As a parent one of the first things we taught our children when leaving one or all of them home alone for the first time was to not answer the door for anybody. I’d practice fake going out and then run up to the door and ring the bell. After an hour of waiting, I was satisfied I had taught them well and would go out for real. While out, I would call and ask if anybody came to the door. When told, “Yes,” I asked who it was. In an exasperated tone I was told, “How should we know? You told us not to answer the door.” I had to admit they had a point.

When a stranger came to the door and I was home with them they learned the adult, safe way of reacting. First I’d yell at them to lower the TV (the stranger had to hear the TV or me yelling) so they won’t know we’re home. Next we would slowly and quietly approach the front door; although with three kids you can’t really do anything quietly. When we past the window, next to the door, I’d tell them to drop and crawl in case the stranger is looking in. (Hey, remember, I said this was the adult approach, not the smart approach.) At the door I’d drag over my stool (I’m vertically challenged) to look thru the peep hole. I’d hold my finger to my lips to silence my kids. They would yell at one another to be quiet. It amazed me they always made more noise when trying to be quiet. With the kids crouched and quiet I’d look thru the peep hole and… Gasp! The stranger on the other side was looking in. Oh, no, I was busted! Did the strange man see me thru the looking glass? We do the only logical, mature thing to do – we hyperventilate and wait him out. Finally, we hear footsteps and a truck pulling out of the driveway. We open the door to see the mail truck pulling away and a box on the porch step. Since the box was heavy we left it for my husband to bring in when he got home. He forgot his key. He rang the doorbell. Upon hearing the doorbell we lowered the TV, then slowly and quietly…


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