A parent's {not worst but pretty bad} nightmare

Last night I found myself in a predicament.

Little Guy and I were cycling down the driveway on our way to meet Noodle, who was at his tutoring class. Suddenly Little Guy noticed his bicycle light batteries were flat. I rushed inside to get fresh batteries - there were none. I located a torch in the camping bag - it also had flat batteries. I quickly got a screwdriver to get the batteries out of one of their toys but found these were also dead. Starting to panic I tipped out the contents of their bedside drawers trying to find anything that resembled a torch ...

In the end I made the decision to leave Little Guy at home by himself. It was pitch black outside so I weighed up the dangers of each proposition - a five year old riding a bike in the dark vs. the five year old home alone. All the while aware that my nine year old was probably freaking out that nobody was there to meet him.

A panic-stricken call to Mr. Mee a Bee revealed that he was about twenty minutes away.

I was gone for fifteen minutes. When I got home I noticed the front curtains were slightly open. Then I found a package by the front door.  A person we do know but not that well had come to the door. Little Guy had opened the door and told him nobody was home. Thank goodness it was not some stranger or opportunistic villain. Still it scared the life out of me. All those what ifs.

In hindsight we should have gotten in the car and driven down to meet Noodle.

The ironic thing is that a few months ago I invested quite a large sum in these super-duper re-chargable batteries. I found all six of them in the remote control toy car.

I guess there are many lessons in this tale! And you can add this to the ever-growing list of terrible parenting choices I've made! Just keeping it real!


  1. I really struggle with the home alone thing too - and my children are 9 and 11 years old! I still won't leave them home alone for longer than about 20 minutes and even then they are drilled about locking the doors etc. and I find myself racing home. We live in the middle of the countryside so I wish I could say it must be safe, but there are just so many things that seem to go wrong .... I wonder when I will feel "safe" about leaving them home alone....

  2. These things are truly horrible for a parent, although the often don't resonate with people that don't have children. It's that fear of what could have happened...

    Glad that the story wasn't any worse. I feel for you.

  3. Oh Jacqui, so glad everything was okay in the end. Thanks for sharing your experience - hope we have all learned something. I always feel as a parent that I am always doing On The Job training - no prior experience required! Learn as we go and try to make the next day better. Thanks for your last post about the star chart! Needed some parenting inspiration after the week I have had with a certain 4 year old!!!(*o*)/

  4. Thanks for your comments! Glad to know my honesty has helped or registered with some of you. It's definitely an ongoing struggle - parenting!

  5. Claire, that chart is really awesome and I thoroughly recommend the book by Nigel Latta. He's a kiwi and very down to earth.

    Jo! I don't feel comfortable leaving my 9 year old here either. From time to time he has finished school early while I have had to be out. I race home and am always so relieved to find him OK. Like you, never more than 15 or 20 minutes.

    Thank you Ben!

  6. A book suggestion for you (and I know this was from a different post!): Free Range Kids.

    You made a choice, the best one for your kid. Your son dealt well with the unexpected circumstance, and I'm sure learned something. So why the guilt? Guilt is my foe as a parent, I need to eradicate it!


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