8 August 2009


Shetland Triangle Shawl, blocking

Mr Soup is away for the weekend. Why is it that I get so much more done when he's not here? In addition to the usual cooking, laundry and vacuuming that goes on, I've weeded the garden, made fudge (dark chocolate and raspberry, yum), taken children to and from soccer practice, fitted a new spare part to my spinning wheel and spent a happy hour taming the beast spinning with moderate success, listed on freecycle something that's lain around the house unwanted for over 6 months and had it collected thankyouverymuch, and am now about to make the kids some dinner before I abandon them for a girly social night out.

At what age does one leave children at home to look after themselves these days? I can remember being babysat by a local 15 year old girl when I was wee. Son #1 is now 15 but still every time we go out and leave him in charge I feel uneasy. I can't imagine him going out to babysit other children. Sheesh. Does that ever go away, that unease?

Hmmm, I'm asking a lot of questions aren't I? Oops, there's another one.

Snippets from today:

• Putting aside some fudge for the new neighbours who moved in during the week. Last time I took fudge to the people who lived in that house they weren't home so I left them on the doorstep. A week later a For Sale sign went up and within three weeks they'd moved out with nary a word.

• Hope these neighbours are nicer. Actually, I know they are. They came to do the final inspection before moving in and Mr Soup was out the front gathering kindling when they stopped their car and the bloke leaned over and called, Hey, don't I know you? Turns out Mr Soup played soccer with him twenty years ago.

• Turning out of our street onto the main road this morning a bus coming the other way flashed its lights at me. I wondered whether I'd left my handbag on the roof of the car or something, but then realised he was warning me that a young kangaroo was tearing along the edge of the road just ahead of me, desperately trying to find a route back into the trees. I slowed right down and quickly collected a line of traffic behind me who I hope realised what was going on, and I spent the next several hundred metres flashing my lights at every car coming the other way. I stayed at the same speed as the roo for ages (great to see it close up right next to us, despite the unfortunate circumstances) until it suddenly tore across the road in front of me and was narrowly missed by a ute coming the other way. His tyres squealed with a haze of blue smoke and the roo disappeared up someone's driveway. Hope it's back with its peeps, safe and sound.

• All three boys are re-reading the Harry Potter books. There is much angst when one is ready to move onto the next when someone else is still going on it. The conversations flying around the room are dazzling. What spell do you use to scare away the grindalow? (sp?) and What would happen if a muggle held a wand and spoke the killing curse?

And, Son #1: Oh, Mum is so going to cry when Dobby dies, when that movie comes out.

Apologies for the random bitsa posts these days. I have nothing of any great depth for you any more, such is my scattered brainstate.


Angel Jem said...

DP (son 1) and JW (son2) had a day last week when we'd been to see the latest Harry Potter at the cinema, they watched at least 2 others at home, had HP and the Deathly Hallows reading downstairs, HP and the Chamber reading upstairs and, at the same time, were listening to the audio book of Goblet of fire. Time was, I was the HP expert. Now, I'd have to pass the wand onto them.

Me, I've moved on to Twilight!

dillpickle said...

You probably will cry when the movies (yes, 2!) come out. This mum very nearly cried when reading the book! The only thing that saved me was that the action was so fast paced there was no time for reflection ;-)

cristy said...

I cried.

15 is well and truly old enough. Surely!

Frogdancer said...

So blocking is a good thing? I've yet to try it.

librarygirl said...

I burst into hysterical tears while reading DH in the living room (to my family's amazement) over Fred - restrained over Dobby but the young men digging his grave undid me...

Haven't left my 15 y.o. in charge of her 11 y.o. brother in the evening yet, frequently for work days in the hols. You've got me thinking now about husb and I going out on a date and leaving them!

Kerree said...

Depends on the kid. I looked after 6 little ones a few nights when I was 13 but I was ultra responsible. I know a few 18 year olds that I wouldn't trust to look after themselves! It depends if they know all the rules (like not to use the oven) and what to do in an emergency (which there shouldn't be one if they followed the rules). It helps with mobile phones these days because they can contact you immediately and you can check up on them 100 times during the night.

I don't get the whole Harry Potter thing. I took my kids to see the first movie and it became the first (and only) movie I have ever fallen asleep during! My kids love the books and movies. It bewilders me...

innercitygarden said...

I babysat my sister and other kids at 15. My brother babysat from when he was 14 or 15, and then gave me all his clients when he was finished school and got a better paying gig. It's one of the ways I learned to be the perfect parent that I am today.

I used to babysit some kids who had a 15 year old sister. I used to pick her up from her job at the bakery and then leave her with her siblings, unless she had lots of homework or the parents weren't going to be home in time for dinner, in which case I stayed to cook.

