I’m sure I’ve complained about these kids before, but a set of neighbors to one side of my home were driving me crazy.
We have a chain-link fence that lines our yards that was there when we bought our home. We always thought about replacing it or covering it up, but our neighbors were generally pleasant, so there was no rush – until recently.
There was an elderly woman who rented the home next-door to us that she shared with her daughter and two grandchildren. The woman would also baby-sit her other grandchildren, as many as eight or nine at a time, all of them ages 1 to 8. While playing in the backyard, the kids would often talk to us and play with my daughter through the fence. The girls were pretty friendly and the boys were, well, kind of snotty but tolerable.
Later, the boys began poking sticks through at my dog, as if they were trying to stab him. They also threw over old broken toys in my yard. I caught them one day and asked them politely to not behave that way. I mean, they are just kids, but enough was enough.
The first time — oh yes, of many — they seemed to listen and respectfully apologized. Another time, my inner big mama was unleashed on their snotty attitudes. I warned them that I would tell their grandmother. Ooooh, gotcha! But, sadly, those words had no power over them. Pure evil. When I did tell the grandmother, she yelled at the girls!
Peace was temporary, like, a day. I noticed my backyard had been bombed with large coffee cans full of lemon juice, rinds and dirt. The contents of which spilled out onto my flowers, grass and patio. It was war.
I told the grandmother again, firmly. She basically just smiled and said “OK.” So, I threw their crap back into their yard. And, I asked their landlord to have a word with them.
I thought maybe putting up a wood fence to gain privacy would help. It did. But now, it seems they have moved. I got lucky!
The question is, what else could I do if the situation worsened? When other people’s kids act unruly, it’s hard to just grin and ignore it. It seems like such a matter could have been simple if parents would have just been, well, parents.