We stopped and picked up take-out from a nearby Italian restaurant to share with my sister and her family.
The Blue Streak
We entered the house and deposited dinner on the kitchen counter. As we were getting set up for our meal, I happened to look out the back window and saw a boy in a blue t-shirt run out the back gate toward the wood pile.
We have a runner!
After a few minutes, my sister went outside and discovered that Colin was hiding in the van again. I went out, opened the door to say hello and my son escaped out the other side of the vehicle. I went back inside to have my meal while Colin ran and hid.
A little later, we discovered Colin was back in the van and I sent my middle-son out to say hello. Once again, Colin took off running. We suspected that he would not get far as he did not have shoes on; only socks. My sister, however, was worried as it was in the 40's and starting to rain. She went to look for her nephew while I visited with my brother-in-law.
My sister was frantic, despite our assurances that Colin would be back as soon as we were gone. She was worried that as Colin's guardian,she would be held responsible. My middle-child and I decided to leave. Sure enough, soon afterwards Colin came back inside.
Saturday Afternoon - Sunday Morning
Late Saturday morning, Aunt "P" informed her nephew that his mother would be back and would be staying overnight. Not much was said but a short while later, Colin was dressed in blue jeans instead of his usual cargo shorts. His aunt asked why he was wearing jeans to which he replied that he was cold.
My sister, was a bit suspicious and found my son shortly afterwards, wearing his shoes, a coat, and attempting to leave the house carrying a rain slicker, flashlight and bag of food. He clearly was prepared to camp out. This was not o.k. and could be dangerous. In addition to the colder than usual weather (40's at night), there are packs of coyote that have been know to wander the woods. The threat of exposure ... or worse, threw Aunt "P" into a panic.
She took away the survival kit, coat and shoes and sent my son to his room.
Ready to Call in the Troops
I was on my way out to the house when I received a panicked call from my sister. Colin was not in his room and no where to be found. She was ready to call in a search party. I suggested she turn on her perimeter alarm system so that she would be alerted when doors were opened and to wait until I got there to do anything.
After turning on the system, Aunt "P" resumed her search of the house. Eventually she found my son in her son's closet. She yanked him out and told him to go to his room. Colin was defiant and his aunt spanked him. The heavy pants insulated his bottom and the only pain inflicted was on my sister's palms.
Colin tried to pull away to escape and my sister had reached her limit. She put the force of her anger into a slap across my son's face. She was horrified to see the red marks that her rage had left. Colin immediately went to his room and my sister followed. She was crying as she apologized. My son tried to pretend that it was nothing but there were tears running down his face.
The rest of the weekend he stayed in his room until I left. He went for close to 24 hours without eating and slept for the first time in his bathroom. He opened the drawers so that the door could not be opened without his permission. His aunt was allowed in to check on him. The dog also came in to give a lick "hello".
The only contact I made was to yell through the bedroom door before I left. I wanted my son to know I would be gone shortly and that he could safely leave his room to eat and move about the house without seeing me.
Only two more weeks.......
We are a work-in-progess!