Tania said...

I haven't a smidge of advice to offer on the 15 and babysitting front. I confess I'm sitting back waiting for you to let me know what I'm supposed to do once mine hit that sort of age.

Laura Jane said...

I was babysitting 2 children at age 14 for evenings. Did it for years. I'm an oldest child. Mobile phones make it even easier. How did we manage without them?

As our kids are now adult(23 & 20) we don't just go out for the evening now, we go to Europe for 2 weeks, and they still text us to tattle-tale on each other!!!!

I loved the new HP6 movie, saw it on Thursday for the second time. I SOBBED many, many times in the last book, at all the points listed above, even when reading it for the third time out aloud to my daughter as is our tradition. I re-read it last week and was still moved. I will be a complete mess during the next movies.

I love Twilight too, and look forward to seeing the rest of those movies as well.

Scattered thoughts happen to the best of us, rest easy.

peppermintpatcher said...

I hope that kangaroo has learnt a valuable lesson and stays well away from all roads in the future!

(I leave my 15 y/o home alone from time to time. Never for very long)

Donna said...

Dobby DIES!!???

Ha, just kidding 8-)

I think I started watching younger siblings when I was 12 or 13? Maybe not that young, more like 13 or 14 probably. My eldest is 11 and is adamant that it will be at least a few more years before she is comfortable watching her little sister.

I feel more productive when my husband is out of town as well. I think it's partly to make the time go by faster, haha

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Random is good ....not sure I could cope with a long narrative at the moment . Holiday meltdown seems to have occured ...perhaps it's because my husband isn't away for a couple of days ?
I think 15 is fine , but only you can know your 15 year-old's strengths and not-so-strong points , said she tactfully .Yours all sound level headed and there's always the mobile .

Badger said...

I have noticed that too, with the husband being gone and getting things done. I actually read somewhere once upon a time that a woman with one child and a husband/partner does more housework than a woman with two children and no husband/partner. Having two kids AND a husband myself, I believe it. The house stays so much cleaner when he's away on business, and I have no idea why, because it's not as if I'm picking up after him all the time while he's here. Maybe knowing I'm the only adult on the premises makes me more responsible? I dunno.

Oh AND I've left my two, ages 13 and 11, home alone for a couple of hours at a time with Strict Instructions. Not at night so far, but I think they'd be okay with it. The 11 year old is the more capable of the two and can handle a minor crisis, and the 13 year old just watches TV or plays video games the entire time.

We just finished the 7th HP book as a family. The only thing that kept me from crying when Dobby (and, you know, the others later on) died was the fact that I was the one doing the reading aloud at the time. Sniffle!

BabelBabe said...

Darling, go read this book RIGHT AWAY:

I have, since I read it, left the 9yo at home by himself (with a phone, both doors locked, and only for half an hour, but still...)

Your shawl is gorgeous.

And I just bought buckets of yarn today because the boys have been pestering me for Hogwarts scarves - so Primo wants Ravenclaw (blue/bronze - do you know how hard it was to find yarn that approximated bronze??), Seg Hufflepuff (think this has something to do with Pgh sports teams being black and gold, too) and Terzo Gryyfindor. Let the scarf knitting begin. Right after I finish my shawl.

fifi said...

I leave my naughty 15 year old at home looking after my 12 year old quite often.
This is usually because I have no choice, and because I am a neglectful parent. So hey.

You always say interesting things. I always feel much nicer after stopping by here, this time I will have a kangaroo belting along beside me for a while....

Mary said...

Random bits suit my brain at the moment.

Must get back to you about wool.

I leave the 13 year old with the younger two from time to time. We have good neighbours I can trust if anything drastic happened.

Hope your night out was lovely.

Isabelle said...

Thank you so much for my blocking lesson.

You never stop worrying about your kids. Never.

Jean said...

I held my breath when you during the part about the Roo - do hope it does find its family again. Your fist photo is so pretty, you knit beautifully.

Meggie said...

I love your bitsas!!

Melanie said...

I think after 15 years children should have learned enough to look after themselves for a few hours. The main thing is to set them all up for a happily occupied evening so that you don't get endless phone calls on your mobile with "can you tell her to get off the computer" "he's taken my..." "she won't stop annoying me" etc etc

Alaska Bean said...

Scatter-brained is the best, they tend to be the more interesting posts :) I love all of your projects and absolutely adore the pink shawl! Do you have any cut bag patterns? I'm getting crafty these days, I found a pattern for a bag that I really like but have done a couple and would like to find something equally as cute. Thanks!