The neighbor girl, E-, is in class with a few boys who her mom okay'd to have them come over to play occasionally. Remember that word occasionally? The boys are here all the time.
On Memorial Day and before 10 AM, D- and A- show up to play. Michelle and I were out gardening while the girls played in the 20' x 15' plot of their yard that sits between their garage and our driveway. They boys really wanted the girls to go three blocks up the road to play at the baseball fields.
All of these children are 7 and are in the first grade.
We live in the city.
D- and A- live all the way around on the other block, a street that sits behind my house. Michelle thinks that the mom says, "Oh, go have fun!" and just sends them off to play where ever they can.
While D- and A- were at Michelle's house on Memorial Day and in the early morning, confirming that no day is sacred at all and without regard to the fact that they could have plans or be having a special occasion at their home, the mom drove past and waved.
Michelle and Mike are rather burnt. Michelle would never say anything because she isn't that way, but Mike however . . .
The other day, Mike and Michelle were giving a slick coat to their hardwood door entry pad and I had the girls over here playing. The girls ran over to get something and D- came around the corner. "We're going to have to send you back today, Buddy. The girls are playing at my house because Mike and Michelle are busy." (Mike had come out at this point and was just standing there, watching.) "Well, I can come over to your house to play." "I'm sorry, Buddy. I can't have you come to play. I really don't know your mom, we've never talked about it and she wouldn't know where you are at. We have to send you home today." "Well, can they go to the baseball fields?" "No, they are hanging at my house today. We'll see you later."
If I allowed D- to come and play at our house, the mom would treat it as the public park. There would be complete disregard to the fact that we have a fence that we keep latched. We're the ones in the neighborhood with the big, fat swing set. Since we sit on a hill that overlooks their street, she would probably just drive half way up their road to look at the boys on a very rare occasion, then go back down. (Remember that their road section is only a city block.) The boys seem nice enough, but rather parasitic.
I have to be the meanie. I told K- that under no circumstances ever will D- and A- be allowed to come over to play. Their moms don't care where they go, what they do and I can't be held liable for children coming over to my house all the time to play regardless of whether we are here or not.
We like our time outside. K- and E- are 6 months apart and they have basically grown up together. E- can come over any time she wants. In fact, on nice summer days, the girls run between the houses, letting us know where they are and what they are doing. E's respectful and we don't hesitate to say if we are or aren't available (from either house).
The mom never calls to ask if it is okay.
If something ever happens to the boys, we have no idea who to contact. We'd have to go hunt them down, and obviously, she runs errands when she sends him off to Mike and Michelle's place.
If you tell D- no, he continues to come back, again and again.
I absolutely refuse to be the neighborhood babysitter.
What's your take? Don't worry, you can be harsh. I won't be offended.
Smiles in my day:
- Laundry on the line.
- Being able to walk K- to school each morning.
- Leftover Chinese food for lunch.
- A child that loves to go to school.
Have a great day!
A side note:
I attended the calling hours for my friend Karen this evening. There were almost no parking places to be found. I ended up at a car repair joint across the street. I put a note on my dash, on the back of a church bulletin, pleading for someone not to tow me for lack of parking at the funeral home. The line I stood in was an hour long. We ladies cried and hugged. Karen's husband sobbed. Karen's daughter sobbed. Karen is whole, but we are not. We love that she is in heaven, but we mourn the wonderful friend that we had.