Dolly's blog: Home alone

It’s been 12 years. Can I leave my kids on their own yet?! 

After a decade of live-in childcare we are now fending for ourselves and I’m enjoying the freedom of walking naked around my house.  Only joking.  

Weekday childcare is sorted because all the kids now weekly board.  But the school holidays plan?   Vague.     

The law says... not much: it’s an offence to leave a child alone if it places them at risk.  Bloody lawyers.   What does that mean?!  Pretty much everything is deemed risky these days isn’t it? [Ruffles newspaper indignantly while reminiscing about the halcyon days of my carefree 80s childhood].  

Then again, I’m not sure my 80s childhood contains the answer...  

Save for a week on a canal boat, entire summer holidays were spent glued to the television watching Why Don’t You, Kick Start and Paddles Up.  Then a mild panic at around 11am when all kids’ TV ceased until 4pm.  Does “risk” include extreme boredom?  

Excitement came to the rescue when, aged 16, my parents concluded I wasn’t at risk if they left me home alone whilst they went on holiday for a week.  Fools.  

I was off to Oxford Street like a bat out of hell, all housekeeping money immediately spent on new clothes. Lookin’ good but now penniless, food was thankfully provided by my friend Ange’s mum.  Thanks Ange’s mum.  

Throwing a massive party at which to wear my new clothes was obviously obligatory - and reader this party was the stuff of legend.  When I fell into bed (drunk) at 3am I was surprised to find a hedge strimmer.  Knowing we didn’t own one, Ange and I went on a daring mission to surreptitiously return it to the neighbour from whose shed a party guest had obviously stolen it.  

Years later my Dad said in passing how odd it was that his hedge strimmer had once disappeared. And despite being in my 30s by that point I couldn’t quite bring myself to confess.  

So Dad if you’re reading this, thanks for letting me throw a legendary party and apologies that I still owe you a power tool.  And kids if you’re reading this, you’ve got no chance of me leaving you home alone for a week.  You’re too much like me - and your uncle. But that’s another story. And school holiday childcare still needs to be sorted…..

After 19 years of fee earning, Dolly now works in a management role in a London law firm.  Working four days a week she has three children aged 12, 11 and 8, a wonderful (though often absent) husband and a charismatic dog who keeps her sane.


Category: A Citymother's Diary


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