On that Friday, however, I had to attend Kindergarten Orientation for the 5 & 1/2 year old, who I was supposed to bring with me so that she could play in the classroom. The 3-year-old and the 6-month-old would have to just manage in the double stroller, not that I was looking forward to that, but it had to be done. I had asked my husband to come home, but he has a standing engagement at the school that on Fridays, during his lunch hour, he plays lunch-lady and volunteers at the school.
But what to do with the oldest? I couldn't ask a friend to watch her ("Hi, my daughter isn't sick, but she's not well enough to be at school; can she come to your house?"), and I couldn't bring her to the school with me, since I had called her in as being sick.
*Big breath. Gulp.*
"Sweetie, how would you feel about staying home by yourself?"
"Hmmm? Okay, Mom."
"Here's a paper with our neighbor's phone number and her cell number. She knows you'll be here, and she's ready to help you with whatever you may need."
"And don't answer the door. And don't answer the phone unless it's my cell number, got it?"
"But you won't need to call the neighbor because if you call my cell phone I promise to pick up right away."
"But don't answer any other calls, just from me. Or from the neighbor. And if it's an emergency, call her because she'll be closer."
Backing out of the garage, my 5 & 1/2 year old asked where her big sister was. "She's staying home."
I rationalized that at her age, I had to do things like cook dinner for my two younger siblings and then put them to bed because my mom was at work and my dad was too drunk to feed us, so certainly my own daughter's being able to reach me by cell phone and our neighbor as well wasn't too terrible a position for me to put her in.
Sitting at the school, listening to information I already knew, my phone in my pocket started to vibrate. I quickly excused myself to the back of the room, all the while fearing the worst and at-the-ready to speed home if needed. I loudly whispered, "Hello?"
"Mom, it's me."
"Is everything okay?"
My panic started to melt away:
"Mom, I'm bored! There's nothing good on t.v. - just baby shows..."
Is this what A Good Mommy does?
What would you have done?