Sunday, November 29, 2009

My momentous morning

I felt compelled to write about today. More specifically, this morning Sunday, November 29th, 2009 at our house.

Even more specifically, what occurred from 8:35am to 8:45am this morning.

I LEFT MY KIDS, Y'ALL.

As in full blown home alone!

Except this was on purpose and I didn't get all the way to France before I noticed they weren't with me.

Yup, I ventured out to our neighborhood gas station to get a couple of things.

I bet you are wondering what sort of things...




But if you have known me for any length of time, you know that much of my life revolves around food (and coffee) and totally saw that coming.

(FYI, the gas station also houses a Church's Chicken and is adjacent to a tatoo parlor that also does teeth whitening and a donut shop. I had to tell you because it's funny.)

For those that haven't reached the "leave my kids alone for a second" stage, here are some details that might put your worrying heart at ease (ahem, mom and dad/grandma and grandpa!).

My boys are 10 and 8. We have 2 dogs, our property is gated, we have an alarm and fire detection system and we live a bit in the country. Having said that, I don't think I would venture much further than the gas station that is 1/2 mile down the road. At least not yet. While the law is that you can't leave children alone in the car unless they are 14 years old or have a sibling that has reached that age accompanying them in said vehicle, apparently there is no minimum age for leaving them at home. I also required them to stay inside the house and only answer the phone if David or I called.

Wow, all that for milk and donuts?!



My boys thought it was totally worth it. And for me, it was a first step towards training them to be independent.

Who am I kidding? It was a first step towards training ME to LET them be independent!

How old were your children when you first ventured out with them at home? Did you have any special rules? Did you venture very far?

37 comments:

Heather said...

We are letting our oldest DD, who will be 12 in a couple weeks, babysit her brothers from time to time...I was babysitting at that age myself! But, I think that I am sooo nervous about it, we don't leave them alone very long. We are up to 45 minutes, but that's long enough for me ;)

Leanne said...

I won't tell you how long we've been leaving Russell. But he was like a 16 year old as soon as he was born, so we're cool with it.

Marshy, I totally think getting donuts and milk was worth that trip. Cause the very reason why I adore you is because your life revolves around food. Well, that, and about 6 other reasons I can think of!

So, were your donuts tatooed? Did they have really white teeth?? That is soooo funny!!

Now, go have yourself a cheeseburger! Mine last night had bacon. And cheese. And nummy burger sauce that Nipp's makes homemade. Go. Now.

Gayle said...

Mine were close to that age too. Welcome to the world of no babysitters. It gets better and better as they get older. Woohoo!

And for donuts and milk? Would have even gone two miles for that!

Sisterlisa said...

Marsha, you live in a safer neighborhood than I do. :P Didn't leave them home alone until my oldest was 16 yrs old and she watched the little ones. I never went further than 5 miles away. Still won't. If I have to go further, I get an adult to come over. Allowing them to have independence is good for all of us. ;)

Andrea said...

I cage my children when I leave them home alone. You should try it...total peace of mind.

Heidi said...

I agree with the caging the little ones...their fur keeps them warm, too. ;)

My eldest was 12 or 13 when first left alone with the sibs. Before that there was never really a chance or reason (either lived in a war zone overseas or living here close to family). She was definitely ready and capable...and excited for the job.

With the eldest gone, and my middle almost 15, she stays with her brother occasionally...but it makes her nervous so we always make sure the aunt who lives 5 mins away will be home during that time.

I have never once thought to run out for breakfast donuts. WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING ALL THESE YEARS, AHHHHHH!!!

Anonymous said...

You know, I was babysitting at age 12 too. Yet I'm still paranoid about leaving my kids alone! They're 10, 8 and 6. I think you're right though, that kids are capable of more responsibility and enjoy their independance, I'm just not there yet. Although, maybe if it was a Krispy Kreme store and not just a gas station...(:

Molly (:

Weird Unsocialized Mom said...

My oldest was about 12 or 13 before I started letting my kids stay home alone. Yes, she was older than your oldest, but I didn't leave them before that mostly because I was afraid they would turn on each other like rabid dogs.

The first few times, I left for the grocery store, knowing that Dad was on his way home and would be there within 15-20 minutes. It doesn't hurt that my sister lives within walking distance.

