Monday, July 07, 2008

It takes a village... (OR- why my 4th of July weekend sucked)

Of idiots to ruin my 4th of July weekend. Bah.

Let me just say that normally, I am a very tolerant person. I think I'm pretty nice to the people I kind of know, very nice to the people I love (but I do rule with a stern hand- sometimes an iron fist, I must say), and polite and accommodating to most strangers -unless they fall into the idiot category, then it's so on.

I think that my polite kindness and my kind politeness may be considered my Achilles' heel, which makes me, in turn, a heel.

I guess the best place to start would be the beginning, no? My 4th of July weekend started with me working. Hooray. People need their hot dog combos and popcorn, so I suppose someone has to do it, even if it's a holiday. It was OK though, we managed to work on the monstrosity of a swing set while the kids played on it's re-composing skeleton ( re-composing IT IS TOO a word, get over it), played in the pool and sand box... and I even grilled lunch, almost melting the grill's plastic hood.

Anywho, later I had to go to work. I figured I could kick some butt and leave early since closing of Food Avenue is 8 pm and the fact that I could prep most of the work before then and leave at about 8:20 PM instead of dragging things out until 9 PM.

NOPE. The Lead Cashier needed me to walk rounds to collect the cash from the cash registers, leaving me to get off of work at, yup you guessed it... 9PM.

You would think that I would want to get off early to see the fireworks, right? WRONG. See in the ass backwards town I live in, we like have a little thing called River Boat Days on the Mississippi river. It has a small carnival and concerts near the pool. But they way we do it is that River Boat Days starts on the 3rd and ends the 5th. Fireworks are AFTER River Boat Days ends.

What? 4th of July without fireworks? I know. It sux. So the 5th I'm off and we decided to work on the swing set some more, go see Wall-e again ( because we loved it the first time we saw it)then go see the fireworks sometime between 9:30 and 10pm.

We worked on the swing set as planned. Then my snotty neighbor's obnoxious boy a year younger than Anna, but just as big as her- who doesn't listen to his mother at all- decides he is going to invite himself over to play on the swing set with his sister in tow. The sister is OK most of the time when she isn't viewing Emma as competition or a threat for some reason, and trying to sneak subtle abuse under the radar. The neighbor? She can be friendly at times, but recently has become a little snotty and condescending, and has implied that her life is harder than mine because she believed I still didn't work. Like I'm not worth as much for not working. It's not my fault she is a single mother of3 for Pete's sake. Sheesh. She implied by her tone one day that I was an idiot to think that she had a spare moment to herself, and then said she supposed she could use some of the hand me downs I had given to her for her new baby. When someone gives me a free bag of anything I say thank you, whether or not I can use any or all of it. Usually, lately- though I thought we were becoming friends in the past- we just wave to each other because I have decided that I'm not going to give her the opportunity to ruin my day by making me feel like an idiot. Last weekend she ignored me completely while her sister was in town, even though her kids were across the alley in my back yard... while her sister looked on with an expression I can only describe as"Oh. Mah. Gah. They are like totally over? in that lady's yard? Ugh, is that like a BUM shirt she is wearing? So 1990".


They have moments when they can be nice ( but usually are yelling and screaming at each other, and the older brother tends to be a bully, meanwhile the mom is too overwhelmed I think to do anything most of the time, so he gets away with it) but I'm keeping an eye on them and giving them a chance to be good instead of sending them home. I don't want to hurt their feelings by doing this even though I have dreaded this moment because the neighbor lets their kids come over whenever they want with out asking or caring if this is ok with John and me. I don't want my yard to be an amusement park for the whole neighborhood, and a free day care for the parents. Crap, it's happening, but I'm determined to handle it as best as I can. Soon, the brother and sister get bored and decide to jump in our pool. I ask him to go ask his mom if it's OK if they swim in our pool.

