Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Different Stokes for different folks

Man, it is tough getting back into the swing of things after being gone for two weeks! I think I finally have it. I think. And of course the 3-day Memorial weekend messed with me, too. I fear change. I thrive on normalcy!

Anyway...That's not what I wanted to talk about. I have a new issue that has cropped up for me this summer: Outdoor playtime with the grubby neighbor kids. We have an odd mix of kids that live on our end of the street and my daughter is now at an age where she wants to "go outside and play with the boys". Did I mention that they are all boys? Older boys? Sigh. Six and eight year old boys don't really want to play with a four year old girl, and on many levels, I really don't want her playing with them, either. The only girl close to my daughter's age lives just far enough up the street, that I can't see her if she's in their front yard....so I tagggggg along. "Hi, neighbor...here I am standing in your driveway uninvited. Let's make B.S. small talk since we really have zero in common until one of us can pry our child away and back inside the house!"

This particular neighbor has a total of THREE little kids, stays home and is COMPLETELY overwhelmed. The husband is in Real Estate, the used car biz and, I quote, "plays ALOT of golf" so he is NEVER home. I mean his home, anyway. Who know whose else home he may be in. Wow. Last time my daughter was over there to play the doorbell rang, and some random neighbor kid I didn't recognize was standing at the front door holding my neighbor's 16 mo. old son, reporting that he was worried because the baby was walking along a high rock ledge outside and didn't see anyone around. Um, yeah. So that's why I can't just send my daughter over there to play. It's like a zoo. I'm not kidding.

I once tried to get the little girl to come over to our house to play with my daughter. For about 15 minutes they were having a great, boy-free time and then her mom shows up at the door and comes in with the toddler in tow. No really, I say, they're fine!

My rule for my daughter is that if she is outside I must be able to see her at all times. This does not even come CLOSE to how every other neighbor handles their children. One neighbor jokingly made a "Mommy Dearest" comment when I corrected my daughter for going up too far on the street where I couldn't see her. And do you know what? I couldn't give a shit. I'm not the one who's going to end up at a news conference sobbing for the safe return of their child. Does that make me sound like a hovering overprotective parent? Still don't care. I'm not going to stifle her (completely!) but it is my job to make sure that she is safe, and as far as I am concerned, she has no ability whatsoever to make snap decisions concerning her own safety. She's a smart kid, but she's only four. Nuf said. All the other parents let their kids (even the weird, "special" kid up the street that all the neighbors are beginning to despise. The same one that I caught peeing in my front yard) run anywhere they please completely unsupervised. I know this because they often end up in my back yard. Not a parent in sight. Lucky for them, I am NOT a disturbed individual that likes to abuse or take liberties with their children. I am SO glad they can trust people they barely know with the lives & safety of their kids!

I know this may sound fishwifey and jaded, but the bottom line is, you always gotta look out for number one. When you have a child, they ARE number one.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?