Today marked an important milestone in DHs and my parenting career together.
It's difficult to convey in English, but the full translation is something along the lines of "my ex-husband bailed at the last minute on his summer plans with Medium Fry which left us in the lurch because DH started back at work today after his holidays and Small Fry's regular sitter is away on holidays and his interim sitter only had room for one child and my desk isn't really large enough to conceal an entire 11-year-old underneath it for the day..."
... or, "we left the kid at home alone today" for short.
Now, Medium Fry has been doing the latch key thing for ages already, but an hour here and there is significantly different than a whoooooole day home alone. And while she's quite an exceptional child, it's still a well-known scientifish fact that you can't grow pubic hairs and brain cells at the same time, so her decision-making skills of late frequently leave something to be desired.
Just to be safe, we made some ground rules:
- Keep the doors locked.
- Don't answer the phone.
- No fires, serious accidents, or kissing boys.
- If you are frightened, injured, or considering kissing boys, call me.
- If you are TERRIFIED, MORTALLY WOUNDED, or ON FIRE, call 9-1-1.
- If you are itchy, gassy, hungry, stinky, thirsty, whiny or bored, figure things out for yourself.
Truthfully, I felt pretty good about the whole situation. She's old enough to take a babysitting course and care for other children, so surely she's capable of hanging out by herself for a few hours. But just to quell that tiny niggling anxiety inside me, I decided to ask around the office this morning to suss out what other local parents of similarly-aged children are doing.
Turns out the first few people I talked to haven't actually let their children out of the womb yet, let alone left them home alone for a day. One fellow implied that he loves his children more than I love mine; another flat-out stated as much.
Good grief, Charlie Brown.
Today's Special: Raging Inferno of Self-Doubt and Apprehension, with a generous side order of Unsavoury Public Opinion, tossed in our own house-made Trepidation sauce.
I ordered a double C&C (caffeine and cortisol) to wash it down.