Irvine, Ca. Suzanne Broughton, mother of two, survived a day alone in her Irvine home without her family. "I'm not going to lie, I was pretty confused and scared at first when I realized there wasn't anyone in the house," said Broughton in a phone interview. "I kept hearing this weird noise that was freaking me out, but then I realized, it was just silence."
"A mom who suddenly finds herself home alone can get disoriented easily," said Dr. Warren Turkle, an Orange County doctor who specializes in modern parenting issues like Chuckephobia (fear of going to Chuck-e-Cheese) and OCTEID (the need for a mom to compulsively talk in lengthy detail about their child's reoccurring ear infections).
"It's best if a mom can wean herself slowly from the raucous atmosphere she is used to by replicating the noise with Sponge Bob on in the background or giving the cat the dog's bone in order to emulate sibling bickering." These are just a few tips in his book, "The Pottery Barn Kids Catalog Mystique: Parenting is about more than heirloom quality quilts and color coordinated storage baskets. "Moms simply need to affirm themselves by saying things like 'I used to be an attorney, I'm certainly capable of spending the afternoon by myself.'"
In a press conference yesterday, Suzanne's husband, Larry Broughton, who was initially regarded as a sort of "local hero" by Suzanne's friends after offering to take the kids for the day, was on the defensive as accusations of insensitivity started to circulate,"Listen, Suzanne was mostly able to function before she had kids and I had every confidence she would be just fine by herself for one day," Mr. Broughton said to a smattering of reporters. "I even thought she might be able to get some stuff done around the house while I was gone." At that, an audible gasp was heard from the female journalists in the crowd.
Though local officials didn't return our calls for a comment on the legality of leaving a mom home alone for an entire day, there was a statement from the guard at the Broughtons' community gate. "I don't know. I don't think I like it," said Kerby Williams as he wrote down the license plate of an AT&T truck. "What next? Walking alone through the community or worse, OUT of the community? I just don't like it," shaking his head as he turned away an unauthorized bus full of school children.
When asked how she filled the time when she was alone, Mrs. Broughton admitted she had lots of plans--like sorting the orphan sock basket, getting the family's taxes together, organizing her photos on iPhoto--but, she said with a spark of energy, she ended up taking a nap, looking-up old friends on Facebook, and then watching 10 shows that had accumulated the last two years on her DVR. "It was one of the best days of my life," she said, obviously emotional when thinking back on the day.
Written for my blog at the ever-awesome: OC Family.