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So >>THAT<< is how Houdini did it!

So how did Houdini do it then?

#1 found out this afternoon.

Always slip out un-noticed via the back door when the audience's attention is diverted!

It's standard magician's stuff, create a diversion, draw attention to the big shiny thing over here, miss the real action over there. Big fanfare, round of applause.


Big fanfare, heartbeats racing, people in a panic. No applause.

What's gone wrong, has the trick failed?

As the atmosphere changes, the smoke clears to see a 4 year old outside wandering the streets on his own, looking for him Mummy. The trick was followed to the letter, it should have worked, it goes like clockwork, it never fails, nothing changes....

But that is where it failed. MOTS has gone back to work after her maternity, so childcare arrangements have changed. Both boys are now in nursery for the duration of the working days, whereas before #1 was in 2 afternoons and one morning up to that point.

On one of those afternoons, a Monday, he had a French lesson. That took him to pick-up time, so MOTS was always there after French to pick him up.

Not any more. On a Monday MOTS is at home, and so are both boys.

But this is Thursday. He's switched from Monday to Thursday for French, as it's held in the nursery. Only he's now picked up later, about an hour after French ends.

But that hadn't fully sunk in. So he expected to be picked up. So under cover of a parent doing a pick-up, he slipped downstairs and out of the back door into the car park.

No car. Where's Mummy?

Round the corner to the far side of the car park. No car. Where's Mummy?

But Mummy normally parks here, but not always. If she was going to the High Street before or after picking #1 up from nursery she would park in the train station car park. So guess where he went? Yes, up to the station to look. Unaccompanied. And worse of all, not missed.

Thanks to his French teacher going to his room to give his homework the alarm got raised. By which time he was returning to the building and buzzing to get back in.

Bit of a shock. We are really pleased that he was savvy with the roads. We are really pleased that he went back. We are far from happy that 22 days later is when the door is due to be fixed, with handles raised out of reach of young hands.

It looks like the staff have had a bigger shock than we have. They have got away with a very easy chat with us, initially, about the escape. That conversation could have been with far more difficult parents or even worse, with far more difficult circumstances.

At the time of writing I am a couple of hours away from getting the report and action plan, so that should be interesting reading. We have heard it from Houdini's side, now for the stage managers.

Until we see the report we are thinking about procedural failure (ie staff handover from French class back to his normal room) and physical security. It's the thought of it happening again, to someone not so clued up, that scares us.

No names. No incrimination. Just action to ensure no repeat performance.

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