It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Won't you be my neighbor?

We've been in the new house for 5 days. Within the first 2 days, we met our southside neighbors. Military family with two girls ages 7 and 8. Friendly, well-mannered, pleasant girls. Mom's nice. Dad seems to be too. The girls play well with my kids which is a blessing.

On the third day, we got to meet the kids from across the street. A boy age 6 and a girl age 3. The day that we met them was the first day of serious moving. So here we are, schlepping boxes and furniture into the house and all of a sudden these children appear.

Notice I said children. No parents in sight. And, according to the 6 year old, the three year old was grounded. Yet there she was...on our front porch and weaseling her way into my house.


Now, I don't know about you but I do not let my children run around outside (i.e. not in the backyard) without my direct supervision. Call me overprotective. I like to keep eyes on my kids. I guess these parents have a different parenting style.

Fast forward to today. Our southside neighbors' kids had come home from camp and were over at the house playing inside and all of a sudden, a face appears at my door. It's the 3 year old. No parent in tow. Not even an older brother. Just her. She TELLS me she wants to come in and play with the other kids.

Yes, a 3 year old TOLD me she wanted to come in and play in my house. So I TOLD her she needed to go home and ask her mother if it was ok. She then proceded to ARGUE with me. Told me that her mother had already said she could (Um, if you didn't know where the other kids were, how could you have asked your mother for permission?). Told me it was ok with her mother if she didn't ask first (Might be ok with your mom but it's NOT ok with me).

She argued with me.

I explained to her that I do *NOT* argue with small children and that she was *NOT* coming in my house until she went back across the street and into her house to ask her mother if it was ok that she come over to play. She left and showed back up a few minutes later. While she was gone, the other southside girls informed me that this 3 year old is known for breaking toys and stealing things from other peoples' houses.


I let her in and made the rules known - no playing in the closet, no playing in the bathroom, and everyone will help clean up before they leave. Not more than 5 minutes later, I hear the 3 year old YELL at my son to "GET OUT!" of the play area under the stairs. I started in to say something but Princess Trouble beat me to it and told the 3 year old in NO uncertain terms, "You will NOT yell at my brother like that!" Good for her!

A few minutes later, she calls one of the other girls "STUPID" and made her cry. In I went again to explain that, in this house, we do not use words like that. Meanwhile I'm hoping she begins to think I'm the meanest mommy on the block and would leave. No such luck. A few minutes later, I hear that she has pushed one of the southside girls . That was it. I told her she needed to go home.

And as she left, I heard her say, "No one wants to play with me AGAIN!"

You don't say.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...