Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lobbying to Stay Home Alone by Reenacting Scenes from a Sitcom and Making Me a Sandwich

I was going to make them accompany me.

All three of them.

To a business meeting.

I had a meeting scheduled in the next town over in the middle of the day. Our babysitter was unavailable and The Spouse couldn’t work from home, so I told the Picket Fence Post kids (ages 9, almost 12 and almost 12), “Sorry guys, but you’re going to have to come with me.”

Cue the whining, followed quickly by the enthusiastic pleading from the older two, “Why of course our dear mother, we can be trusted to be left home alone, and besides, you yourself have said we older children could soon babysit.”

I’ve frequently left the kids alone for short periods of time, but I try not to saddle the elder two with their younger brother who can be a handful (who isn’t at age 9?) too often. It just causes friction when they tell him what to do and he resents it.

However they didn’t exactly help their case on this particular occasion when the two boys started fighting over whether someone “took” something from the other’s room and the alleged thief ran and hid in his bedroom with the purloined object.

I heard them arguing and fighting while I was trying to take a shower and get ready. While still in a towel, hair dripping wet, I stormed over to the door to the hallway and shouted, “That’s it! EVERYONE’S coming with me. You people can’t handle it!” Then I slammed the door shut.

Minutes later, the three of them – with whom I’ve recently been watching season one episodes of Malcolm in the Middle -- started reenacting scenes from the second episode, “Red Dress” where, as a response to their mother’s punishments, the TV sitcom kids wanted to show how gleeful and cooperative they were and joined hands, danced in a circle while singing, pretending like they were all one lovey-dovey bunch of siblings.

But my kids took things further. Once I made my way to the kitchen, I discovered that my trio had made me a turkey sandwich, fetched me a glass of ice water, unilaterally offered to rub my shoulders as I ate and even presented me with the sandals I was going to wear – no lie – on a pillow.

“Fine,” I said, relenting to their charming though utterly transparent, ham-handed lobbying campaign, “but this is a test. If you three cannot get along, if you fight and things don’t work well, you’re not going to be left alone any time soon and will have to come with me to meetings.”

If there were any problems, I never heard about them. They wisely kept their traps shut. Nor did I find find evidence of any scuffles shoved into corners or stuffed down into bottom of the trashcan.


Image credit: Fox via Fancast.


  1. Looking at the Hudson blogs I wanted to be part of the food, running and parenting communities! I am a 20 year childrens center founder/director about to open a new center (Woodsedge) in Hudson on Chestnut Street adding fitness, nutrition and environmental awareness components to a traditional preschool curriculum. I also love to cook and will be providing a healthy low sugar/appropriate fats hot lunch. Anyway, this blog space is a good spot to solicit your child friendly recipes and brainstorm ways to include more activity in your child's day.Those empty soda bottles are great weights filled with water....

  2. What does the Parenting Community comment have to do with kids staying home alone?

    Anyway, I often wonder whether kids puffed up "good behavior" is good or bad. If they "pretend" to behave well often enough, are they still pretending?