Wednesday, May 04, 2005

An Honest-to-Goodness Rant

The only thing worse than your own kid mouthing off to you is the neighbor kid sassing you. And what's terrible is when you raise your hand in a "STOP" gesture during a heated conversation with the neighbor kid and he flinches.

Two brothers in our neighborhood want to play over here all the time. My boys sometimes welcome them enthusiastically, but often reluctantly because these brothers, age 7 and 9, fight, argue, cry, whine, and call my boys names. Constantly. They can not play nice. And they probably also run with scissors.

I was in the kitchen at about 5:30 p.m., working on dinner. DaycareKid and CuteBaby had gone home and I was sweating over a gourmet meal of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and fishsticks when I heard the 9 year old boy screaming, "MY MOM CAN SUE YOU!" I went to check and found TwinBoyA holding YoungestBoy's arms behind his back while the neighbor kid stood shouting at them.

I stood between them and asked what was going on--but neighbor kid kept interrupting. "I WANT MY MEMORY CARD BACK!" (Now, this was a Nintendo dispute and the key information is that memory cards store information for games and furthermore, last week, the neighbor kids returned my boys' game--Animal Crossing--with a lot of their progress and data messed up. YoungestBoy cried all night about being turned into a virtual piece of wood and having their town deserted and full of weeds because of what the neighbor kids did to the game.)

Every time I started to get answers, neighbor kid would interrupt and shout. HE SHOUTED AT ME. Uh, hello? I'm the grown-up here. (Would you have ever dreamed of shouting at a neighborhood mom when you were a kid?) This kid shows no respect for adults and, in fact, I've caught him stealing and then lying about it in my house. (He stole my husband's lollipop and then lied to me about it.) Neighbor kid shouted, "He's trying to wreck our game!" I said, "Well, you wrecked his game when you had his memory card last week!" He said, "We did NOT!" Which is a lie. Meanwhile, YoungestBoy is crying.

Then, neighbor kid grabbed for the memory card--but I stopped him by reaching out and holding his arm. (I couldn't believe I reached out and touched him because everyone knows you should never touch a child who does not belong to you. Even in your own home. Even if said kid is making your own kid cry. I immediately let go.) I still didn't know what had happened because neighbor kid wouldn't stop talking. I turned to him, looked him right in the face, raised my hand in a "STOP" sign and said, "Stop talking! I'm trying to figure out what happened here!"

At last, I was able to ask YoungestBoy if he was finished with the memory card. He was, so I took it out and gave it to neighbor kid. YoungestBoy didn't do anything to sabotage neighbor kid's game--he just wanted to send a letter to someone in the neighbor kid's town and then get back to his own town.

Such drama.

So, neighbor kid left with a red face and tears in his eyes. I'd be happy if he never came back again.

Later, I asked each of my boys separately what happened before I came into the room. TwinBoyA informed me that YoungestBoy hit the neighbor kid. I called in YoungestBoy. "Did you hit the neighbor kid?" He said, "Yes, because he called me an idiot! Twice!" I asked why and he explained that neighbor kid was mad because he thought YoungestBoy was ruining his game.

"Next time you have a problem, don't hit, okay? Call for help, all right?" Hitting is extremely out of character for YoungestBoy. I was surprised.

So now, I'm going to have to call the neighbor kids' mom and explain to her what happened. Neighbor kid is a liar, so who knows what tale he told? I know it's horrible, but I am sick to death of dealing with this bratty kid!

I marked the calendar for two weeks. We are taking a two-week break from the neighbor kids. I don't need the pain of dealing with someone else's undisciplined kids, especially when I'm not getting paid for it!

Okay. Rant over.


Blogger Gina said...

I don't think that taking a break from these children is unreasonable at all. It is your house and you get to decide who comes in. Especially if your boys aren't all that fond of them in the first place, why go through the hassle? Let their own mother deal with them for a change.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Angi said...

I do feel for you. Especially with boys, it's their nature deep down to resort to physical actions instead of tryping to work things out verbally. There have been many times I have taken a break from neighbor kids. Most of the time, my kids are glad I do it!

5:47 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

How long-suffering you are! Hope your phone call to Neighbor Mom went okay.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Wow, what a situation! We live in a semi-rural area and not a lot of kids nearby. Our neighborhood isn't a cul-de-sac situation where kids run across yards to play with one another - it's a busy county road.

Across the street the neighbors have two boys. The youngest likes to climb into the family vehicles and honk the horns. He also likes to yell at the top of his lungs for his older brother. The other day he was hollering and hollering for his brother (who was probably hiding to get away from him) and I yelled back, "BE QUIET!" I couldn't take the noise another minute.

This has nothing to do with your story, though. Except I think you handled yourself pretty well. A break from the neighbor kids sounds like a good idea. I wish I could get a break from horn-honking-hollering kid.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Catharine said...

This simply means that you have not cultivated the proper level of terror in Neighborhood kid. Neighborhood kid would never have behaved the way to me, for I would have already transmitted the subliminal message that, should he do so, I was more than prepared to devour him on the spot.

This is when being a "mean, mean lady down the street" really comes in handy.

Just think about it -- that's all I ask.



5:36 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

Okay, I'm not a parent, but all I can wonder is, what's going on in your neighbor's house to have their kids act that way.

I hope you conversation with the mother went okay.

9:33 PM  

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