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Paulette Delcourt: About Leaving Your Kid in a Pub, Mr. Prime Minister

Move over Macaulay Culkin, you are no longer "Home Alone."

Nancy Cameron, daughter of British Prime Minister David Cameron, did the unthinkable when she violated the United Kingdom’s child labor laws.

Of course the 8-year-old didn’t have much choice. She was put to work by the staff of the Plough Inn after the young girl had been left behind by her parents after a Sunday lunch at the pub.

A Downing Street spokesman said the couple were "distraught" when they “realised” Nancy wasn't with them.

The family had eaten lunch with a larger group of people. When they left, the Prime Minister was in one car and his wife and children in another. Each parent thought the child was with the other.

You have to wonder, didn’t these people see “Home Alone” and why don’t they know how to spell “realize”?

The family visits the restaurant frequently, so when Nancy got up to go to the “toilet” (not the bathroom) they probably felt comfortable leaving the young girl on her own for a few minutes. Of course Nancy probably felt less comfortable when she returned to the empty table and inquired “where are my parents?”

Not only did Mum and dad take off but so did the security staff charged with protecting all of them. The family made it all the way home, unaware that their daughter was washing dishes in a pub.

Also left behind was a staff with a confuzzling dilemma: Who do you call and what do you say? To call the police and say, “I have the PM’s daughter,” sounds like a kidnapping. They decided to wait it out.

Within 15 minutes the Prime Minister returned to collect Nancy to the relief of all involved.

Keeping tabs on my own children has been challenging. Two weeks into summer vacation and the air around me is punctuated with the cacophony of inbound text messages. When they were little moms told me that was the “easy” time—now I know why that’s true.

Apparently, that’s not the case for the Camerons for whom I have a tip: Next time, let Nancy hold the car keys. Nobody leaves without those.

OP Butterfly June 21, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Loved the tongue in cheek flavour of this piece! The same thing ocured with our 9 year old son. We were in a caravan of cars going the the Michigan woods. My son decided (without telling us) to ride with us. He took his pillow from our friend's car, went into the mini-mart and when he came out we were all gone! Forty-Five minutes later we were playing with the walkie-talkies that each of the 3 cars had and asked to speak to our son. The friend who was supposed to have him thought we were joking! It took ages to convince him that we did not have our son. We were able to get the phone number of the gas station we had stopped at and the owner was wonderful. Thank goodness HE didn't call the police. We arrived to find our little guy standing in front of the station doors, pillow in hand.
Dennis C. Ryan June 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM
The flag in the picture is flying upside-down. The "broad white" stripe of the diagonal cross is supposed to be at the TOP of the flag where it meets the halyard. I caught Hell from a British army veteran for making this same mistake.
Paulette Delcourt July 04, 2012 at 02:23 PM
For clarity this is a humor column (ahem)--many readers may not realise that there are linguistic differences between our American English and British English--which I pointed out. I worked in London and suffered the indignity of pulling my foot out of my mouth more times than I care to admit, and providing less dignified cultural advice to my Yankee managers who were less experienced than myself. I don't know a single family, including ours, who hasn't misplaced a kid at least for a minute or two--but none of us are surrounded by security detail. This was a dangerous oversight.
Paulette Delcourt July 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM
That is so scary! I'm glad everything turned out okay for you. If one of your cars was a security detail--wouldn't you have been really, really mad at them! Aren't they supposed to think for us busy people?
Paulette Delcourt July 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Dennis--the photo must have gotten flipped! Sorry if we offended our BFFs! (Brit Friends Forever). Thanks for the heads up.

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