Saturday, February 20, 2010

Neighbors, ugh

Grrrrr. The neighbor kids. I am sick of them. Logan and I went all the way to Morton for breakfast this morning so we could eat at Cracker Barrel and especially shop at their store and get a giant checkers game. We had been planning this for a week. He's really into checkers and his junky $3 set is falling apart. I was gone all week and was really looking forward to this time together. We had our (ugh, I almost can't stand Cracker Barrel food) breakfast and excitedly looked around the store for the giant checkers set. We found it, paid and he talked about playing as soon as we got home the whole time we shopped at Wal-Mart and Farm and Fleet. He held the set on his lap the entire drive home. I told him I had to put groceries away first, but would play as soon as I was done.

We grabbed a bunch of bags and hurried into the house. There they were. All three of them. 9:30am. Well, there goes my special morning with my son. There goes my Super Mario Bros Wii time with my daughter. The brats have been sent over to be babysat. I put away groceries as Logan showed off his new game and started playing with the (way too young) neighbor kids. The hours ticked away. I did laundry and paid bills. I checked email and did some online banking. It was now 12:30 and I was hungry. Time to go home, guys. Maybe the kids can play later. Bundle, bundle, bundle. Find the missing gloves and hats. Help the baby put on every piece of clothing.

Ahhhhh, silence. We all grab what we want for lunch and start to eat. Ding-dong. Little Girl is back! It's been maybe 20 minutes since she left. I about had a fit. We will NOT be babysitting these kids all day! I have one day off each week with my kids and I want to spend at least part of it with my kids! I totally understand that Neighbor Mom probably looks forward to the weekends when Kaylin and Logan are home and she can send her kids away for a while. I get it. But tough! I do not work hard all week for one full day off with my kids so I can watch someone else's! A few hours? Fine. The entire day including meals and snacks? Absolutely never again!

We stopped allowing the neighbor kids to eat anything over here other than special occasion treats such as birthday cake or cookies they help make. They no longer get any juice boxes or milk or any drink other than water. It's an absolute rule that they leave at meal times. But they keep coming back and coming back. I've written notes to the parents that my kids can't play anymore that day, told the kids they can't come back, they keep coming back.

It's gotten to the point I feel we have to leave to get rid of them. But that's unfair to everyone! Why should my kids have to stop playing and go dink around at Big Lots just to avoid the neighbor kids they WANT to play with? What makes matters worse (for me anyway) is that Gene likes having them here. He can tune out all the noise and the kids leave him alone while he does whatever he does. I don't understand why they leave him alone and not me! If I'm in my chair with my laptop, at least one of them is trying to climb next to me, touching me and coughing in my face to see what I'm doing. Since 99% of the time it's nothing remotely interesting to them, WHY do they have to keep touching me and snuggling me? If I'm sitting at the table paying bills or balancing my checkbook I get "Watcha doing?" Paying bills. "Whyyyyy?" If I shut myself in my bedroom to fold laundry, they're banging on the door. If I fold it on the living room floor they're climbing on me. SERIOUSLY, do I emit snuggly, cuddly vibes??? I think not! (And no, these kids are not lacking attention and affection from their own parents!)

I guess I have to lay down the law on Saturdays. I need some neighbor-free time. At least a few hours in the afternoon. It's not like I dislike these kids or they're bad or anything! I just need some time without them. I'm glad we have neighbor kids my kids love playing with. I'm glad they're not destructive or disrespectful or worse. The "baby" I was so worried about is actually the easiest to deal with and has learned that if he cries he goes home to mama. I feel overrun in my own home and I know the adult neighbors are using me as a free babysitter. Guess I'll stop complaining and go write yet another note to the parents...

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