MUM’S THE WORD: A new fence might keep Nancy in!

Kate and Nancy Chapman.
Kate and Nancy Chapman.

“IT won’t work”, the Next Door Neighbour (NDN) said, shaking his head as I pulled onto the driveway the other day.

I shot him a puzzled look and then followed his gaze to the shiny new fence we’ve had put up in the back garden.

“It’ll never keep her in,” he chuckled again. I’m hoping NDN is wrong.

Our little new addition (well I say little – it’s three-and-a-half foot tall) is the final phase of Operation Baby Proof; and designed to keep Nancy safely in the confines of the back garden.

It’s pretty sturdy, so unless she turns out to be the toddler equivalent of Houdini (although nothing would surprise me on this front, she’s forever disappearing behind the curtains and round the back of the sofa) or is able to gnaw through solid wood, she won’t be going anywhere!

We’re a little ahead of schedule with it as we thought she’d be toddling round by the time summer arrived (I use that term loosely, given the state of the weather to date) and thought it would be a necessity to stop her wandering off – what with all the time we’d planned to spend in the garden, basking in the sunshine.

Whenever we do venture out, Nancy immediately charges off, full steam ahead down to the bottom of the garden to sit in the borders, among the flower beds, slapping her hands in all the mud or her new favourite thing is to hang off the swing seat, banging it with her podgy little fists until I get the message and lift her on to it.

To date we’ve only managed to have her paddling pool out three times and it’s maiden voyage was less than successful; it took me about 20 minutes to blow up the three rings that make up the outer wall. By the time I’d got my breath back, and was finally ready to fill it with water, the top one had deflated; we’d got a puncture before we’d even started.

Thankfully it came with a repair kit and with a bit of Blue Peter-style cutting and sticking later, it was soon ship shape for its inaugural outing and she absolutely loved splashing about in it, flicking water over everyone else and climbing in and out.

But now the summer holidays are upon us, I’m getting a little concerned as to how we’re going to fill the next few weeks – all the groups and activities we enjoy during term-time have finished until September and the weather is certainly letting us down.

Mr Chapman keeps telling me we shouldn’t let the grey skies stop us – but until the sun comes out I’m afraid I’m sitting on the fence when it comes to braving the great outdoors.