Dare I Tell You I Left My Kid(s) Home Alone?
I guess I just did.
I left my older 2 home while I took Young Lucy to a birthday party… to the home of adults I had not met. I had to go. This is what mothers do. We do not drop our kids off at the homes of strangers.
Except I did. It had been A DAY. A “no time for red lights” kind-of day. I dropped off Lucy at the party, then took the the older 2 home… then went back.
You can feel the earth tremble, no?
I made sure “the olders” had the home phone (we haven’t launched into giving the cell phones yet)… and I had them lock the door behind me. I also reminded the kids to not go outside while I was gone.
We were good. We were golden. I was 8 minutes from home.
About 45 minutes into the party, I decided to check in. But reception was bad.
I stood on my head. I created an antenna out of a wire hanger and made an headband out of it and stood on one leg.
I stood in the middle of the driveway and FINALLY got through… to the little message that basically told me – HOME PHONE NOT WORKING.
I called the husband. He had tried to call me moments before… to tell me… the kids discovered the phone wasn’t working and I needed to get home.
“Jenny, did you panic?”, you ask?
*An aside: my son is 12. He is fine being at home for a couple hours… even more. He’s 12, for cryin’ out loud. And the boy is uber-psycho-crazy responsible ESPECIALLY when he knows he has the be The Man. He’s done it a few times before, but…
And he is as hilarious as he is handsome.
When he discovered the phone was not working (say, 20 minutes before I even called), he freaked out because he knew I’d freak out if I found out I wouldn’t be able to get through.
So, being The Man that my boy is, he got on my computer and tried to email me (on account of the fact I have email on my phone) but couldn’t figure out how to do that… because I haven’t let him have email yet.
I am terrible. But I don’t have the email headache that some parents of tweens have, so I don’t feel like we are missing out. We will have to do it very soon, and that is soon enough for me.
So. When email didn’t work, he thought.
And got on the xBox. He messaged his cousin to tell his aunt to call me to tell me to come home.
It was about this time I had reached my husband on the phone and he told me Joel had messaged his aunt on xBox, yadda, yadda, yadda… and I needed to get home right away.
I left Lucy.
I mean… by then there were party games, and… I had deemed the mother to be non-psychotic.
30 8 minutes I got home, to a locked door. Of course! When I walked in I found 2 kids worried their mom was panicked. They were never worried about them.
OK, maybe a pinch.
But mostly, they were freaked out because they were worried I was freaking out.
AND I WAS.
We had a good, long “bring it in” moment.
Here’s where it gets good — Despite their “emergency” they managed to clean the basement and match socks… just as I had asked before I left.
Bless my kids.
They decided it’d be cool to crash the kindergarten birthday party.
The party people were very sweet and let my party-crashers load-up on sweets. Nothing like positive reinforcement, no?
And if I was ever concerned about my boy not being able to handle an emergency. I have no doubt now. He is a smart and capable kid. He truly is… The Man.
And the next day, when I had a coffee meeting to discuss the magic of local social media… he decided to come with me and the girls. Which was fine because the dad I was meeting with brought his 3 kids too.
And then today… I lost track of my son at Kohl’s… he had them page me. Thinking he might be becoming a better mother than me.
A few question for yas…
- At what age is it O.K. to leave kids home alone?
- Don’t you think my son is The Man?
- When your child is invited to the party of a kid whose family you don’t really know… do you stay or do you go?
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