Why is it every kid in the neighborhood has to play at my house?
As I sit at my computer trying to focus, all I hear is the neighbor girl’s blood-curdling screams of joy while she chases my boys for a kiss or a touch. Go home. Better yet, go home forever and never come back.
I would say this to her but I don’t want to be responsible for her outpatient therapy in the future. I’ve told them all to play in the cul-de-sac or at her house but I’m pretty sure my kids are not allowed in her yard. Then again… they don’t WANT to play in her yard. She has a dog. I have sons and they are afraid of dogs. What did I eat while I was pregnant?
I don’t think other parents are dumb enough to let this go on every day.
Are we the fun parents on the block? Is our yard more interesting than theirs? Don’t they have trees?
Why should we bother to fix the irrigation system? The pretty green grass won’t stay and everyone knows it because my yard is the best yard to trample through with friends and comrads.
I don’t know how many times I ‘ve told the screaming girl to go home. I suppose part of me thinks it is justifiable for her to ruin my grass being that she brings me day-old bread from Publix every Monday. Where is my self-esteem? Maybe it is I who needs the therapy.
This same take-charge little girl likes to come IN my house as well, that is until her father stomps over, mad as a hornet, asking her why she didn’t tell him she went outside in the first place.
Isn’t this the ideal opportunity to tell him off and ask him why my kids are not allowed at HIS house? No, of course not. He is our pest-control man! Am I crazy to give up free service? Maybe I’m smarter than I think I am. It’s possible.
The other day I went into the garage and, lo and behold, my clothesline was plumb full of all my soon-to-be donated clothing. The neighbor girl strikes again. I should have given her my other laundry that needed drying that day too while I was at it.
I guess it could be worse. I could be laid up in a nursing home gasping for breath. Maybe having lots of kids in my yard will keep me young and on my toes. We can hope.
Dianne Daraitis Rothenbuehler is a mom to three boys, a part-time childcare provider and home health nurse.
Photo: Mark Allen Cross