The kids were home alone last night, which was a good experience for them. We had some friends pop in and "visit" them halfway through the evening, to make sure they didn't have any issues - THANK YOU, Jes and Chris! We initially thought the kids would be with the BM last night, but plans changed at the last minute, and we saw it as an opportunity to give them some freedom and show that we trust them. With the oldest being 15 and the youngest at 10 years old, it was certainly not a "bad parenting" decision, from where we stand.
Of course, there will probably be some backlash from the BM regarding our "negligence". The kids have told us that their mom never leaves them at home alone, even for an hour or so. So... I'm sure BM will loudly and clearly state her dissatisfaction with regard to our parenting (or lack thereof).
Actually, not only was it good for the kids to be alone last night, it was also good for my husband to cut the strings for the night. Looking at the big picture, my oldest step-son will be heading off to college in a little over three years. If we can't leave him alone for an evening at age 15, we're in BIG trouble when he spreads his wings!!
So it was a great night for us, and the kids fared just fine. With a little prompting from Jes, they even did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen! It was wonderful to not walk into a disaster zone when we got home.
Today, we head to my step-daughter's Junior High School Talent Show, where she will be performing a solo. I'm actually a bit nervous for her, but as usual, she'll be cool as a cucumber. That kid was born to take the stage!
After the show, we will be meeting up with the BM for a drop-off. The kids will be spending the weekend with their mom's family to attend a wedding. Jesse was kind enough to forfeit his weekend with the kids so they could see their aunts, uncles and cousins. I'm sure they'll have a good time, and we'll have a bit of a "date weekend" while they're gone - now that's what I call a win-win situation!