Jonny’s story

(My husband, Jonny, is writing here today.)

Last Friday evening, while Ginny had the big boys at piano lessons, I was left at home in charge of the littles.  The girls were occupied somewhere with something, and Ninny Man was with me while I cooked a delectable dinner of Red Lentil Coconut Soup and Roasted Cauliflower.  (He’s ever so helpful…always wanting to stir or throw something into the pot).  Once I had everything under control I decided to review the math test Gabe had taken earlier that morning.  Ninny headed out the back door to the mud pie kitchen.  I was keeping one eye on him and the other on the test.  When the test became complicated and I had to perform three digit addition, I was momentarily side tracked with the mental mathematical manipulation and lost sight of the little guy.  I quickly and ever so efficiently threw down the test and raced out the back door to locate the quick footed Ninny Man.

“YAAAAA YAAAAA!”, I called…wait for a response….none…try again…”YAAAAA YAAAAAAAAAA!…again nothing.  (I’ll quickly explain…normally, when I call “YA YA”…rhymes with “Ha Ha”…Ninny Pants will respond with a “YA YA” and I can locate him easily among the trash outside.)

At this point I started to panic a little, although I had only looked down for a total of 5 or 6 seconds before he disappeared, and I knew he really couldn’t have physically made it with his funny toddler run around the house, out the gate, down the driveway and to the road.

Let me detour here again to explain the basis for my panic.  Last summer, when we were all outside gardening, Ginny asked for some compost.  So, I had the boys watch Silas for a bit so I could take a couple of loads of compost to the garden where she was working.  They put him in the wagon and proceeded to take him for rides around the yard.  After dumping the first or second load, I noticed the boys having a good time playing with the wagon, but with no Ninny Man around.

“Boys…where is Silas?”

“He’s with Lark.”

“LARRRK!  Is Silas with you?”


Panic…the boys have neglected to keep an eye on Ninny Man…the gate is open…no Silas in sight…I hear a vehicle approaching.  I take off for the road and run out a little into the lane in which a monster truck is driving…I look to the right and to the left but don’t see Silas (there is a hill just before our driveway, it’s a blind spot, cars cannot see over the hill).  Because I am in the road, the jacked up monster F-350 with the giant mud bogging tires swerves to the other lane and drives on by.  At this point I look back to my right and what do I see?  A toddler standing about 3 feet in the road, just on the back side of the hill.  Basically, had I not run into the road when I did, the truck wouldn’t have changed lanes and …anyway, awful awful thought…I couldn’t shake it for weeks…still can’t…I am always making sure the fence is closed and I have since installed a more secure latch.

Back to the current story…Silas couldn’t have made it to the road, but I still panicked a little and ran to the front to verify the gate was closed and that he wasn’t headed that way.  All was well in the front yard and no sign of Ninny Man.  So I went to the back and tried again.


Wait a second, was that a muffled sound?

“YAAAA YAAAA!”…Yes!  That was a muffled “Ya Ya”…in the direction of the chicken coop.

I headed to the coop…looked in the run but didn’t see him.  Then, I noticed the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life.  Cuter than a baby lop eared bunny…cuter than a baby lop eared bunny playing with a fuzzy little kitty (and that’s darn cute!)

Ninny Man was crawling out of the little door to the chicken house with an egg in each hand.  He also had one sitting just inside the door that he had collected and was planning to go back for.  All I could see were his fat little hands holding the eggs and his cute as a button face.  He looked at me, said “Abujewaya,” and smiled.  I picked him up, made sure he wasn’t covered in chicken poo, and gave him a little kiss on his pudgy cheek.

“Abujewaya,” I replied.

Wish you could have been there…Ninny Man collecting eggs on his own…so adorable.

p.s.  (Hi!  It’s Ginny here.)  When Jonny told me he wanted to share a cute story here, I had no idea he was going to include what happened last summer.  As I read his words, I reacted immediately by telling him, “We can’t talk about that.”  But he and I decided that we would.  The memory of that day has been a difficult thing for Jonny to carry and I try not to think about it myself.  I think that maybe he needed to write it down.

p.p.s.  I took these photos of Silas yesterday,  I wanted pictures of the hat I knit him over the weekend.  The only way he would wear it, was if I let him go visit the chickens.  These days, that’s where he wants to be.  Unfortunately, Silas gathering eggs means broken eggs.  We’re working on that.  I knit his hat using leftover yarn that I dyed last year to knit him a whale for his birthday.  The day he received his whale, he headed straight for the chicken coop with that too.  He knows what he wants.  In the photos above Silas is playing a little peek a boo and a little “How big is Silas?”  “So big!!!”  We love him so much.


