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#1 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please, no flaming, okay? I'm just wondering if there are any Mama's out there with really responsible 8 year old boys who would leave them with a eight month old baby for less than 20 minutes to run their spouse to work. Because that's what I did this morning.

DD was asleep, DS who is eight, was playing video games in the next room. DH would have been late to work if we hadn't left right then (he came in and said it's time to go, and I wasn't even awake )!

I gave DS some quick instructions, took my cell phone, (he had the home phone) and took DH to work.

DS is very smart and responsible for his age. We live on a farm, so he knows how to handle himself really well. And DD is always an easy baby in the morning, so I wasn't worried.

But, still. What do you ladies think? And be gentle if you disagree, please
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#2 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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You know your children better than anyone. If you're okay with it, then that's all that matters. I think my DS will be similarly responsible at that age.

Leslie, Mommy to DS(8) and DD(almost 6) :

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#3 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThoughtFullMama View Post
Please, no flaming, okay? I'm just wondering if there are any Mama's out there with really responsible 8 year old boys who would leave them with a eight month old baby for less than 20 minutes to run their spouse to work. Because that's what I did this morning.

DD was asleep, DS who is eight, was playing video games in the next room. DH would have been late to work if we hadn't left right then (he came in and said it's time to go, and I wasn't even awake )!

I gave DS some quick instructions, took my cell phone, (he had the home phone) and took DH to work.

DS is very smart and responsible for his age. We live on a farm, so he knows how to handle himself really well. And DD is always an easy baby in the morning, so I wasn't worried.

But, still. What do you ladies think? And be gentle if you disagree, please
We've thought about leaving our almost 7 year old in the house, with Nana, literally 2 houses away, SIL 1 house away, and Grammy 1 block away, for a few minutes while I run Hubby home from work. My concern is always, what happens if I'm in a bad accident, or something? It terrifies me...
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#4 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:37 PM
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I wouldn't have. My thought is always would they be able to handle the situation if say the house caught on fire or a stranger came to the door. I know statistically the chances of your house burning down while you're gone are small, but personally *I* would never be able to forgive myself if something did happen.
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#5 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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Absolutely not, especially to babysit an infant.
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#6 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wouldn't have. My thought is always would they be able to handle the situation if say the house caught on fire or a stranger came to the door. I know statistically the chances of your house burning down while you're gone are small, but personally *I* would never be able to forgive myself if something did happen.
See, that's the thing for me. Do I trust my son, when I know he can handle it, or do I let my what-if's run my life?
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#7 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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I wouldn't have. I can't even imagine leaving my 8 yo DD home alone (and she is super responsible, and mature for her age) let alone with an infant or younger sibling to care for. Just too many unknowns and it would be out of my comfort level (plus I think here, legally, they have to be 12 to stay home?)

Since it already happened there's nothing you can do about it now, but in the future I would think twice -- you could have got into an accident, burglery, fire, baby choking, and so on (at least, that's where my mind would go).

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#8 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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I think it really depends on your kid and your back up plan. As long as you think that your eight year old is mature enough to handle an emergency by calling you, your back up person (someone close by), or 911 in a real emergency, then I think it's okay.

When I was a kid, my mom left me home alone and I had an accident in the backyard with my dad's hatchet (I think I was 10). I called 911 and our family friend to come help me (this was before cell phones). It's funny now that I think of it. I was actually more scared that my mom was going to punish me for playing with my dad's tools than about my finger gushing blood.

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#9 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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No way, no how. And I dont think it depends upon the individual child at all.
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#10 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 05:09 PM
 
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No way, no how. And I dont think it depends upon the individual child at all.
i disagree. i think children and how they are raised are all different. i am a situationalist about most things anyway. you know your kids better than anyone.

i would always prepare my kids for that possibility first (how to use phone, what 911 is, how to care for baby, etc.) before considering it, of course.

and getting everyone on the same team is important (how about hubby waking you earlier for a ride, or him getting your son dressed and into car) then it's a lot easier for you in PJs to put the infant into a carseat...

no flaming here, mama. we all do what we have to do to make our busy hectic lives work!

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#11 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Only you know your comfort level with this and your son's.

I could see some situations where that would be fine.

What if you were home alone with the kids and slipped on a toy at the top of the stairs and broke your neck? I think it's irresponsible NOT to teach children how to call 911 and get help as soon as they're able to (we start at 6). I think kids that age and older can and should learn some basic baby care if there's a baby in the house too. Parents becoming seriously ill from, say, the flu are a possibility. And if a parent is injured and immobile at home or seriously ill, that leaves the children almost as unattended as being away.

I would not be comfortable leaving my almost-8 home alone, period. But that is her! She does know how to dial 911, how to call grandma, and how to do basic things for herself (make a sandwich, open a can, make tuna-fish/chicken salad, get her cereal, ect.) and I keep the pantry stocked for 4 weeks of pantry meals at all times.

So in the OP's scenario, I wouldn't do it because of my individual child's inexperience with babies, not because of the 'what ifs'. I have injured myself falling on our driveway, and have experienced both parents being extremely ill with a virus while the kids were fine though--which prompted me to at least get ALL of my kids as competant as possible in learning basic self-care.

I'm always shocked at the number of 8 years olds I meet who don't know how to do that stuff, because mom or dad is always home so the parents don't feel they need to show their kids how to do things because it might scare them.
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#12 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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I think it's great to have an 8 year old who does have the skills for that situation and go you for being sure he does.

