When you leave a kid unattended, and they know they are completely unattended, things can get pretty dicey. You never know what you might find. It may be messy, it may be naughty, and it may just be funny. Depends on the kid, I suppose.
Jakob doesn’t get left unattended for very long as a general rule. He is three, after all. It’s not like we would leave him home while we ran to Target or went on a date. That would be ridiculous and probably criminal. But he has been unattended before. Like when Sarah has been sick in the past (and she hasn’t called to tell me), she has kept him in our room while she slept for a little bit. And he’s usually quite sweet about the whole thing. He’ll get himself a snack sometimes, or maybe he’ll find a DVD to put in, and he’ll sit by her and quietly watch our bedroom TV. He’d never really been sneaky, mischievous, or crazy about it, and it’s happened a few times.
Last week, Jakob finally went a little wild, as far as he goes. It was Thursday, and I intended to stay up to watch the Tigers. Sarah was in the bedroom reading, and I was in the living room. But we were both coming down with something. I felt myself falling asleep, but I thought I knew that she was awake, so no big deal. She wasn’t awake, though. She had also fallen asleep. So when I fell asleep around 8:45, I accidentally left Jakob unattended. I only slept for 30 minutes, though, because he sprang into action.
At 9:15 PM, I was awakened by the sound of one of Jakob’s loud trucks – one I do not usually let him play with in the living room, because it’s so stinking loud on the hard floors- accompanied by his making really loud truck noises. I was startled out of my sleep. I look over at him, and he is just playing and having a good time doing something in the living room that he usually doesn’t do. No big deal, though. He’s just playing with his toys. I tell him to put it away in his room, because it’s time for bed. As we are walking out of the living room, I see Sarah’s bag of Lucky Charms on the table, no box in sight. I look at him, and he has a few marshmallows in his left hand. We don’t let him eat that cereal, because he doesn’t eat the cereal. He only eats the marshmallows and then asks for more. But he got into them, and he was eating only marshmallows. I put them away and followed him down to the bedrooms, where we got ready for bed.
Knowing he was completely unattended and could do whatever he wanted, Jakob ate Lucky Charms marshmallows and played with a bedroom only toy in the living room, yelling and laughing throughout it all. This is his going wild for now. No coloring on walls. No parties. No playing with matches. No drinking or drugs. Just sugar cereal and a toy truck. I love this age.