Friday, June 6, 2008

Delicacy 101

Okay folks, on the pregnancy front I am feeling like absolute CRAP, but I've got a dr. appointment on Tuesday and I'm crossing my fingers about a new "miracle" drug that has become available since my last pregnancy that is supposed to make the nausea subside. I'll keep you posted. Right now I'm keeping down about 30% of my total intake of nutrients. We are telling some family this weekend, so maybe that will feel...rewarding/exciting/fun?

I need some advice about something else though. We have lived in this house for almost two months now. This is a very close knit "everybody knows everybody" neighborhood. Our next door neighbor has a little girl the same age as my little girl and they play together quite often. Sounds great, right? Well, I'm becoming more and more concerned with the situation. Especially since I've been ill, I confided in this neighbor that I probably would not be inviting her daughter over much this summer because I'm feeling so poorly. To be honest I'm thrilled with that prospect. I did not enjoy her presence. Now this little girl invites my little girl (and subsequently my younger son) over almost every day. They think they're helping me out. Normally I would consider this quite helpful, but this family- I don't know how to describe them without sounding extremely judgmental. Oh well. They are dirty. My kids come home crying almost every time either because they've been physically hurt or got hurt feelings. There is no discipline, no boundaries and it's becoming apparent that there is no supervision. This concerns me considerably. My son is 2. My daughter is 5. They come home dirty and unhappy and sometimes violent after playing with this little girl. A little girl who shows up at my door wearing a swimsuit, cowboy boots and mittens. A little girl, who at any random time of day, might be found standing conspicuously in my backyard with her hands down her pants.

The mother insists that she's happy to have them over. I'm sure she does! It lets her off the hook. I have no idea what she is doing while my kids are over there, but I'm not the kind of person to accuse her of being negligent to her face.

So what do I do? I'd rather have my kids here, bored out of their minds while Mommy is comatose on the couch than play with this little girl. But the relationship has been established. I can't avoid these people. They go to my church, they live just a few yards away, they come over every single day.

I'm worried about my kids. It's the first time I've been uncomfortable with the thought of having them in the care of someone else. What do I do?


Anonymous said...

That's really hard, Hoodie! I feel for you. I don't like confronting other people unless they've started the battle.

One staring point is do your kids still want to play? Even after they are hurt? If they still want to play, then you've got a double problem. They will be working against you and might repeat anything you say.

If they don't want to go play, then it's easier. Can you invent some reasons your kids need to stay home? Maybe you are doing some kind of home course and need their attention and time without visitors. Start small, then let it grow. After a while, you might be off the hook. If they are right next door, though, I'm not sure you can ever be completely free without starting a feud.

Another solution might be to be right up front about the physical hurts. You could say that her kids are just too rough for your kids to be alone with them. That way, you're not attacking their parenting, you're saying your kids are just not as rough and tumble.

The Quoibler said...


I'm the worst person to give this kind of advice because I'm not great at confrontation.

But here goes nothing...

My first thought was along the same line as Jason's... do your kids really enjoy the other kids' company, or are they just going over there because it's convenient?

If they don't like it, can you find some other kids for them to play with? Or can you, as Jason suggests, "invent" some reason for the kids to be at home? Maybe you could allow them to paint their rooms. ha ha ha. Okay, scratch that... but you get the point!

I agree about the fact they are getting hurt, too. Dirt and hurt. Sounds like a bad combo.

It's always tough when your kids bring home friends who are questionable. I'd be concerned about a girl with hands down her pants, too. Eww.

I feel for you. Maybe you can get some "miracle drug" (I had to take Zofram for my entire pregnancy -- it's used by chemo patients.) Then, you can feel more in control.

Good luck!


SzélsőFa said...

Jason and Agelique basically told all advice that I also had in my mind except that
- I don't mind a little hands-in-panties (HIP) every now and then IF there are other activities a kid can do and HIP happens like 1% of their total time, you get the point,
- kids are to get dirty and tired and exhausted at the end of the day. This's coming from a neat Mom who urges her kids to go into the bathroom and change clothes before entering the rooms, but I suppose kids are just like this.

And yes, violence is a completely different issue.

Try to look out for other activities and other parents to have your kids share their time with their kids. Like, you might ask for some help in your church, can't you? I definitely would.

Beth said...

You know, I never let my kids ANYWHERE without me until they were much older than 2 and even older than 5. I think their first playdate without me was when they were in first grade. It was maybe 2 hours long at first with parents I knew.

Maybe I'm a bitch, but I had no problem not letting my children to go houses with parents or homes that were not fit for my children to be fit. Better to be a bitch than let anything happen to your child.

Just my two cents. I don't see you around anymore and am glad (or sad) to see it's pregnancy and not me.

Scott said...

I tend to agree with Beth, but the reality is that a neighbor-turned-enemy can be the end of the world was we know it. I have personal experience. You are in a most unenviable position. I think voicing your concerns has to be put delicately, but framed in the context of your children's distress might be the only way. I would probably work at having other plans for your kids on most days. Family? Other friends? After school programs, summer camps? Anything, but I would work at making them busy with other things.

SzélsőFa said...

Scott has a good point, too.
You are too close to get yourself into a hate-relationship.

And Beth also, for that matter.

Jaye Wells said...

You've gotten a lot of good advice already, so I'll just say ditto. But I had no idea about the good news. Congrats!!