Home Alone – the non-Hollywood version

I am hesitant to share this experience because now everyone will know just what a horrible mother I really am. With that said, this will never happen again.

I have decided that almost seven is not old enough to be home alone, even if only for seven minutes.

So yesterday I had a dr’s appointment. I love my new doc, he’s a dear, truly, but he likes to take his time. My appointment was scheduled for 2:15. I sat, alone, in the waiting room until 3:15 when they called me in. I was there almost another 45 minutes.

This wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have a seven-year-old with a friend getting off the bus while my legs were stuck in stirrups (literally). I called the neighbor girl to check on them while simultaneously running out of the office and trying to pull up my pants. She reported that all was well, they were just playing in the backyard, and did I need her to stay?

I thought about it, knew I was only about ten minutes away, and sent her home. Hey, Harry’s nearly seven, when he’s outside I rarely see him for hours at a time. How much trouble could he get himself into?

How about burning the house down and amputating a limb, does that sound like a worthy bit of trouble?

As the garage door went up, he greeted me in the kitchen with a huge smile. The house smelled like the fire station had done an exploding microwave demonstration. One look around and I saw knives, cheese, more knives, salami, one more really big sharp knife, and a loaf of mutilated homemade bread.

Yes, I am officially the worst mother in the world.

Apparently, the kid works fast. In a matter of minutes, Harrison tried to make oatmeal (which is ironic since he hates the stuff) and put a bowl of dry oatmeal in the microwave for 50 minutes. And yes, you read that right. When it started to explode in the microwave, he got smart, took it out and hid it somewhere in the garage with the hopes that his mother would never know what happened.

Luckily, while playing host to the neighbor kid, he didn’t amputate any of his fingers. OH MY GOSH I HATE MYSELF.

I can tell you right now that I was sick with shame and guilt for being the stupidest mother on the planet. And yes, our next Family Night will consist of Emergency Proceedures 101, and a short list of approved kitchen activities.


  1. Oh my gosh. That will go in your “worst parenting moments” file (although it doesn’t really qualify, since it was not a sin of commission but of omission). We all have them, you know. But I will not allow you to call yourself a bad mother. I read the words “homemade bread” in there. Bad mothers don’t bake homemade bread. (glad everything is okay and hope you’re feeling calm again!)

  2. Stirrups make you do crazy things. Everything was OK, so take a deep breath. I’m sorry!

  3. Oh dear! But I’m laughing at the exploding oatmeal. I would have to experiment with that myself…if it wasn’t for the smell.

    And for the record I would have sent the neighbor lady home as well.

  4. Whoops. I’m glad nothing really REALLY bad happened!

  5. Oh Annie, don’t beat yourself up, my son started the microwave on fire when I was in the shower, so picture a naked lady throwing a burning microwave out the front door. Not a pretty site! Ironically my son was trying to warm up one of those oatmeal bars for breakfast, and once it started to smoke he came running in, in a panic! Good times!

  6. I’d have done the same thing. Honest and truly. “oh he’ll be fine for 10 minutes”. Seriously.

  7. If it makes you feel any better, my 12 year old would have done all of the above – and I leave her in charge of my younger 2 all the time! My house has yet to burn down or a child need 911 – knocking on wood!

  8. My parents left me home alone when I was 3, so don’t you worry about that.

  9. ummm my eight year old is left alone. With a cell phone and no neighbor kids… but you are NOT the worse Mom ever.

    Or maybe I’m just right there with you as the worst MOm ever??? 🙂

    At least we are not alone.

  10. Good stuff! Funny how the words “homemade bread” jumped out at me too, LisAway. And Annie, if it makes you feel any better, my child has started a fire TWICE while I was at home. Once, when he was 6, we had left a box of matches sitting on top of the BBQ. He decided to take them around the corner of the house and play with them. Only there was an old (AKA made of really dry wood) fence over there that oddly happened to catch on fire. I didn’t catch on until I noticed that it was really wierd the way that the boys kept running in to the kitchen for glasses of water and then running back out again. The other fire happened when he tried to make macaroni & cheese in the microwave by pouring the box of dry noodles in, dumping the cheese powder on, and cooking it for 10 minutes. I got a new microwave out of that deal at least. I swear, I am so glad that they don’t require you to have a liscense to be a parent because my liscense would have been revoked years ago. And sadly I’m really, really trying.

  11. He is just preparing himself for his mission.

    When I was a single mom, and at work, during the summer (sounds like Band Camp)
    My 7th grader son (not 7) had a friend over and they made a “zip line” off the balcony. The neighbor boy broke both arms.
    Holy Freaking Law Suit—–but his parents were kind enough not to send me to the poor house. They said it was just an accident of boys being boys.

  12. Kids have to learn by experience right? 🙂 Glad nothing TOO bad happened! I keep seeing you in pictures from the Sassy Scoops GNO but never got a chance to meet you! Maybe at the CBC? I love your blog! 🙂

  13. Hmmmm…and he’s only 7? Good times are yet to come. When my boys, now 24, 22 and 19, start to inform me of all the STUPID things they did while I was home and away I just have to calmly place my hands over my ears and say, “LA LA LA LA LA! I can’t hear you!!!”

  14. OK, am I the only one who thinks this post needs to be sent to your doctor’s office with the caption “One more reason you don’t keep your patients waiting two damn hours!!”? Unless your OB was delivering a baby there was NO excuse for him to waste your time like that. And if he WAS delivering a baby then that was his office manager’s cue to come back to the room and ask if you’d like to reschedule.

  15. I say he’s plenty old enough to learn to slice a piece of bread and maybe salomie. I have never heard of a kid accidently slitting his throat while learning to use a knife. Your knives aren’t sharp enough to cause much trouble even if they slip. Teach him now so he can be cooking dinner by the time the baby comes——-but put the matches away. Natalies comment was scary.

  16. I’m always tempted to leave my kids home for five minutes, just to see what will happen. I guess I know now:)