They are 4, 6 and almost 8 now.
These days I leave them alone at home sometimes, when I need to grab stuff from the supermarket in order to feed them.
And the one I can rely on is not the oldest one, no. He would (like me I am afraid to say) merrily open the door to all and sundry who ring the bell.
Her streak for self-preservation, so evident from getting into water to going to the dentist, runs true.
Before I leave, she asks me many, many questions: How will I know it’s you when you come back, Mummy?
Answer: Because no one is going to ring the bell but me, Jo.
Question: What if it’s a bad guy?
Answer: Then you leave the chain on, and just open the door so you can check who it is.
Question: But what if the chain breaks and the bad guy forces his way in?
Answer: Erm. That’s not going to happen, Jo.
Question (her favourite question): But what IF?
Answer: I’m going, Jo.
The moment I leave, she makes sure she closes the gate behind me (I tend to leave it swinging open), then goes about bolting and locking up every single bolt and lock on that door. She can reach it by standing on the sofa.
When I return, I ring the bell and call out “Open the door!”
No. She drags the ladder from the kitchen to the door, climbs up and looks through the peephole to verify that it’s not some psycho who has got a sound recording of my voice in hand.
Once she sees me laughing my head off through the peephole, only then does she deign to open the door.