When two of the older children (8 and 6) are out front riding bikes or, whatever, they are responsible to keep on eye on a younger brother (2). They just need to watch and let me know if there is a problem with where he is going or what he is doing. Their boundaries are clear and over the summer this has worked out quite well.
Today, the Biggers went out to play, and about 30 minutes later, one of them came in to tell me that they couldn't find the Little.
"Oh, honey" I calmly reply "he's napping."
"well, the boys and a neighbor are out looking for him and I was told to tell you to call 911"
"It's okay, we'll just let the neighbor know that Little is napping and everything is fine"
---boys walk in the door---
"Bigger," I say " Please let neighbor know that Little is home safe napping and that we don't need the police."
---off he goes---
---back he comes, mission accomplished---
---15 minutes later, County Sherrif is knocking on the door. The dog is in the house and barking furiously. I am asking the children, loudly, to put the dog in the back yard. Officer knocks even more loudly, on the window. I say, "just a moment!" He knocks again on the door - HARD! "just a moment were putting the dog out!"
I open the door. He askes if my kiddos are all safe and sound. yes, they're fine. He is getting messages over the radio about bad stuff happening. and takes my name address and phone number. It'll prob'ly be in the police blotter of the local paper.
What an exciting afternoon...