This afternoon I let the kiddo go over to the neighbors' house. They live 2 houses up from us, on the same side of the street. I walked her over, said she could play until 4:00, and went home. And spied on her from the window. Yeah, yeah, paranoid, over-protective, control freak...whatever. She had had a snack, water, and potty break, so I thought she was good for a while. Mistake. I went downstairs to do laundry, and a minute later heard pounding on the door and the doorbell ringing and yelling, all at the same time. The kiddo wanted a snack. WTF?
I stood there dumbfounded, because there was no adult in sight and I couldn't figure out how she had gotten home, because, surely she wouldn't walk home unaccompanied? No, of course not. Two of her friends had escorted her. Um, not acceptable. The elder of the two told me, "it's OK, I walked her over". I had to count to 10 to not utter some inappropriate words. I asked his age, to which he replied that he is 7 years old. I told him that the kiddo must walk with a grown up, and if you added his age with the other friend's age, that would be 13, which is still not a grown up. He apologized, and explained to me that he was the one offering the snacks, and that the kiddo came home to get my approval. OK, I can't be mad about that part, even though I did write our phone number on a piece of paper with instructions to have her friend's mom call if she needed anything. Maybe I should have written it on her forehead with a sharpie.
So, then, we were walking back to the neighbors' house when the kiddo decided that she wanted to race her friends. On the road. I grabbed her arm and told her NO, because I had noticed a car coming toward us, and there is that somewhat blind curve I have mentioned before (in the same context--go figure). She put up a fight, and only stopped when I threatened not to let her watch Rudolph tonight. I am loving Christmas more and more. Maybe not for the right reasons, but it works for me.