Here in Maryland, there is a law for everything! For example, it is unlawful to leave a child under the age of eight unattended. For various reasons, we've never left Maia unattended even though she is nine and a half. Since Mason just turned eight, I thought that we could try letting them stay home together when the opportunity presented itself.
Said opportunity came on Tuesday afternoon. Poor Fireball (Mason's toad) had been without food for a little bit too long (it's not our fault, but that saga would be a post itself) and I needed to run to the pet store for some small crickets (yum). Maia was doing her homework and Mason was watching T.V. so I thought this would be a great time to try this new leaving-kids-at-home thing out.
I wrote down my cell phone number, reviewed the rules (keep the doors locked, don't let anyone in, don't tell anyone I'm not home, etc.), loaded up the little girls and went on my way.
When I pulled back up to the house, Maia and Mason flew out the front door and descended upon me in a frenzy. Mason was clutching some papers and the telephone and was in tears. I asked what had happened. Here's the scoop:
Apparently, Mason came up to the living room and was sitting there while Maia was in the dining room doing homework. Only Maia wasn't doing homework anymore. She was making "The Plan." This, of course, was what Maia and Mason would do should an intruder have entered the home when I was not there. She shared the plan with Mason and it scared him. Then, she wouldn't let him call me on my cell phone because she didn't deem his frightened state a big enough emergency to bother me. The papers Mason was clutching when I got home were the one with my cell number written on it and the one of Maia's sketch of "The Plan." Poor kid.
Okay, here is the sketch:
You'll notice that Step #1 of Maia's plan shows Mason being in the living room when menacing-looking stranger appears outside the front door (you might want to click on the plan to take a gander at the angry eyebrows on the stick-figured pedophile).
In Step #2, the front door is swung open and the intruder gains entry into the house.
Step #3 shows Mason sprinting to go get Maia for help.
Step #4 is when Maia is on the move to fix the problem.
In Steps #6 and #7, Maia's plan of action is revealed as she picks up the phone and dials 911.
So, I can just imagine little Mason sitting in the living room when Maia brings him this "Plan." He probably looked at it and noticed that it had already started (he was already watching out the window) and therefore the rest would surely come to pass. Poor kid.
Needless to say, I reviewed the unlikelihood of a stranger breaking in while I am gone for a quick errand. I assured them that they can call my cell phone anytime, even if it is not a "real" emergency and they are just scared.
I don't think the experiment was a complete failure because last night Mason said to me, "Mom, you know when you were gone and Maia and I were home alone? Even though I was crying when you got home, it was kind of fun." And I must admit, only dragging two kids, instead of four, through the pet store was kind of fun for me!