My oldest is now 14 and I will leave for longer jaunts. The rules are still the same, though -- everyone stays inside, don't open the door for anyone, and don't answer the phone unless it's me or Dad...oh, and no making phone calls to friends while I'm gone, in case I need to call home.

Christine said...

WOO HOO for you!!! Of course we're a long ways away from leaving ours alone. BUT, I do remember Mom and Dad leaving me alone with you when I was in 3rd grade and you in 2nd. It was Friday the 13th, you were sick and I was s-c-a-r-e-d. We survived though. :) I know several girls around here that babysit and they're around 12. One is 12 and a certified babysitter. It just doesn't feel right leaving my kids with someone who is that young. I'm sure the older my kids get the easier it will be. I hope anyway. :)

Christine said...

Oh, and one more thing, you should take a pic of that gas station plus more. It is quite funny. I remember the first time I saw it. Very strange.

Karen said...

We didn't leave ours alone until my oldest was 14...a very mature "second mommy" 14. It wasn't that we didn't trust her, but we didn't trust her siblings to not torture her or each other:). We have all the rules as mentioned above plus have them have a specific place outside that they will all go to in case of fire or other emergency. (Our neighbor's front porch:). Plus if is for a long time (we are talking movie and quick dinner time) we bribe the younger ones with a treat from our treasure chest if they all stay in one piece and no furniture is broken. They are really good kids (much better than me and my siblings) and usually spend the whole time watching videos.

I Heart Faces said...

Just stopping by to say thanks!! You are our Fan of the Week!

Amy & Angie
Co-Founders
I Heart faces

Shell said...

Stopping over from I heart faces- couldn't resist visiting another mom with 3 boys. It's like a crazy club that we've been inducted into.

My boys are not old enough to be left home alone(4, 3, and 1)...but OH, how I'm tempted when they are fast asleep for the night and the grocery store is less than a mile away.

Never actually done that, but oh, HOW I've been tempted.

Lisa said...

Our boys are 12 and 9 and we only recently let them stay home for short periods of time by themselves. At our local YMCA, kids can go by themselves at age 7, so one time I dropped them off there while I grocery shopped. I think it's definitely a maturity issue.

Karin Katherine said...

I'm so not there yet. For me leaving them home alone means I'm in the driveway...My oldest are also just 6 so that is my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

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Kathryn said...

I have left Parker alone while I run around the block to get our mail, but that's it. He's almost 12, and Morgan is 10. They could probably stay alone soon, but I'm not comfortable. We aren't in the best of neighborhoods, and one neighbor is on the "registry" if you get my drift. I don't even let little girl outside without me present. We just go to the park to play. But this is where God has us for now. I could probably leave them, and just have them lock all the doors and not answer door/or phone for anyone but us...I'm getting there...just still a little nervous...

JAN said...

I haven't even thought about leaving my kids. I can't wait until that day though. I fear that my home would be destroyed if I did. :)

Congrats on being the fan of the week!!

Melissa Stover said...

i can't remember when i first left them home alone to run to the store (a whole 2 miles away), probably around 8 and 10, but recently i've been leaving them home alone for other quick trips with the baby sleeping. my oldest is now 12. but my situation is very different in that my mom lives right next door.

noimportance said...

Well I just had to laugh after reading this post. The first time I left my twins they were nine, and I left them at home to go to the gas station to get donuts! Of course I still had my youngest with me, so it was not complete independence. Still it is easier to get one in the car as compared to three.

Puna said...

Congratulations! My youngest was 12 before I left them at home alone for an extended amount of time. I find that I don't mind leaving either of them home alone but I get worried when they are home together. They can conspire together that way! I came here via iHeartfaces. What a cute place you have here.

Becca said...

aw YUM and totally worth it :-) I would do the same thing, if my kid wasn't one year old of course!

congrats on FOTW at I heart faces!

Lou Anne said...

Well, I still can't leave my kids alone! Marsha, will you teach me how? My boys would appreciate it if you would.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

We haven't done that yet although by daughter who's 8 going on adult couldn't handle it. My 5 year old~no way!
I often think grocery store trips will be much quicker when they can stay home:)

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

I meant to say my daughter COULD handle it!

