Child Wanders Off And Has a Picnic By Herself


The kids are still on vacation.  The weather has been rainy and sunny and rainy and sunny.  Z packed her bag and wandered off for a picnic.  I didn’t once think where she might go or how far away.  She’s old enough now to be safe ( okay, I worry still … but not as much ).


If you measure how far she went and overlay that on our Seattle home, you would be worried.  Kids don’t go places by themselves anymore.  I’m not sure why.  Let’s blame it on the media.

A new vineyard is going up ( the brown bit in the distance ).  It will be nice to have the vines back.  We will never do vines.  Though, I like the presence of vines.  They feel stoic.  Probably because we live in France and France makes wine.  Some would say, “nice wine.”


She had her picnic and wanted a cheese refill.

If a child prepares a picnic on their own, wanders off and enjoys herself and no one is watching, does she have a good time?

4 thoughts on “Child Wanders Off And Has a Picnic By Herself

  1. Jacqui says:

    I do envy your wide open space for your kids to free range (hell, I envy your French wide open space full stop. Sigh). I send Oliver, 7, to check the mail and twice I have had a 70 something neighbourhood busy body bang on my door, struggling child in hand, to say that my son was in the front yard ALONE. Just watching from behind the blinds is bad parenting, apparently. I have had a friend make biting comments that he climbs trees.Tsk! His teacher was appalled that Oli, my husband and I take turns dinking on his go-cart, even with bike helmets, knee and elbow pads (I was appalled that I didn’t bounce when I fell off at speed but the boys reckon I do make an awesome air bag. Aw shucks). Imagine if I sent him off with his mates on their bikes like my parents used to? The utter shame!

    • Jean Curtis says:

      I envy our wide open space as well. I think the cows get more out of it than I do.

      I know what you mean. In Seattle, we were surrounded by houses with families and children. Yet, not once ( in ten years ) did we see children playing outside. Our kids would sit on the porch and heckle anyone that walked by. It brightened a stranger’s day, but they were surprised to see people outside.

      Kids usually meet at the parks or houses in an organized fashion with dates and times. When I was growing up, I would go outside, find some friends and play until my mother yelled “JEEEEEAAAAANNN!!!!!!” which I could hear for at least two blocks. If I was further, the other children out playing would relay the message.

      I often refer to us as The Inadequate Parents. We let our kids get bored. We let them wander around outside. We let them start a fire. We tell them, “no.” We make them cook and do their laundry. Like you said, “the utter shame!”

  2. kipper says:

    Only if she has her dog with her. I grew up in Seattle and was allowed to wander” out of sight” for short periods of time, so long as Perky the wire fox terrier was along. Now I know that even though I didn’t see my parents, they were lurking about and checking on me.. Being allowed to wander off a bit may be hard on the parents’ nerves, but really helps a child’s confidence level. Your photos of your daughter are adorable!

    • Jean Curtis says:

      Perky the fox terrier!!! Sounds like a great book for children!

      Yes, the kids love to go very far. It forces them to rely on their own skills and problem solving. How do I get over the fence? The wire might be on, what should I do?

      … though I usually give them a walkie talkie :), just in case they get lost. There are enough vineyards, crops and forests to get confused.

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