Judie is a young mother with a four-year-old, Larry, who is a handful, and an infant, Danny, still in diapers crawling around like crazy, and a husband, Leonard, who is quite exacting, so she is cooking a full meal as she does every night, meaning meat, usually beef, a starch, vegetables usually overcooked, and dessert, and she's running behind, and Danny's not interested in playing with the toys in the bottom drawer in the kitchen, and it's a nice day outside, so she takes him out to the backyard in just his diapers and sets him down – just for a minute – saying, “Play outside by yourself like a good boy for a few minutes so I can get dinner ready.” But as soon as she goes back inside to the kitchen, I look at the fence, a six-foot-tall fence, thin, rough wooden slats woven horizontally, and I wonder, “What's on the other side of that fence?” and I crawl over to it and try to look through, but I can't see through the slats, so I climb up.
Inside, Judie finishes the preparations for the main course, and takes curlers out of her hair.
I reach the top of this 4-inch-wide, six-foot fence, dangerously close to falling off. I can see what's in the next yard – it seems pretty much just an empty patch of grass.
Judie is back in the kitchen making Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
But I don't stop at just looking over the fence, I climb down into the neighbor's yard. Crawling around in diapers, I feel compelled to explore my world, and I am also running away from home for the first time.
In the kitchen, Judie now cracking eggs for cookies, the doorbell rings, she wipes her hands on her apron and goes to the door.
The neighbor lady is standing there with me slung under one arm and a scornful look, “Judie. Please keep your animals in your own yard. If you can't control them now, what will happen will they're teenagers?!”