He comes back and says that his mom said yes. The mom comes over, suddenly very friendly, and checks to see if her children are behaving. The boy is not. The mother attempts to make him behave, but he doesn't. His mom tries to make him go home because he is being bad, but he refuses to get out of the pool. She kind of gives up and mumbles he is going to get time out if he doesn't get out while she crosses the alley back to her house, he ignores her. I tell him if he doesn't get out NOW, and listen to his mom, he won't ever be allowed back in the pool. He complains it's not fair and goes back to his house, while Anna and the sister continue to play in the pool.

The sister decides that she will take out some of her frustration from being bullied all day long by her brother on Emma, but splashing her in the face. I give her "the look" and quietly tell her to knock it off.

She knows I mean business and plays very nicely with the girls, except for the parts where she still views Emma as a threat/competition and refuses to play with her. *SIGH*

The girls are hungry, I feed them, including the neighbor's daughter, and they decide they want to play in my girls' room. I go over and ask the neighbor if that is OK, she says yes. She stays for awhile. The girl gets bored and goes home.

My girls decide they want to dry off so they play inside for awhile.

Phew. Good. An hour later the girls decide they want to get their swimsuits on (even though Emma just likes to play outside of the pool, occasionally getting her hands wet). While they finish getting dressed I go outside and remove the pool cover... then come back inside to see the boy in his swimming trunks, peeking inside our back door. I groan and wait a few minutes, hoping he will leave. He doesn't so i tell the girls to go out I'll be right behind them. Before Anna even gets out the back door, the boy is in MY POOL. Anna tells me, I become exasperated and go outside.

"Did you ask your mom if you could get in?"Hiding my fangs, I tell him he needs to go ask his mom if it's ok if he gets in the pool because I don't want her unaware should he get hurt.

No, he says, he'll go ask. I stop him. "NEXT TIME, you need to ask me first before you jump in my pool." He avoids eye contact. I ask him if her heard me, he says yes.

He comes back and says that his mom said yes.

He slaps Anna and his sister with a pool toy. I tell him no hitting or he will have to leave. he stops for a bit, then continues to jump in and out of pool (getting leaves and grass in the pool I just spent 20 minutes cleaning with a net), like he did when his mom was over, I tell him to knock it off. He leans over the side of the pool, letting gallons of water out, I tell him to knock it off.

Finally I have had enough. "There is one thing you are going to learn while over in my yard... If you don't follow my rules, you're out of here," I say while jabbing a thumb in the direction of his house, across the ally. He ignores me, I ask him 2 times if her heard me, he finally says yes.

He waits a few minutes, then tries to blow water at Emma through a pool noodle, I yell"Don't you dare." He dumps 3 buckets of water over Anna's head, despite her yelling stop and she screams because he got a lot of water in both of her ears, I tell him enough and before I can even finish, he starts slapping Anna on the head "trying to help her get the water out of her ears" then slaps his sister and Anna again with the pool toy, the noodle.

"OK, that's it, you're outta here."

He gives me a blank stare.

"Go on.. GET out. Go home."

He gets out and goes home.

They play for a bit and get out because they are cold. The boy comes over and asks if the sister is staying at my house because he is going somewhere with his mom and their baby brother. I say no, we are going in side.

He says, "Mom said she can stay here while we leave."

"No she can't, we- meaning me and my girls- are going inside. You have to go home now," I say to the girl, not trying to be mean so I soften my tone, though I am angry that the mother seems to think I'm her free day care, "I'm sorry, you have to go home." Grrrrrr!

Later, I go outside to put the pool cover on, and she pokes her head out her kitchen door, "Thanks for letting my kids play, were they good?"

Pfffft. "No," I say, "HE wasn't, that's why I sent him home."

Oh, she says, she asked him why he was back home and he told her he just wanted to come back home. She said she asked him if he was bad, and he lied.

I explain that he was slapping the girls with the pool toy, so I sent him home. She says nothing.

Then I decide that since I'm clearing the air, "He got in my pool without even asking. We were coming outside and he was already inside the pool". She mumbles something I can't hear over my air conditioning unit. I tell her that I told him "There is one thing you are going to learn while over in my yard... If you don't follow my rules, your out of here", she says OK, then says sorry.

I wave good bye over my shoulder and go back inside.

