Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Home Alone

Last Saturday marked a big day in the lives of Becky and Ben.

It was the first time I left my boy alone.

As his 8th birthday was approaching, I was talking to some other mom friends about when they first left their kids home by themselves. They all agreed that 8 was a fine age to just run to the grocery store or to pick up their other child and confirmed that they had all done it once or twice in the past.

I, however, was apprehensive as I didn't think neither Ben nor I were ready for this. No peer pressure for THIS girl anymore. See Mom? I have evolved.

The subject was broached a couple times to Ben before this monumental day. Being my son and therefore being wickedly smart and responsible (ha!) he said "Maybe when I'm like 9 or 10."
"Good idea!" I agreed hastily.

Then Saturday morning happened. I needed desperately to run to the grocery store to pick up a couple things for a "end of the soccer year" picnic.

"Hey Ben, we have to go to the grocery store. Ok?"

I'm pretty certain I didn't ask him if he wanted to be abducted by aliens, renamed "Montdo" and taken to another galaxy far far away. But if I did ask that question, I'm sure I would have gotten the same look.

"Ok, here's an idea. What if I go by myself?"
"Yeah. I think that would be ok. Don't you? I'm just going to the one down the street. I will be gone 20 minutes at the most."
"Or you can come with me. But I have to go now."
"Ah... ok! You can just go. Just um, lock the door."

So I took a deep breath, said some hail Mary's (again GREAT Jew huh?) wrote down my cell phone number, Grandma and Grandpa's number, told him not to answer the phone or the door and gave him a kiss.

And then I ran.

Folks, I don't run. This body doesn't run. But it did that day. To him I was all cool and calm. But on the very short drive to the store I was nauseous and dizzy. "OH. MY. GOD! I LEFT MY BABY AT HOME. ALONE! What the f*ck was I thinking?! OH MY GOD!!!!"

I honestly don't remember the time IN the grocery store since I was moving at warp speed. Flying up and down the aisles like the Tasmanian Devil, whipping things off the shelves and into my cart. And of course I got only half what I needed... the other half, no clue what I was thinking. I ended up with some limeade (what? ewww!) chili in a can (meant to get refried beans) and Ranch dressing seasoning? Huh? When have I ever made Ranch dressing from scratch? I don't even like Ranch dressing that much.

When I made it home after only 22 minutes of being gone, all was fine. Ben was cool as a cucumber and I don't think he even moved from his spot on the couch.
"Hey mom."
I was sweating and panting and trying to be cool too. "Oh hey." puff puff "How did you do?" Pant pant, struggle for breath.
"Great. Hey did you get more milk? I'm thirsty!"

Shoot. Milk.

I don't think this is going to be a common occurrence and not just because I can't afford to buy the wrong food all the time, but it is nice to know I can make the occasional quick trip out if I need to.
Although in preparation for my next Grocery Store Mad Dash, I should probably hit the gym a little more.


Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer said...

haha .. I SO remember the first time I left the boy at home. I too was a wreck - welcome to the club.

Sheleena said...

Ok - so I'm seeing this from the other side. If I see a frantic lady at the grocery store who accidentally runs her cart into the back of my ankle without noticing, I may not be as quick to get angry. She may have left her kid at home for the first time :)

You both made it though - Yay!

zeghsy said...

you did great! i remember leaving monkey home to run to the store. and this was when it was literally across the street. i almost locked her in the bathroom. no phone. no door. no food/microwave/CERTAINLY NO stove. i was a basket case. now i flip if she hasn't called in almost 2 hours after getting home from school when papa isn't home to greet her.

Marketing Mama said...

LOL - that's hilarious! Maybe next time you could have a grocery list to keep you focused. Love the limeade. ha! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure our stepdaughter would have a panic attack if we tried this. LOL Glad your experience went well - this is a hilarious post. :)