It is a double-edged sword, this whole having kids old enough to leave home alone for short periods of time thing.
Yes, it’s great that I can run out to my second home — the grocery store — without having to pack them in the car and listen to demands for snacks the entire time. But there are unintended consequences.
Like the other day, when I had to leave for a quick meeting. Be sure to do your homework and empty the dishwasher, I told both of them as I was leaving. The Tween, who was parked on the heating vent in the kitchen with a blanket and her Kindle, mumbled something at me.
The Boy said, “I know. You already told me.” He then rolled his eyes, which made me realize how much he looks like his sister.
This is going to seem like a huge detour but bear with me — one of my favorite shows is “The Pioneer Woman” on the Food Network. I recently figured out why. It’s not the recipes, which are good but not life-changing. It’s not that she’s a great teacher because, really, I already know how to do most of what she’s doing. No, what draws me in is that fact that her house always seems so quiet and clean, despite the fact that she has four kids and about a bazillion animals.
She’s never trying to dice onions while a cat drags a half-dead mouse into the kitchen while the youngest kid whines about how hungry he is and the oldest kid grouses about how she wishes the youngest kid had never been born because. OMG, he’s so annoying. The Pioneer Woman never reaches into the fridge for milk to make some mac and cheese only to discover that there is no milk because someone drank all of it and failed to write it on the grocery list.