The first fourteen times you send a child to the grocery store on his own, he will call home to ask you where to find the item he came for, even though he's been in that store a hundred thousand times. The fifteenth time he goes he will lose the money. It's just the way it is. Be prepared.
Today we had a different (but equally obligatory) scenario: the child who forgot to call home when plans changed, and whose cell phone was turned off when I called for an update. I was expecting said child home around 1pm, and had promised to take Little Guy to a movie around 2:00. Oy. And I didn't have the child's friend's mother's cell phone number. Oy, oy. And although I know the mother well from hours spent chatting in the ballet studio, I suddenly realized I didn't even know her name. Oy, oy, oy!
I put Andrew on the case of tracking down the ballet mother, and took Little Guy to the movie. By the time the missing child reported in at 2:30, I was learning How to Train Your Dragon. The movie was scarier than I'd generally recommend for a six year old, though it's possible I was a little more attuned to the possibility of violence than usual. Little Guy, who appeared unfazed by the flames and large teeth, commented, "It's funny that I don't get scared by dragons, but I do get scared when people yell at me." Interesting insight... though we'll see if he gets nightmares tonight. Thankfully, my own nightmare has passed, and all is well.
Our family rule is that children have to call home whenever they change locations. That did happen today, but the kink was that I expected the activity in Location #1 to last about two hours, when in fact it lasted four. So kudos go to the child for remembering the rule. And now off I go to fine-tune it!