So yeah, I sent a nine year old and a six year old with an old dog out into the big, bad world, all by themselves. It was a block, all right turns, not a single busy street. They were instructed to call me on the walkie talkie each time they made a turn. The last thing I heard was, "chhh, minor injury, minor injury, chhh" and then nothing. They didn't respond to another call, panicked as they may have seemed.
The youngest and I were out planting some plants in the front bed, and once I'd planted all six, we decided that it was time to investigate. I went the opposite way from which they'd left. I started down my street, looked down the street that was two houses away from me, and there were my children, frantically running toward me and dragging the old dog behind them.
Panting, they explained, "we had to turn off the walkie talkie because it was making noises like the battery was dying and we wanted to be able to call if there was an emergency then we didn't know where we were until we realized that we were right near Jacob's house and then we heard you say 'come back right now' and so we turned around and came back up this street and I think we went too far and I scraped my arm on a mailbox and my sister wouldn't tell me how bad it was just that I wasn't bleeding, and we must have gone too far and we were lost and we thought we weren't ever going to find our house and Maggie didn't poop." Then he took a breath.
"Um, you couldn't have gone too far. You were to go to the end of each street and turn right. Did you look at the street signs?"
"Did you look at the map?"
"Oh. Maybe we should wait a while before I send you out again on your own. At least until we can charge up the walkie-talkies."
Later, the middle child, who was the driving force behind this excursion, whispered to me, "I got scared when he told me we were lost."
And so they are cured of wanting to go out on their own. And to start their own dog-walking business. Just. Like. That.