It would keep the cats in. I can't prove it definitively because I didn't see it happen, but I am 99.99% sure that one of the cats jumped out of a window on the first floor (that's the second story for the North Americans) into the garden below. Tweedle-Dum (meaning Sebastian) has a tendency to perform amazing, yet extremely stupid and rather graceless acrobatic feats to get into high places or get outside. During this particular episode, I had left some bedding to air out in Little Man's window and went about my business. A little while later I heard a crash of some child-sized chairs falling over, then saw the cat outside. The backdoor was still locked and the downstairs windows shut, so leaping out the window seems the only likely scenario, though I had previously thought (and hoped) he wasn't dumb enough to try it. At least he didn't break himself in the process.
|And then he had the gall to yell at me when I|
wouldn't let him out as I left the house later that day.
It would keep Little Man in, or out. Occasionally, we have to remind the Little Man that while the cats may do it, it's not okay for people to crawl through the kitchen window when the backdoor is closed.
It would keep the critters out. One night last fall while Mark was out of town, I found a monster-sized spider I on the blinds in our bedroom just after finishing the bedtime routine with Little Man. I'm not exactly a huge fan of spiders to begin with, and I think this was the "big one" I've been worried about. I couldn't smack it without bending the blinds and/or missing and losing it and spending a sleepless night waiting for it to crawl over my face. Instead, I spent 15 minutes performing some sort of extended swatting action with a thick pamphlet, vigorously "encouraging" the spider to go out the wide-open window. About 2 minutes into the performance, Little Man came bounding out of bed and into the room to provide questions and commentary that didn't exactly calm my mania. (What's his name? His name is Charlie? He's REALLY big. Spiders lay eggs? Is Charlie a mama? Wow, that was a silly thing to do! - and when Charlie finally acquiesced to my repeated requests to rocket out the window - FLY, CHARLIE, FLY!!!!) This guy wasn't the first to crawl through the window, and he sure won't be the last, but I really just try not to think about it.
It's one more item to keep people out. I know that the Netherlands is one of the safest countries in the world, and maybe I was living in Chicago too long, but to me there's something about the psychological barrier provided by a screen in a window. Yes, one can easily get through a screen if they want to, but
it would be easier to just forget about it and move on. For now, we just close the windows when we're gone.
That being said, there are two situations that come to mind that I don't mind having screens. The first is if a child locks themselves in, and you out. This happened once during a playdate, but since the window was open, I just climbed in and unlocked the door from the inside. The other situation is any time we want to use the kitchen window like a McDonald's drive through - usually while we're grilling. These are all fine and good for a once-in-a-while-need, but I think I'd still prefer the screens.
Have you been surprised by a "normal" thing from your homeland that just isn't a thing in your new country?