Suddenly there was a clatter and crying. The 4 year old had fallen off her bike and was nursing a grazed knee. Those of you who know the 4 year old will know that she is unable to let any injury pass without a full drama. In her mind grazing your knee is on par with been knocked over by a herd of stampeding buffalo and she makes it known, not only the occupants of our house but the occupants of every house on the street. God help all around her if she were to have a serious accident.
I brought the invalid into the house so that I could inspect the damage. There was a graze and a speck of blood which according to the 4 year old warranted a full bandage. After rifling through the contents of our first aid kit; one latex glove, one pair of tiny nail scissors, a pack of one size plasters and an eye patch I negotiated her down to a plaster the size of a potato waffle.
The 4 year old was admiring her new accessory and limping back to the back garden (on the wrong leg I might add) when the front doorbell rang. There, on the doorstep was a neighbour, next to her, my son with his scooter, grinning from ear to ear and our dog looking sheepish.
It appears that during the excitement of the 4 year olds fall he had climbed onto something (I fear the dog may have been used as a step) and opened the lock on the gate. The neighbour had spotted him pootling up and down the road happy as Larry shouting for the dog to follow; which she did, happy to be partaking in a bit of impromptu hedge sniffing.
The shame of my son disappearing and making solo scooter jollies with his brown hairy friend was overshadowed by humiliation as I realised I was stood there in my tatty grey old man dressing gown, sporting bed head and a week’s worth of leg stubble. I thanked her profusely and she left.
The husband reinforced the gate adding a further lock completely out of reach or so we thought. It turns out that by standing on one leg on the saddle of his bike he can reach that too. However, the pride the 2 year old feels at being able to open the gate outweighs his desire for freedom as he now proudly drags me to the scene to show me his handiwork. Even the dog dared not venture out.
I must thank my neighbour again for returning my son and the dog. I also want her to know that I will be asking for a new dressing gown for Christmas and that I have started shaving my legs more often.