How to leave the kids home alone

Sometimes, occasionally, I wonder what would happen If we left the kids home alone for a weekend.

Version one plays out very much like the Macaulay Culkin movie. Comedy bad guys…cartoon peril…punchlines…you know the stuff. Version two is closer to the Lord of the Flies.

Just to remind you, my boys are four and seven.

Also, and by way of a disclaimer, we probably won’t actually leave them home alone; we’ve had new carpets, and whether version one, or two, there’s bound to be spillage.

We’re not savages.

The truth is that almost literally anything could happen.

Vegetables will not be eaten, screen-time will creep beyond recommended boundaries, shoes will be recklessly strewn across the hall, despite easy access to a shoe rack.


Beyond these details, though, it’s plausible they would get themselves organised.

The seven-year-old will assume command, using the opportunity to feed his Napolean complex for 48 hours.

The four-year-old is likely to go along with this, and will doubtless be enlisted to lead on the riskier manoeuvres – due to his superior climbing technique, he is the designated child in charge of retrieving high things in the absence of a tall person, for example.

As long as he gets a fair crack at the TV remote control, the four-year-old is fairly pliable.

I imagine we would return home on Sunday evening to find the pair of them, watching the worst kids TV available on Freeview, eating Wotsits from the floor, and barely aware that we’d been away.

But as I said, we’ve had new carpets fitted.

So, although I have complete faith in their ability to cope at least as well as Macaulay Culkin did, we cannot risk staining our floors with orange Wotsit powder.

I guess the weekend away will have to wait.



  1. Fun to ponder, isn’t it? Here in the U.S. I think it’s state-by-state as to how old a kid has to be before you can really leave them home alone. For a long time a friend and I were counting down the days until our kids were old enough. Then she moved to a state where the kid has to be 12! I mean that’s getting toward the age when they’re going to think up all sorts of ways to get in trouble–more catastrophic things than spillage. But I hear you there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, 12 seems young! I have no idea what the law here in the UK is…one of the funny things about being a parent – you’re in charge of these little people whether you bothered to read the rule book or not!!


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