Thursday, May 29, 2008

Home Alone

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!


Cami said...

Oh dear! What a trauma! It's funny, because I told Jefferson that someday I'll be able to leave him at home, and that sometime he can even babysit. He has been so excited that he has started making "plans" himself ever since. Everytime he does something helpful or grown up, he says, "Maybe that's something I can do when I'm in charge." I guess it is scary and fun!

Christie said...

That totally sounds like something Liza would do. Two peas in a pod I tell you! Her little stick figures are very well done. I am impressed.

lindsey said...

She is hilarious. Poor Mason! That would happen in reverse at our house. Cole would be the one freaked out and Dylan would be saving the day. Too funny.

Jann said...

You are tasting the beginnings of freedom. Just wait until Maia is 13, it is amazing to go to the store all by yourself.

"The Plan" cracked me up. HUM, maybe the police officer that came to scouts did not help any either. All he talked about was preventing burglary, and how bad guys think.

Joni said...

You really have me laughing. Jeff has always remembered Maia launching into a good long story with him on the phone as if they were old friends. She was maybe 6? She sounds quite creative!

Tracy said...

What drama! That is so funny. Poor Mason, just sitting there minding his own business and Maia has to put the fear of evil in him. I think you're going to have to take them all to the store since Maia's imagination is bigger than us all.

Deb said...

this story made me laugh so hard! poor mason, but a seriously funny story.

at the same time, it was weird to think that someday, i might be able to leave the children behind while i go somewhere. wow....

whitney allison said...

I seriously can't stop laughing. Maia's drawings are priceless. "the plan" ha ha ha ha ha! That's hilarious. I love that she wouldn't let him call! I used to call mom at Selective's daily.

Julia A said...

that so reminds me of a time when my youngest two sisters were left home alone for the first time. One of my brothers told them to not let the house burn down as he was walking out the door. After we left they ran over to the neighbor's house and stayed there until my parents got home, afraid that the house would burn down.

Mary said...

I envy you and can't wait for the day.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill