Sunday, October 26, 2014

Home alone

This past weekend, my husband and I did something we’ve never done before – left our teenagers home alone, for a whole, entire night.
What, are we crazy? Wasn’t that just like asking for it?
Why not just hang a sign at the corner with a big arrow pointing at our home: “Parent-free house, next right. Party starts now!”
The girls are old enough to stay home alone for one night, said Rational Mom.
Emotional Mom wasn’t sure. I immediately started imagining worst-case scenarios, ‘80s movie-style.
Remember that party scene in “Sixteen Candles” featuring an elaborate beer can pyramid, drunken haircut and the exchange student passed out on the front lawn?
Or what about “Home Alone” when the Bad Guys break into the house and Macaulay Culkin is forced to terrorize the would-be burglars?
And then there’s “Risky Business.” No words.
Before we left, Rational Mom sat the girls down for a little talk.
Don’t forget to lock the doors and feed the cat, I said.
Call us on our cellphones if you have any questions.
We’ll be back by lunch tomorrow.
Here’s $20 for a pizza.
Emotional Mom had a few other tips:
Don’t let anyone in the house. That may look like Grandma at the door, but ask for ID just in case.
Don’t use the oven, stove or microwave. Best to avoid using any hot water as well. Someone could get scalded.
No boys. NO. BOYS.
Lockdown? Not really. Think of it as more like an opportunity for “sisterly bonding.”
If anyone calls, answer the phone like this: “Sheriff Huffman’s house.” Then yell really loud, “Somebody let the Doberman Pinschers back inside. Time for their dinner!”
Don’t watch any scary movies on TV. I’ve pre-selected some family-friendly videos that you girls used to love to watch such as “101 Dalmatians,” “Lion King” and “Land Before Time.”
If the power goes out, do not light candles. Just sit quietly together until it comes back on. Pretend you’re living in the olden days.
Sensible Mom figured the girls wouldn’t go wild while we were gone. She was also expecting tattletales. Normally, I discourage them. But for this overnight vacation, I was counting on the tattletales to tell all. They won’t be able to resist, I figured.
I thought for sure we’d get at least one or two calls from one sister complaining about another sister hogging the remote or eating all the ice cream. But no.
We didn’t hear a peep, which Emotional Mom was sure meant that they’d fallen comatose due to Radon poisoning or some other lethal gas leak.
We got home the next day to find all Huffman teenagers conscious. No one had fallen, broken an arm or burned herself. The trash can was not filled with empty beer bottles. All pets were accounted for and alive.
How’d it go? I said.
The oldest gave a snort.
You just assumed the worst, she said.
No I didn’t, said Rational Mom.
I did, said Emotional Mom.

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