Thursday, April 27, 2006

Things that Bug Me....

OK, so today's Jack's birthday, and this evening after dinner and birthday cupcakes we went outside so Jack could try out his new bubble "lawn mower" (practicing for future chores) and play on his playground. To the right is the lawn mower, which drove Annie crazy (I didn't take the best pictures of Jack with the mower, so sorry, and the stain on the floor is just from the bubble stuff - I'm not that bad of a housekeeper)

Anyway, we get outside and are quickly spotted by the neighborhood girls.

Let me preface the rest with saying that A and I don't know the neighbors, adult or children. We don't really care about knowing the neighbors. We just like to be left alone. We're anti-social hermits that way, and we like it. And it's not like our neighbors have truly tried to get to know us either - so we assume that the feeling's mutual. We're not a lovey-dovey, let's all go hang out together kind of neighborhood, and quite frankly that suits us just fine.

Well, in the past weeks the neighbor girls keep wanting to come over to play. A barely gets out of the car and hears "Can we play?" from these girls that we don't even know. Mind you, these girls are 1. Older than Jack (two are in elementary school), so they're likely not going to be buddies; and 2. These girls ask to play when Jack's not even outside - meaning, they're not coming over to play with Jack, but instead they're coming over to play with Jack's stuff, which just really bothers me. Are the parents around when these girls pop by? No, not really. They've yet to introduce themselves, and yet their children are popping by our house almost each and every pleasant day.

So anyway, we'd barely set foot out the door, Jack with his new lawn mower, when these girls come by wanting to play.

And what do you say? Since we planned to stay outside anyway, we have no good reason to say no, so "Sure, you guys can play".

So they're ALL OVER Jack's new playground set, which we quickly figure out is only for 3 kids at a time, so we have to watch out for that and play referee. And they ask 20 bazillion questions, such as:
  • Where's his room?
  • Can we see his room? (Um, no, we'll forget that this is an obvious ploy to get to my kid's toys and focus on the fact that we don't know you or your parents).
  • Can we play in the sandbox? (Not opening that up right now). But she wants to play in it! (It makes a mess, so no).
  • Is there fabric under this mulch? (Not sure, I didn't do the mulch, A did). Later - "look there is fabric under here" (she dug to find it) (Um, A worked really hard on that, so could you cover that hole back up?).
  • When's his birthday? So he's 2? So he was 1 last time we "played" with him?
  • And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on....
And they want to "make" Jack do stuff because he's younger than them, not understanding or caring that he has his own mind, and will decide to do what he wants to do, thank you very much. He's not stupid - he's actually very bright - he just doesn't speak.

So anyway, these girls crawl all around Jack's stuff - on his birthday, but he didn't seem to be bothered by it - for at least an hour before the neighbor calls all the girls home. Apparently one girl came back while A was still outside, getting something we'd left, and upon finding out that we were going in, said "That's OK, I don't like that playground anyway; it's too small", while A's thinking "Fine. We didn't buy it for you anyway. It wasn't built for a first-grader, and you weren't invited over here in the first place".

I know at least someone out in Blogland, or perhaps even one of my friends or family, is reading this and thinking we're just awful people to complain about these kids, but here's the deal - they aren't our kids, and we don't even know them. Where are the parents? Why are these kids roaming around (one is as young as 3, from what the girls told me)? If these kids are coming around all the time, don't the parents want to know what adults are going to be around? And why do we have to babysit children that we don't even know?

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Blogger Cityslicker Mom said...

It's easier to tell the kids "we're busy right now", etc, than their adult parents. so since their parents haven't come over to introduce themselves, just tell the kids that you are busy. eventually they will get the hint and stop coming by. If they really get on your nerves then be firm about it :)

4/28/2006 1:29 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I agree. Fortunately our next door neighbor's daughter, who is 5, and Caitlin are buddies. Caitlin plays in their backyard many Fridays and Saturdays because they have quite the backyard spread, but I ALWAYS sit with the mom and we chat while the girls play and vice versa if they are at our house (although occasionally one of us needs to go in the house or whatever). I agree the parents should not let their kids just run around unsupervised! Kids mean well, but without their parents' supervision, they can pester you to death.

4/28/2006 6:31 AM  
Blogger jilly 27 said...

I can't believe a girl as young as three is running around the neighborhood without adult supervision. Don't her parents hear about kidnappings and pedophiles and all of the other bad things like that. Maybe I am a bit overprotective, but they're either really ignorant or they just plain don't care.

I'm with cityslicker mom if they keep coming by and annoying you just tell them you're really busy.

4/28/2006 8:35 PM  
Blogger texasinafrica said...

You're not being unreasonable - where are their parents?!?

4/29/2006 5:48 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thanks all for the comments. I think we're going to take the "Not today, girls" route for a while. And quite frankly I might have to tell them "Hey, listen, I need to watch my son and this big pregnant belly doesn't make it any easier. I can't watch you girls too."

Laura - I don't know where the parents are. I have yet to even meet them.

Jilly 27 - I have to say that the 3 year old was running around with her older sister, but still that girl's only in about the first grade. Maybe I'm overprotective too, but I don't think a 3 year old should be running around all over without an adult around.

5/01/2006 9:21 PM  

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