That said, no, I wouldn't have made that choice. Partly because of the what-ifs, especially with a car (which could have an accident, break down, etc.) But also because I remember being left in similar situations at similar ages and I did feel stressed and worried the whole time.

Just because a child would be able to cope with the situation doesn't mean that they are emotionally ready for the responsibility - and I think it often is the "responsible" kids who feel the responsibility on their shoulders.

So definitely no flames, but no, I wouldn't make that choice.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#13 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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I wouldn't leave my child at home alone but I usally tend to run the "what ifs" a little too much.

No flames here either.

Wife of 20 years to my superhero firefighting DH. SAHM to 2 boys and 2 girls (3 babies in Heaven- Baby # 5 5/2010 & Baby #6 8/2011 & Baby # 7 2/1013). Cancer Survivor 2011 ( Persistent Malignant Gestational Trophoblastic Disease)

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#14 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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Not flaming but I would NEVER EVER do it. Its illegal in Maryland and if you get caught you would have social services so far up you but they would never climb out. Seriously.. They can take both children.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#15 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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^^
speaking of, b/c I'm sometimes a bit paranoid -- I would tell him not to mention this at school or to friends... just so that you don't have someone calling CPS, even though it went okay.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#16 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pjs View Post
I wouldn't have. My thought is always would they be able to handle the situation if say the house caught on fire or a stranger came to the door. I know statistically the chances of your house burning down while you're gone are small, but personally *I* would never be able to forgive myself if something did happen.
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Absolutely not, especially to babysit an infant.
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I wouldn't have. I can't even imagine leaving my 8 yo DD home alone (and she is super responsible, and mature for her age) let alone with an infant or younger sibling to care for. Just too many unknowns and it would be out of my comfort level (plus I think here, legally, they have to be 12 to stay home?)

Since it already happened there's nothing you can do about it now, but in the future I would think twice -- you could have got into an accident, burglery, fire, baby choking, and so on (at least, that's where my mind would go).

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#17 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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I don't have an eight year old yet, but my gut says, NO.

If DH would have been late, oh well, thats life. Should have woken me up sooner so I could have gotten the kids ready to leave. But again, thats just me.
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#18 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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i wouldnt have left an 8 yr old with a baby. with an older kid (preschooler up) maybe, but not a baby. maybe because my babe gets upset for no reason and sometimes just bawls and bawls. an 8yo wouldnt be able to handle that. apart from that the what ifs as someone pointed out can happen with me at home. whats done is done but id atleast take the baby with me for the future.
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#19 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't do it. Maybe if the baby was asleep it wouldn't be so worrisome, but if she started choking on something, would your 8 year old be able to do the heimlich? That's the kind of thing that would be a life or death situation that couldn't wait 10 minutes for you to come home. Children usually are allowed to register for a babysitting course and learn basic first aid like that at age 11. I would not leave an 8 year old to babysit.
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#20 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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No not at all. Is an 8 year old even strong enough to really pick up a baby? The one I nanny for certainly is not. It seems like a very bad idea to me, not to mention illegal in most (all?) states.

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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#21 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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No. As a mother it's my JOB to consider the what ifs.

There are countless "what ifs" in your scenario.

There's no way I would leave my baby with an 8 year old, and there is no way I'd leave my 8 year old to responsible for the life of a baby.

I'm glad this ended well for you today.
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#22 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't have. It wouldn't have taken any time to grab the baby out of bed to go drop your dh off.

Quote:
Is an 8 year old even strong enough to really pick up a baby?
Mine certainly is. He can carry around his six year old sister, or both of his little brothers at the same time.

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#23 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:27 PM
 
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Don't second guess yourself over this. At the moment you chose this decision you were happy enough with it to do it, so just leave it there.
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#24 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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Maybe I missed this, but why didn't your DH drive himself to work?

I would not have left a baby with an 8 year old.

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#25 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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I'm assuming you have seats for your children in the one car. Why not just take them along?

Besides the fact that it is probably illegal in your state to even leave your 8yo alone, 20 minutes can be a long time to an 8 yo when an infant has any incident to make them upset and the 8yo has to deal with it. And at 8mos., a baby knows who to go to for comfort... mommy or daddy and would likely not be easily consoled. I think you put too much responsibility on the 8yo and put them both in danger. No doubt that if something had happened, you would be in jail now for neglect. I see it regularly on the morning news when parents made similar decisions and everything didn't go just right.

ETA: I know you asked for no flames but I think you lapsed in judgment with this decision.
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#26 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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Barring a life or death emergency situation, no.

Not just for the "what if's" but if someone found out, I could risk losing my children through CPS interference, or at best lose a good deal of time and sanity dealing with them.

I can understand wanting to be able to do that. But never would.
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#27 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't.

I agree the chances of something very serious happening are small but if something did happen I would have set the 8 year old for an unbearable responsibility and guilt.

So my answer is no.
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#28 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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not with a baby

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#29 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 07:07 PM
 
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I probably wouldn't have, BUT I totally know my daughter (who's my older one) would be plenty responsible enough to handle herself just fine. I'd be more concerned about something happening beyond my control to keep me from getting back right away.

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#30 of 179 Old 11-27-2009, 07:12 PM
 
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My two are those same general ages, and no, I wouldn't. It's too much responsibility to put on a child that age.
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