After a disastrous attempt to take all 6 kids grocery shopping last week, this week I wizened up and only took Kirsti and Matthew. The rest were left at home with Elise. I love that my worry is lessened when leaving my kids because, in case of emergency, I can always be reached on my cell phone. I think, however, I may need to review the meaning of emergency with them. The following are examples of things too pressing to wait till I got home:
- What's for dinner tonight?
- What are you going to assign us for our chores today?
- What can we eat for an afternoon snack when you get home?
- Can we go on the beach later?
- When are you going to get home? (3 times)
- Ryan and Ethan are throwing the full size mattress at each other.
This one might actually qualify as an emergency, except it happened 10 minutes before the call was made and was only added as a side note to the dinner question. You really don't want to know the details of why (or how) they were throwing a huge mattress at each other.
- Can I play on the computer first today?
So, I am now not sure if it is less annoying to bring the kids with me or leave them at home. I'm leaning toward leaving them because
- the chore question was so they could get a jump start to get to the beach faster,
- the computer question reminded me I had promised Ethan 1st turn on computer and saved me the hassle of accidentally promising two people,
- and the dinner & snack question was asked because Elise wanted to make both (which is exactly what she did),
The only information I would have rather not known was the only thing close to an emergency: the mattress throwing incident. Mostly because I prefer to think of my life as normal and my children's fighting habits as usual.
These calls are not an isolated incident. It happens every time I leave the house. It might actually be more obnoxious than trying to use the bathroom with privacy. The worse part is that I know if I ignore the call, it will be the time the house is on fire. So I answer the phone. I referee fights, make simple household decisions, tell people where to find their shoes (or socks or favorite toy or common sense), and solve you-could-have-figured-it-out-on-your-own dilemmas. I remind myself it is a small price to pay for a little freedom.