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Oh wow! There is nothing like that first time that you leave them alone! I was a wreck the first couple of times… but like you I started with small trips, out and back in a flash, and then as the years passed the amount of time I can abandon Mr. T has grown. Sadly, we are really close to the I-can-leave-him-overnight stage… this pains me on several levels – one) I don’t want to leave my baby! two) He’s not a baby anymore!!!
Well done on your first abandonment!
I have to tell you I wasn’t a wreck. However, I did rush! Thanks for the compliment. Now, I will go for two.
I hear you on the baby thing but it’s not really my mindset. Maybe, it’s because BR is younger or maybe that’s a mom thing. I can say I am in no rush to see him off on his own (well, some days I am).
Jake has been asking me to leave him home alone for the past year. I had told him he would be old enough when he was 10 and his tenth birthday is coming up in Nov. We don’t have a house phone so I’m going to buy one of those basic cell phones where you can just call or text and we leave that in the house.
BUT I’ll still freak out like Kate did 🙂
I think having a phone is a good idea. I literally left the phone right next to BR. It made me feel better and I think it made him feel better too.
So, break free Thelma and Louise.
Excellent! We are just at this point with our kids, too. We’ve gone to a neighbor’s house twice and left them alone, but we were literally within shouting distance. And once I drove to the gas station down the hill. We all love it! They feel big and brave, and I can accomplish my task in less than half the time. 🙂
It seems like pure craziness when you can finally pull it off! After so many years to think it is possible! Admittedly I have only left each of the older two alone for roughly ten minutes when they were by themselves because I had to go pick up the other one at a friend’s house and I had my youngest with me. It was a small step but a stressful one at that. Same scenario where they didn’t want to leave. Since I always had an older brother or sister to watch me I didn’t know what the protocol was for this!
Yep pure craziness! I am on the edge.
I don’t know the protocal either – winging it over here.
glad it went well on your first abandonment !!! 🙂
I used to love it when my parents would leave me in charge of my brothers; I felt free and capable of doing anything! 🙂 I’m sure B.R. felt the same way!
& you will get used to this & it will be good for all of you! 😉
also glad you came to them (just kidding) !!!
You are 100% right – the being in charge was good for BR. You also are right that it is good for all of us. Now, where shall I go next?
Good for you. I can’t wait to do the same. Unfortunately I think I have a long time before I’ll be able to do that 🙁
How come? Your son is same age – right? Anyway, two to watch for him is too much I guess. Anyway, I am thinking of venturing further next time. I might even make it to the “Neck.”
Haha. Great ending. What would we parents do without fodder for our blogs? I often deal with one or more of the children not wanting to come with me. I have no choice but to force them too. Usually they do want to come, so it’s not too often. But I wonder how old will be old enough to leave the oldest home. And then how old does she have to be to also be in charge of her little sisters? It’s frightening. Perhaps when it no longer is frightening she’ll be old enough. I hope it’s before she’s 20.
Aren’t the children there so we can blog?
I hope you get to the point soon where you can leave your kids home alone.
My gosh. Won’t that be nice? To think of all the money saved on babysitting! (That implies we get out much. Ha!) But just going to the store on my own would also be heavenly.
Yes, it was nice to go out on my own.
I don’t think they are ready to have my wife and I go out for an extended period yet but we will get there.
You, with the provacative titles lately!
I look forward to the day that I can leave my kids alone for a bit. When I announce that we are going to buy groceries, my son sort of crumples up and moans about how boring it is. Like it’s a picnic for me!
Nice job, dad.
Thanks for noticing. It is definitely deliberate!
Hope you can me in shopping independence soon and I hope I can do it more often.
I left my kids alone together for the first time this summer. Going to the grocery store, a quick trip, was wonderful! I was in and out quickly, no fighting. When I got home, the kids ran to the door. They were excited to tell me they had prank-called their dad at work. “Sir, your butt is on fire.” Nice. At least they told me about their mischief. I say take full advantage of it and give them the responsibility. It’s good for them.
Isn’t amazing how much more pleasant the errand was?
Funny prank! What did your husband think?
We are on the same page here.
Good for you. That’s how kids learn.
Yes, responsibility has to be learned and should be given out in small bits till the child is ready.
You are a brave man.
I would have done the exact same thing. My parents often left me alone (as an only child) when they would run an errand or do something quickly. I distinctly remember them saying don’t open the windows or doors for anyone and just play. So I did just that. That was in the days before cell phones, I couldn’t have even called them if I wanted to!
Did their instruction freak you out and make you want to call? Anyway, I do feel good about what I did and am glad it turned out well.
So timely! My 10 year old asked this week if she could stay home by herself while I went to pick up her sister from swimming lessons. I said no, but wondered why as I do think she’s ready to be home for a short time on her own. Your bravery in abandoning your children gives me just the push I need to abandon my own. Maybe today! 😉
Go for it! It frees you up to. Let me know how it goes.
My first time was very similar. My daughter told me to go out, or I wouldn’t have thought of it on my own. She overheard my wife and I talking about how I wished I could get out for a run or a bike ride one day and just jumped right in with the offer to stay home and watch her little brother. After my initial gut reaction of violently objecting because how could my little girl be old enough to be left alone, I realized she was old enough and could handle it. I started by simply doing several laps around our neighborhood, so I was never more than half a mile away, phone at the ready and stopping to stick my head in the door twice. Amazingly, the kids were good, and as I went out more, our level of trust grew. The whole experience was liberating to say the least!
Very cool she spoke it up. I think it is liberating for the child as well (sometimes at least) in that it allows them to feel mature and responsible.
Enjoy those runs!