What really makes me angry is that her kids are running around and she has no clue where they are, or if she does see them in my yard doesn't care that they just invite themselves over... why? because again, she is overwhelmed? Not my problem. To top it off? This happened while she had a "male visitor" over at her house.

To make matters worse (if you are even still reading this rambling rant), later we go a little early to see the fireworks to make sure we get a good spot. We get down to the river front just after 9pm. We wait, and wait and wait. And what do we hear? Are you kidding me? The last concert act , The Blue Oyster Cult starts their lasp part of the show late, and still no fireworks because the fireworks don't start until River Boat Days is officially over. It's freaking quarter to 11pm, and no fireworks. We decide to follow the hundreds of people that are leaving the area and go home, very disappointed. And would you believe? They started the fireworks shortly after we left. Forgive me if I'm wrong but fireworks are really for kids and you're starting at 11pm? IDIOTS!

Not only do we not have fireworks on the 4th , like every other NORMAL town, but we wait the next day in vain, for almost 2 hours.

The next day... the neighbor's daughter invites herself over just minutes after we get outside, and immediately jumps on a swing. *2 and half SIGHS, while noticing her mother isn't paying attention that her kid is in my yard, and deciding that I need to nip this ALL in the bud because I refuse to be free day care, especially to someone who has so openly despised me*

"You're going to have to go home."

"Why?"

Choosing my words carefully, I say, "Because I don't want you guys over here today [as in: because I am very tired and would like to spend my day not having to discipline someone else's kids]."

Still refusing to get off the swing," WHY?"

"Because I said so, that's why," I say, exasperated.

"Well, we were going to play in our (baby) pool, ANYWAY," she says in a snotty voice, while walking away.

"Good for you. Bye."

She must have told her mother what I said because later last night they came over to ask what John and I were doing to our pool ( adding shock), and the mother called them back over immediately. I hope she got the message because though I'm nice, I don't let people walk all over me. Not anymore. Why? Because people suck, says the pessimist.

It's so irritating to me, and the reason is that we went through something similar when Anna was a toddler. There is a girl that lives a few houses down that was 3 or 4 years older than Anna, and she didn't seem to have any friends. So we had a really small pool and she would see Anna and I playing in it , then show up minutes later at my back yard, slowly creeping towards the pool while asking me questions... eventually getting in the pool without asking. Her mother would say to me, "OH, I noticed she was in your pool..." and I would say, yeah she just showed up in her swim suit and just jumped right in. "oh, she invited herself over," she would laugh,"She does that all the time."

Yeah, well... you might want to do something about that, I mean sheesh! Do you even care where you child is? Once, she invited herself over to play with Anna, and her father, who was supposed to be watching her while his wife was out of town... just drove off and left her at my house without even asking me. He didn't even acknowledge that she was in my yard as he drove by my yard , through the alley! NICE.

If you are going to try to shove your kids off on other people so you can have a break? Please do us all a favor and don't bother to procreate anymore.

OK, rant over.

And now you know why my 4th of July sucked.

The end.



3 comments:

MAGGIE AT COFFEESHOPMAFIA said...

That sounds like it sucked. Hey, I'm going out of town for a few days can I send my kids over to your house? LOL

I hate neighbors !

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

WOW! That is a totally SUCKY weekend thanks to idiot neighbors! I really feel for you, as we filled our new pool last night I kept thinking...please do not let all the neighbors come out of the woodwork now!! I totally can understand why you finally had enough and told the kids not to come over, who cares if the other mom didn't like it, to me it sounds like she need to be handledthat way because otherwise she'll continue to use you as her free daycare. I'm amazed by how a lot of parents are with letting their kids run loose all hours of the day...and night I might add (I've seen really young kids out even after 10pm!) I just do not go for that! Good for you for not being a doormat, I know it's not an easy thing! I'm the same way, sometimes nice to a fault!

Anonymous said...

When my neighbors began allowing their 5 year old twin girls to wander down the block to my house and all over the rest of the neighborhood unatended I called DFS. Devision of Family Services frowns upon children being unsupervised. One visit from a case worker and police officer reigned those parents in quickly.