Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Boys Will Be Boys
My children are not perfect. No child is perfect. My boys play, run, and can be very loud. They can also bring me flowers, give great hugs, and do nice things for you just to show that they love you. My boys pick up sticks, play swords, and sometimes pretend to shoot guns at aliens. They also pick up trash, do chores, and strive to be good students in school. My boys do not disrespect adults, make a habit of lying, or terrorize small animals. They do make mistakes, sometimes need to be chastised, and are reprimanded.
When the neighbor lady came over to complain that my older son was "terrorizing" his little brother I had trouble understanding that. She said that he was holding him down and covering his mouth and not letting him up to scream for help. She also said he then proceeded to "undermine her authority" and deny what she had seen with her own two eyes. When the little guy came in I asked and he denied that his brother had done any of these things. She listened still intent that some kind of punishment was mandated for the older one. Surely I didn't want him to grow up to be a tyrant.
The other neighbor who was outside was shocked. She said that nothing like that had happened. They boys had been playing a bit rough, yes. But they were laughing and having a good time. She had just told them they only had about 20 minutes left to play and perhaps they should come inside to finish their time. (She too has had run ins with this other neighbor.) She said that my older one was trying to explain to the busybody neighbor about them just playing, but she was refusing to listen. Busybody then insisted that she could call social services on him, how would he like that? He said he believed there was a misunderstanding. Busybody then insisted that they go inside and speak to me regarding his behavior.
Busybody came into the house and told me her story. I was unhappy with my son and doubted that he did nothing. I couldn't understand why someone would go to so much trouble to tell on a child if nothing had actually happened. I told him to get his brother because I was insisting that he must be fibbing to me since Busybody was so insistent. Little brother comes in and confirms Big Brother's story. He has no idea why the Busybody would be so upset.
Busybody then tells me that she can call social services on my children. She also says that I need to get rid of my cockatoo because the neighbors are complaining. I ask her if these are the same neighbors that come over to see the bird and ask about him? She says, "I know you home school your children, but perhaps you should find a better way to teach them." She also says, "Don't get used to keeping that bird because you won't have him much longer. Something will be done."
By this point I've had enough. I ask her, "Did you just come into my home to threaten me? I don't appreciate that at all." I then asked my husband to show her out, please. She goes to leave asking what she's done. On the way out she asks my husband if I'm on my period. "No," he says. "You just over stepped your bounds." To which she replies, "I don't think I did anything wrong."
My other neighbor says that this woman watches our children out the window all the time. She leaves treasures for them to find, but sometimes she comes outside to chastise them for playing.
In my humble opinion:
1. You do not threaten a child.
2. You do not undermine the authority of a parent.
3. You do not threaten a neighbor, you speak to them regarding your concern.
4. Children play and can be loud. If you live somewhere that has children and you have problems with this move into an adult only neighborhood or apartment.
5. If you have so much time on your hands that you spend hours looking out your window to find something to complain about you have too much time on your hands. Get a hobby.
6. If you go into someone's home displaying this kind of behavior you're very lucky that all they said to you is that perhaps you should leave. I'm sure there is a lot more that could have been said. Consider yourself lucky.