around them. Before we left my dad put electric fencing around the big pond (pictured in a previous post) to deter Matthew from attempting to go near there. That was my biggest fear as it is so deep. Much to our surprise and pleasure Matthew never went anywhere near the big pond ... not once did we see him over there.
The little pond in the garden was a different story though. Day one he played it cool and just checked it out, staying nicely on the path like mommy told him. Day two he discovered that from the path he could pick up the larger stones and throw them into the pond, Day three he felt that it was to far to throw from the path and so it was best to go up to the edge of the pond and stand on the rocks at the edge (when mom or dad aren't looking of course). Day four he put away all sense of caution and found a nice butterfly net to try and scoop the lily pads out of the pond with ... until .... slip goes the rock on the edge and .... slip goes Mr. Matthew into the pond. Rob and I both heard the screaming at the same time, Rob got to him first. The pond is not too deep, just past his waste and he knew to stand right away. So no damage was done to him ... just to his pride ... and thankfully that cured him for the next four weeks and saved me the hassle of having to fence off this pond also. After four weeks his memory became a bit foggy and slowly we seen him get closer and closer again ... the second last day I found him digging rocks out of the pond with a play shovel ... thankfully it was time to go home and I didn't have to retackle that issue.
Another new thing was a dog to pester ... and pester Zoey he did. Even I felt sorry for the dog and I don't like the thing. Poor old, lame, deaf Zoey didn't get much rest those 5 1/2 weeks. Really Matthew loved the dog, he just had very odd ways of showing it most of the time. A lot of the time Matthew would pet Zoey, hug her, even kiss her. But for some unbeknownst reason he also felt it necessary to kick Zoey in the rear end whenever she was sleeping (which was most of the time) or to pull at her tail. Matthew would ride after Zoey on his ride-on toys and try run her over (remember to fit old, lame and deaf into that equation). I should add to fit dumb into the equation as well as my parents have a huge house with many places the dog could go to avoid such treatment ... and about 50 acres outside that she could hide on ... but she just came right back to where Matthew was each time. Over and over Rob and I disciplined Matthew for hitting, kicking or bugging Zoey. It was an endless and frustrating battle and we could not figure any way to get through to Matthew to leave her alone. Nothing we did would stop him from bugging the dog. He would cry up a storm after being disciplined, he knew perfectly well he wasn't allowed to bug Zoey as we could see him watching us when we was trying to do it ... but he kept doing it. I finally just hoped that Zoey would bite Matthew ... maybe that would teach him. Well my wish came true. Zoey bite Matthew three times and still Matthew did not get the hint. By this time the dog was jumping the gun and biting before Matthew even got near and it was starting to be a dangerous situation. Thankfully my parents had an outdoor kennel and so that's where Zoey went whenever Matthew was awake. Zoey went quite willingly, so she must have appreciated the fence inbetween her and Matthew.
Another fascination Matthew picked up during our stay was the garden hoses (there were a couple of them). This one was especially his favourite and each time he would go outside one of the first places he would go was to the hose to see if someone left it on and he would be able to spray it all over.
Now what would a little boy most like to spray?? The first time I seen him with the hose was from inside the house through the basement window. The first picture shows exactly where he was standing and the second what he was spraying. Now you think Zoey would get smart and go to the other end of the pen or in her doghouse ... but no ... did I mention dumb?!?
Oh yes, Matthew loved that hose and since my parents get their water out of a huge pond (that used to provide for the whole farm) I figured it wouldn't hurt to let him have a little fun as he certainly wouldn't be allowed to do that at home when I'm paying for ever drop that comes out of the hose. If the dog wasn't in sight for him to go after he'd either make himself comfy and spray whatever he could find ... or chase after the kittens, they were lots of fun too ... but a little smarter then the dog and disappeared pretty quickly :)
A new house meant new cupboards ... ones that did not have child proof locks. And so ... this is what we often discovered the first few days.
Matthew would help himself to the food in the cupboard ... and since it was not all Matthew-friendly it didn't take us long to find away to keep him from getting in the cupboard. Poor guy ... we want him to eat and then we won't let him eat when he finds something he likes.
Oh but he's not all trouble ...
sometimes he's just cute ...
Sleeping in the van and learning to blow bubbles (he would still get the wrong end everytime ... talk about disgusting taste, you'd think they'd learn after a couple times)
Sunglasses. Matthew loves sunglasses ... he just doesn't like them over his eyes. This is how you'll usually see him wearing them. He'll either put them up on his forehead or crocked on his nose so he can look around them.
Oh ... and notice where he likes to put his finger ... I think maybe a sunglasses and driving habit as I can't say I see him doing that any other times.
Overall I must say that Matthew did quite well at my parents. Most of the time he stayed in the back yard area, not wandering off to far. Occasionally I would see him a bit further, out on the trailer, but even there I could see him fine. There were many places I was scared he would take off to by himself ... like the barn, the shop, the corn field, the pond, and down the road. But mostly he found the extended back yard entertaining enough and he wandered further out when mom or dad was out there with him ... especially if dad was out there working, then Matthew could be found acting as his shadow.
I am amazed that he did so well as it seems so hard to keep him on our property at home ... he plays contently for a bit, but then he wants out ... only yesterday I lost him when I went inside for a few minutes and thought the back gate was locked ... I found him playing in the neighbours back yard ... it's just as small as ours, but guess it's more entertaining. The biggest fear when he gets away is that when you call him or go after him he runs full tilt the other way with no fear or consciousness of his surroundings and the road that he's running across or down the middle of.
Ah, the joys of an energetic, inquisitive little boy!! :)