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Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Neighbors and Other Unfortunate Events

The family that no one wants to live next to just moved in next door to us. Complete with five kids between the ages of 2 and 11, a pregnant dog, and pregnant cat. Did I mention that the dog is a HUGE chocolate lab, and while he has a great disposition, he also leaves elephant size poop piles in the yard? The biggest problem with this is that we live on an approximately .28 acre lot and the neighbors live on an even smaller lot on the side of our house that has the smallest amount of yard. That means that you can stand between the two houses and practically touch one with each hand. That also means we live way too close to said neighbors. And it means that our search for a new home with a small acreage has become a near desperate search.

The other day I counted the kids among the seven houses nearest ours. I came up with 17 kids under the age 13. Ten of those children are under ten years of age. I have to note that I am not anti-kid. I actually like kids. We have two of our own, after all. But out of these 17 kids, the only four that are monitored very well are our two and the two that live across the street. The other 13 pretty much run wild. Where are the parents when these kids are helping themselves to our kids' toys that are parked in our garage? Where are the parents when their kids help themselves to the swing set in our backyard when we are not even in the yard ourselves? Where are the parents when their dog is taking a massive, record-breaking crap in our grass?

Husband and I are very perplexed as to why we are the only parents (save for the one across the street) that are actually outdoors WITH their small children and monitoring what they are doing and teaching them to respect their neighbors. We are even more perplexed as to how a parent could let their just-turned-two-year-old run around without parental supervision. I end up having to monitor the entire neighborhood because I am apparently the only parent who cares.

Last week the about-to-turn-five-year-old that just moved in next door with his four other siblings and pregnant cat and pregnant dog was playing on the swing set with Daughter, while at least two other neighborhood kids were playing in Daughter's sandbox, including one of Almost-Five-Year-Old's sisters. Daughter is not used having so many playmates. In the midst of the chaos, she got kicked in the face by Almost-Five-Year-Old, who was swinging hard and fast when Daughter apparently walked in front of him. She was smacked so hard that she was spun around and thrown onto her face on the ground. There was blood everywhere, and I was sure that under all that blood were a couple of missing teeth. It was the last straw...well, before the last LAST straw of yesterday when I found the three mammoth-sized crap piles in the yard. I sent all the kids home immediately and took my bloody screaming daughter inside to find out how much of her face was permanently damaged. She had a fat lip for two or three days and the blow completely ripped the skin that attaches the upper lip to the upper gums, and she was bruised and bloody on the gums above one of her front teeth. Fortunately, there appears to be no permanent damage.

I realize that accidents happen. I'm not angry at anyone about the accident, especially not the little boy that kicked my daughter. But I am quite irritated that the parents of this child, and his seven-year-old sibling that was also in our yard when the accident happened, did not even come over later to see how Daughter was. I would have done so if their child were hurt while playing with my child. I am, of course, assuming that said five and seven-year-olds went home and told their parents about the bloody face of their three-year-old neighbor that occurred when Almost-Five-Year-Old accidentally kicked her with the force of a wild bronco.

Then there's the recent incident of Almost-Five-Year-Old returning a few days later to our door to ask if Daughter could come out and play. At least he asked this time. Apparently, he really wanted to play in Daughter's sandbox and on Daughter's swing set again. We went out with Daughter and Son to play with Almost-Five-Year-Old and his sister, Seven-Year-Old for awhile. Of course there was no sign of the parents of these kids except when their nine-year-old yelled inside the door to their father to ask if they could please come inside yet. Apparently that was met with a "no" as the kids all continued playing out in the street. My guess is that the chaos got too much for the dad, so he sent them all outside to play and be supervised by us, the only parents who seem to care.

This time Almost-Five-Year-Old had had some kind of poop accident in his pants. I didn't notice it at first. I kept catching some smelly whiffs, but I just figured he ate beans for his supper or something. Then I finally noticed he was grabbing at his rear a lot and there was a wet stain seeping through his pants. That was about all I could take this time. I told him that he seemed to have had some sort of accident in his pants and needed to go home and ask his mom to help him clean up. He didn't want to go and continued playing on the swings and the slide. I was envisioning poop streaks on Daughter's play equipment and thinking of how this is the way Polio was passed long ago. I wasn't concerned about Polio, but I still didn't want poop streaks on Daughter's play equipment and germs passed this way. I tried to send him home again, and he still wouldn't go, so we finally just told him he needed to go home because we were going inside. I don't know if he ever did go home to deal with it. Last we knew he said he was going to stand firmly in place in our driveway until we came back outside. Before going inside and pulling down all the blinds and locking all the doors and windows, we told him that he would be waiting for a long time...or something to that effect.

We are suddenly missing the elderly lady with the yappy rat-dog that used to live next door to us. It now doesn't seem so bad to have been awakened at all hours of the night and early morning by rat-dog's yap, yap, yapping. At least we never saw HIS poop piles. And his owner never left poop streaks on Daughter's play equipment, stalked us in our own driveway, or kicked Daughter in the face and left her to bleed to death.

If we don't find our own little anti-social acreage soon, I fear it's going to be a long, LONG summer!


Mississippi Songbird said...

Don't worry.. It's gets better.. Enjoyed the blog

Student of Life said...

Oh my gosh. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I don't mean to laugh at your pain, because I totally understand how you feel, but let's face it: poop is funny. Seriously, though, I am amazed at how many seemingly intelligent people allow (even force) their toddlers to go outside completely unattended. It drives me insane, and I often feel like the only parent who cares. Maybe I'm just over-protective, but my kid isn't doing that until he's at least 18, and maybe not even then! :)

jesse said...

I don't understand how parents can let their children run free and never supervise them, especially little ones. Now I remember when I was about 10 and my parents would let us play in the yard but I do remember them checking in on us. I don't know different time, but I do know I wouldn't let my kids run around-to many weirdos.

Dana said...

I feel your pain! I had neighbors like that once. I was so glad when they moved!