"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Neighborhood Hangout

Growing up, I was one of very few kids on a cul-de-sac with, at the time, four homes (now six).  My parents and siblings always told fun stories about the house we lived in before (that we moved from when I was 2 1/2) and how it was the neighborhood hang out for all the kids on the street.  It always sounded fun and I blissfully imagined growing up and having my home be the neighborhood hang out.  It's not.  And I'm actually very very happy that it's not.

Why aren't we the neighborhood hangout:

1.  We aren't very outgoing people.  So we don't actually know most of our neighbors past "hello."
2.  We live in a mild ghetto (can I coin that phrase?) so the second my kids step outside, they are bombarded with kids whispering "ask your mom if you can bring your bike out," "do you have any chalk?," etc.  Then they borrow said bike and my kids aren't sure what to do about it.  Little Guy takes his tricycle out and refuses to get off it because there's a herd of toddlers/preschoolers hovering over him. 
3.  I'm not really a fan of kids.  I know.  I know.  I have three.  I like my kids.  And I like some other people's kids.  And I tolerate some kids.  But in general, I don't really like kids.  So, having them all swarm and take advantage of my more timid (probably a downside of homeschooling) kids who just want to be liked, doesn't make me happy.  And they swear.  I'm pretty sure when I walked past a group of 8-11 year olds yesterday, one of them was saying some sort of "not it" rhyme that involved the F-word.  Nice.
4.  There's a certain group of 8-10 year old boys that the second my kids walk outside, they make my kids "it" in a game of tag or hide and seek.  This is how it goes.  "Can you count to 20?  Okay, you're it."  And they run away, leaving my kids, who don't want to play, in the dust, forced to retreat back inside so they don't get in trouble for not counting.
5.  When we come in for dinner, usually right around 5, we tend to leave the door open with the screen closed.  But if we do that, a bunch of kids are starring in our screen while we eat dinner. 
6.  There are certain parents in the neighborhood that are on the ball and if their kids are outside, they are keeping an eye on them.  I tend to be at the computer, near the front window, or out on our step.  Other parents just let their kids roam free for hours on end with no knowledge of how poorly behaved they are.

This is all of course worse than normal this week because it's Spring Break for our local school district.  I know I have friends whose houses are sort of the neighborhood hangout.  Do you enjoy this?  I don't think I would mind if it was my kids' actual friends.  Or perhaps if I knew their parents.  But as is, I'm happy to stay out of the mix.


The Man Your Husband Is Worried About said...

When Princess Sparkley was born and Angela came to visit, I was sitting on the futon (how far we've come to an actual couch!) with her while you were feeding PS in the other room, and we were discussing my Primary church calling, I think, and I said, "I don't really like kids."

Angela said, "Huh," as if to say, "I don't know if I should tell my best friend or not that her husband--with whom she just had a kid--has confided in me that he doesn't like kids."

But I meant it the same way you do, which is to say, "I don't really like most other people's kids."

Angela said...

I have no recollection of this. If anything I was saying "u-huh" as in agreement, especially regarding primary service. Now that I have my own child I dislike most strange kids. Your neighborhood kids aka kid gangs sound terrible-I would never let Molly out of the house if I were you, let alone any of them inside. When we live next door to each other I will volunteer as the neighborhood hang out, but that is it.

wendys said...

I don't think my house will ever be the hangout because I am a cranky mom. I also agree with the "don't really like other people's kids" stance. I am never interested in holding any neighbor's baby and they think I am weird for it. I think I will ALWAYS be asked to work in the Primary until I overcome this.

Rae said...

I too do not like kids!!! I thought I must be one of the only women out there who felt that way. So glad I'm not! I love my kids but others? Not so much. I think that's why I'm always called into Primary. To learn to love all kids. I'm obviously a slow learner because I've been in Primary for about 12 years!!!!! :) I always thought I would want my house to be the "it" place for my kid's friends to hang but I actually have decided I'm okay if it's not. I can't stand listening to their friends....they annoy me and get on my last nerve.

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