Young Nathan Parker has some explaining to do after scaring the wits out of his mum and sparking an all-night search in Sydney bushland when he didn't come home from school.
A massive police operation was launched to find the imp-faced nine-year-old from Canley Vale who had an "unauthorised sleepover" at a friend's place without telling his mother.
After being found on Wednesday a somewhat overwhelmed Nathan offered the explanation, "I was at my friend's house" to reporters who had massed at the command centre where the search was being co-ordinated.
Nathan's mother Kim Parker alerted police around 7pm (AEDT) on Tuesday after her son failed to come home from school.
Polair, the dog squad and police rescue combed nearby bushland through the night.
There was no sign of Nathan until he turned up at school on Wednesday at 8.30am (AEDT), where he was spotted by another mum at the school, Amber Ryan.
"I said `your mum's been looking for you' and he said `why?'," Ms Ryan told Fairfax Radio.
Superintendent Wayne Murray said it was important for anyone who has a young child over for a sleepover to make sure parents are informed.
"Obviously that didn't happen," he told reporters.
"It's a timely reminder for everyone that number one, let your mum and dad know where you're going, and number two, if you happen to get a young child that comes into your home for a sleepover you must contact the parent and be responsible.
"We really need parents to do what they're supposed to do and parent not only their own children but anybody that comes under their roof."
It is understood that the friend involved was a relatively new one and that communication may have been an issue.
Supt Murray said although the story had a happy ending it was frustrating for police who had directed so many resources to the search.
Ms Parker said she was happy Nathan was safe.
"He just went off to a friend's house, so at least he's safe, that's the number one thing," she told the Seven Network.