  1. Johnny – thank you for writing about Silas’ narrow escape after his jaunt up the road. It takes an honest and brave parent to share something that happens to many parents – simple mistakes that, thankfully, end not in disaster but in a heightened sense of awareness.

    I needed to read something like this today. In a moment of inattention my 3 month old kicked her way off the changing table, flipped over, and landed (naked) on her face on the floor. Half an hour later after a call to my doctor and a visit from the paramedics, she was finally calm with nothing worse than a red blotch on her forehead. I, on the other hand, I felt like a terrible, terrible mother. So, thank you for this . . . it helped more than you can imagine.

  2. I sooooo LOVE your blog!! The sweetest pictures EVER!!! Thank you! 🙂

  3. Hmmm Johnny – me thinks you watched way too much Bugs Bunny as a child!

    Ninny man?

    Do you call Ginny – Ms. Ninny Ginny? Ms. Ginny Ninny?

    I think you must be fun to hang out with 🙂

  4. Hi! I found your site from the PW blog and I really love it. I just wanted to say after reading Jonny’s story I was reminded of my own story of my then 18 month old boy running into the street. He was narrowly missed by a car purely by the Grace of God. He’s 24 now and I still have to shake it off when I think of it. I’ve thought a million times since then that all we really have is today. And that precious baby with the eggs … yes, definitely cuter than puppies and kittens!

  5. Oh I can just picture your little man with those eggs! What a joy that must have been to find him.

    We have a couple of those “look away for a moment and the baby is gone” moments. I have no doubt that it is through the guardian angel’s protection that we found them. Can I recommend the book by Fr. O’Sullivan, . I read it after a very close call with my oldest daughter and gained much more appreciation for the angels God has sent to help us. We now thank them every night for their help.

  6. Jonny is not the only one to lose sight of a toddler while asking the older kiddo to keep watch. We just moved to NC and this property has zero fencing/gates. Not only do we have a huge pond sitting in our front yard that makes me incredibly nervous, but we also have a very long driveway that leads to a slightly busy road. One day, after asking my eleven year old to watch his toddler brother while I snapped a few pictures of the ducks, I heard the neighbors dog barking along with a flash of something running in my peripheral vision.

    I’m sure you can guess the blur running down our rocky driveway was indeed, my toddler. Of course I bolted and caught him halfway down it, but the experience has left my husband with a long to-do list consisting of building a fence! (which he is buying the materials this weekend. halleluiah!)

  7. I am actually really glad that you shared the story about Silas in the road. You kept it real, by doing that. Yes it is horrifying to think what could happen to our children in this world, but we have got to acknowledge that these things can still happen. And ask God to have mercy on us all.

  8. I’m not a chicken person (meaning I don’t have chickens), but perhaps if you knit him a little egg collecting basket it would reduce the amount of broken eggs? 🙂

  9. I’ve knit about six of those hats, and I love them. My daughter has not left the house in cold weather without one since she was four months old. It covers her ears, it’s hard to pull off (although she now knows how to untie it – she is about the same age as Silas), and it’s cute 🙂 People always comment on her cute “bonnet.” And that Cascade sweater was the first sweater I ever made, inspired by yours! I didn’t know your version was big enough for him to be wearing now! Seems like you knit that ages ago! The hat and sweater look beautiful together.

  10. Just like many others, I can relate to losing track of a toddler and then finding said toddler on the other side of a country road on which monster-trucks barrel along at dangerous speeds. My story: I was visiting my brother up in Central New York. He and his family live in the country, on a county road less-traveled, but when it is traveled, cars and trucks tear down the road with little regard for any children or animals that might appear unexpectedly. I was inside the house with my niece and brother; my sister-in-law was at work. All of a sudden, we realized we hadn’t heard a peep out of my then two-year-old nephew, so we went searching. We eventually checked the garage, and to our horror, found that the garage door had been mistakenly left open. We walked up the driveway, looked across the street, and found my nephew sitting in the ditch on the other side of the road, gleefully playing in the mud. It terrified us to think that he had crossed that road by himself. There are definitely angels among us!

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