This is the account of a child left home alone when the parents leave the city owing to an emergency called “Need a break from the child! SO DO I! SO DO I”.

8 am: The entire house to myself. Nobody to tell me to bathe or spare the cat and find a caterpillar to dissect instead. Must sleep again.

8.34 am: Aborting attempt to sleep. Sleep’s a fickle companion.

8.36 am: Adrenaline rush. Plunging headfirst into unsupervised fun.

8.38 am: First, some nourishment.

8.42 am: Ah, pantry. A beautiful world spoiled by pickled garlic and memories of mother’s attempt at cooking. My advice to her? Don’t give up the day job.

8.44 am
: Chocolates, marshmallows, crisps, soda.

8.50 am: Breakfast done. No discomfort yet. Father’s fear of junk food seems unsubstantiated.

9.01 am: Innards twist. Ow.

9.05 am: Vomiting accomplished. Conclusion? I’m all grace under pressure. Saw self in mirror – no frown, not even a cowlick to mar the reflection.

9.10 am: Time for TV. Or PlayStation. Or both. Caught between two stools. Time to write appeal to mother for extra TV.

9.20 am: Will watch news to enrich mind (madness without method is just madness).

9.30 am: Tired. Will sleep.

4 pm: Up. Hungry. Back to pantry.

4.01 pm
: Mmm. Marshmallows.

4.02 pm: Just one. OK two. OK 49.

4.15 pm
: Will I end up on and around the pot again? Will cross the bridge when I come to it.

4.30 pm
: Pantry sullied beyond recognition. Must clean mess.

4.32 pm: Aborting clean-up. The odour isn’t that offensive anyway if I take fewer breaths/ minute.

4.40 pm: Nap time.

8.10 pm
: Feeling abandoned. Parental cruelty is boundless.

8.11 pm: Parents return, so do the manacles of adult supervision.

8.15 pm: Can hear sobs as they survey pantry. Juvenile meltdown in response to mildly unsanitary conditions is a frailty worthy of investigation.

8.20 pm: Still upset about … mmm marshmallows. All’s forgiven.


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