Ashley said...

My kids are 9 and 5 and I will leave them here alone for 5 minutes while I drop off or pick up their dad from work on nights when I need the car while he's there. It literally takes 5 minutes and I make them sit on the couch or in their beds while watching TV and they are not allowed to get up or answer the door or anything. Still, I get nervous every time!

Life with Kaishon said...

I still have the hardest time leaving Kaish. He is 9. And there are NO gates in our community : ) and no security systems either. So I don't leave him : )I think about it though. You know when I just need to run to the market etc : ). Oh well! Congratulations on being fan of the week at I Heart Faces. Were you super psyched?

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

super psyched?! me?! YOU BET!!!

ROFL we don't live in gated community but we do have a locked gate at the end of our driveway. and the rest of our yard is fully fenced (albeit chain link). :) it's nice to not have to worry about people just wandering in our yard!

Ali said...

My oldest is wanting to say home alone. But I am not sure if I am ready for that! He just turned 11. I may let him stay home with my 10 year old daughter to do quick little errands like you did. Maybe I'll do that today! We will see how he does. They grow up TOO fast.

Ali

Kd said...

I just started, this year leaving mine, for quick trips. Dad is out of town sometimes, and he usually takes two. That leaves five for my oldest, a girl and fourteen to "watch". Mostly i'll run out while the little ones are napping:)

Alison said...

I started doing the same thing, except out gas station is a full mile away, and we don't have a gate, but everyone stays in and doesn't answer the door. I have a cell phone and the oldest ones know how to call it. Sometimes we just need more milk!

40winkzzz said...

when my oldest was 10, i would take the 2 younger kids and leave him home alone for 2 hours while i went grocery shopping. he loved having a quiet house in which to do schoolwork. he was 11 when my 4th was born, so i'd take #2 & 4 to the grocery store and leave #1 home with the rambunctious 3-y/o. no schoolwork got done, but i was able to retain my sanity while grocery shopping.

my 2nd would stay home alone or with a younger sib for 20 minutes max at age 9, probably a bit longer by age 11. by the time the 2 older were 13 & 10, we'd leave them home together to babysit the littles, but not overly long or often as the littles required a lot of upkeep. :-) i could probably write a whole post on that!

then there was my 3rd. at age 11 or 12, i would barely leave him in the house alone for 5 minutes even if i was still on the property! he's way too impulsive. even at 14 we don't leave him home alone for very long, unless his 11-y/o sister is there as well. she, on the other hand, has the maturity to stay home alone but doesn't like to for very long. leaving the two of them together works well, though. as the 11-y/o so aptly puts it, "he is the protector and i am the watcher." that about says it all. :-)

Debbie said...

First of all, I TOTALLY remember that gas station--our first time to visit y'all we stopped for gas and saw a dude walk up to the driver's side window of another car and start punching that guy in the face! He may have been shirtless, too. Then the punching bag's little girl ran out of the store yelling and crying. Secondly, I ALMOST left Noah alone the day after you left our house! David and Austin and Aubrey had gone to Home Depot, and while they were gone the hospital finally called me to come in for a follow-up. I almost forgot that sleepy head Noah was still upstairs! I was almost late to my appointment, but I waited until the guys got back before I left :)
Love you!

KD said...

Dad took my 9 year old to the Congo, Africa yesterday. They'll be gone a month! Does that count???

Deedee said...

You are brave! Mine are the same age and I won't even leave them to go to the neighbor's house! LOL! Then again - they would probably kill each other at the moment if I wasn't there to pull them apart. *sigh* Donuts look good though! Since I would have to drive for 2 1/2 hours to get to a decent donut shop (our nearest Krispy Kreme. English donuts aren't worth the calories!) I don't think I'd manage that long away from them alone. :o)

Nikowa Lee said...

WOW kudos to you! I am not there yet! I can't even go to the BATHROOM without them having a free-for-all wrestling match in the livingroom!

Kristen said...

I babysat my two brothers and sister by the time I was 11 - for two hours here and there. Honestly, I think it was the best thing my 'rents could have done for me! Don't tell my siblings ; ) but I'm the most responsible one! LOL!