March 5, 2010


We have a little boy with curly blond hair. With his hair he looks like a little lamb, and sometimes I call him 'my lamb with curly fleece'. He does not mind.

However, when it comes to his temperament, I would not compare it to a lamb.

I have to admit I am in no way an expert in lamb behavior or temperament, and I might be completely wrong when I think of a soft, gentle animal when I talk about lambs.

But our 'lamb' is loud and he know what he wants. Usually the wrong thing. But at least we can hear him wanting it. Sometimes he gets unusually quiet, and then we start running. This one morning I just had to go get the camera.

A little background: When we moved into our house two and half years ago, our great concern was the safety of our children. We knew they would just crawl into any hole and touch any electrical wire that was left sticking out of the wall, Central Asian style. Our street is not very busy, but at the very end of it runs a deep, fast canal full of cold water. I just could see my children going there on a hot sunny day to watch their friends swim, and !

Like all the houses in our neighborhood, we have a high wall surrounding the yard. Then we have two huge metal gates that can be opened for a car or a wheelbarrow. They are closed when not in use. Next to our main gate is a door. It is where people go in and out, and it is always open during the day.

Being a busy toddler he was, he already ran away not soon after we moved in and I had to run around the block looking for him. First I went to the canal, fear gripping my heart, but a neighbor lady washing her clothes on the street told me that she had not seen him going by. I ran the other way and saw a school girl in her black and white school uniform. She recognized me as a worried mom and told that our blond boy had passed her, crying. I hurried to the next intersection. As I looked right I could see him, in the middle of the narrow, dusty road, unpacking his little back-bag. I was relieved! The only thing he had put into his back-bag was his Baby's First Bible book. It was so cute. But it got us worried.

So we had a solution 1: We just keep the door closed at all times.

The problems were plentiful and we knew immediately that solution one was a goner.
First, whenever anyone wanted to come see us, borrow canning equipment, buy coal, sell milk, ask for booze, beg, play with our Legos, see our baby, admire our garden, ask for a job, learn to knit, use our sauna (all of this has happened) etc. they would have to bang on the gate and wait on the street. That would require that we run to the door a million times a day. No thank you.

Secondly, it would look really uninviting, even impolite to have the door to our yard locked during the day. We wanted people to feel free to walk and peek into our lives.

Thirdly: our oldest daughter knew how to open the gate but would forget to close it.

Solution 2:

Solution 2 was a big piece of plywood supported by two Russian propane tanks.
Great, we thought. This way the door can be open and welcoming. If someone wants to come all the way to the yard, well, they can just call and we will come and help them through.
The problem was, our little lamb pulled down the plywood the moment he saw it. I don't understand how, but it did not stay up. be continued...

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