Home Alone: Don’t Fry Any Eggs!

January 9, 2013 in Parenting,Teenagers

(Photo by Matt Hurst)

Gone are the days where we have to scramble for a baby-sitter if we want to make plans. It’s great to be able to be spontaneous and see a movie on a whim or even run errands without dragging three kids in tow. With a 15-year old and 13-year old in the house, two of the dudes are old enough to be “in charge” and make sure their 9-year old brother is okay, although he’s a pretty self-sufficient guy. When we leave the three of them home alone, the main thing we have to worry about is the fighting. As long as they don’t kill each other, they’ll be fine. They know not to answer the door, or the phone, unless it’s us calling (what did we do before Caller ID?). They also know not go outside, although they do sometimes break that rule during the day.

We realized after the fact that we made one mistake for “home alone” prep the first time we left Big Dude alone. I think he was in 5th grade at the time. We were leaving the house for maybe an hour, but we reviewed explicit rules with him before we left.

“You may NOT answer the front door under any circumstances.”

“You may NOT answer the phone unless you see it’s us calling.”

“You may NOT go outside at all.”

We thought we covered all bases and left the house. When we returned an hour later, we saw right away we forgot one crucial rule. We walked into the kitchen and it was a disaster: Broken egg shells in the sink, yoke smeared on the counter, a buttered knife nearby, the butter and eggs not put back in the refrigerator, and a dirty frying pan on the stove.

“Big Dude, what happened in here?! It looks like the kitchen was ransacked!”

“I got hungry so I fried some eggs,” he calmly answered.

“You WHAT?!” I shrieked.

Yeah, I know, our fault. We forgot to tell him not to cook anything. It never crossed my mind to tell him not to use the stove or oven, mainly because the kid has never attempted to cook anything in his life. Of course, the second we leave the house, he decides he’s America’s Top Chef. We haven’t had any mishaps since then, except for the occasional phone call from one of the boys claiming that his big brother is beating the crap out of him or won’t let him play on the Xbox (yes, we have some control issues in the house).

When I retold the story to our neighbor who has a son the same age as Big Dude, she laughed hysterically. And since then, whenever she leaves her son home alone, the final thing she says to him as she’s heading out the door is, “…and don’t fry any eggs!”



{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie Chisnall January 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

LOL!!! Oh my gosh Emily…this is the one thing that kids love to do when the parents are out of the house. It’s what my brother and I did…I can’t remember a time when we got in trouble for messing though, but I’m sure there were! We pretended to be top chefs as well, hehehe. At least it was only eggs! 😉


ohboymom January 9, 2013 at 8:57 am

True, it could have been worse, but it’s amazing how much of a mess one child and 2 eggs can make!


Janine Huldie January 9, 2013 at 9:02 am

I am so going to have to remember this when Emma and Lily get older and tell them not to fry any eggs (I will give you full credit of course), lol!!


ohboymom January 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Ha – thanks. If your girls do cook while you’re out, I’m sure they’d at least be a bit neater about it…or maybe not?


Amy January 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

So funny! Who would have thought he would decide to make eggs? My oldest only tries to cook something when she is absolutely desperate and there is nothing else in the house. I have the same concern -fighting – when I leave her in charge of her sisters. I keep hoping it will get better with time! So far I only leave her in charge for an hour or so at a time…just in case!


ohboymom January 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Yes, we started out in small increments of time too…although we’ve received a few screaming phone calls (mom, he’s punching me!), they finally seem to be leaving each other alone while we’re out…(fingers crossed).


Rachel Harper January 9, 2013 at 10:54 am

Hahahaha, been there, done that. One hour of independance translates to fending for yourself.


Cyndi January 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Haha, that’s so cute! I mean I’m glad he didn’t burn down the house, but I had to giggle when you were talking about egg yolks glopped all over the counter, haha.
Your boys have such personality! You could write a book! :)


ohboymom January 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Hmmm….a book!? Maybe you’re onto something there Cyndi, although my boys do make “appearances” in my already-written memoir. I told them they need to figure out who could play them in the movie version of my book, which got them all excited. We dream BIG over here! :)


Kelly January 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

That’s actually hilarious! I just now am learning to let my girls stay home for short periods, alone. (13 and 11) and all I worry about is them killing each other:)

The cool thing for me is – we have the security cameras so I take the iPad and check in to make sure the house isn’t burning down. False sense of security really, because what would I do then? “Oh look honey – it’s burning…let’s skip the cocktail?”


ohboymom January 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Ha — too funny! I say, never skip the cocktail — call 911, and bring the drink with you!


clark January 10, 2013 at 7:01 pm

sounds pretty.. (self)confident in terms of problem solving! One might expect experiments with frozen dinners, even spaghetti products. And in terms of breakfast foods, fried eggs…pretty ambitious. You might encourage the interest in cooking, but that would, no doubt, take a lot of the fun out of it for him!


ohboymom January 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm

So true Clark, so true…he has done other food-cooking experiments, but at least I’ve been home for those to make sure he doesn’t burn down the house!


Kristi January 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

That’s really funny! One more thing to put on my list for when my three year old is finally old enough to stay home alone “don’t fry any eggs!” Love it! :)


Michelle January 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm

It’s good that they learn to cook, though we don’t want kids to get into any disasters!! A hilarious look at the dudes in the kitchen. Thanks, Emily!!


ohboymom January 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I agree — no disasters allowed, like burning down the house!


Kate Hall January 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

That is so funny! His whole life he doesn’t pick up a pan until you leave him alone for an hour. Hilarious!!! I’m still laughing just thinking about it.


ohboymom January 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Thanks Kate! Yes, it was crazy that he decided to cook once left alone. Of course now that he’s a lazy teenager, that hasn’t happened again. :)


Kate Hall January 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm

That totally made me laugh out loud!


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