Monday, August 31, 2009

To The Neighborhood Kids

Do you want to know how my weekend was?

Well, it went something like this:

Ding dong!

Ding Dong!

Ding Dong!

No, I wasn’t being called names. That was my doorbell being abused by the neighborhood kids who constantly feel the need to molest it.

For some reason they all like to gather in OUR garage. I do not like this. Why don’t they play in Billy’s garage? Why must they stay in ours? I see that Billy has toys scattered in his garage—aren’t they getting bored with our toys? They must be!

“People aren’t sharing!” kids will whine to me after they’ve leaned on the doorbell.

Go tell your OWN parents. Jesus.

But of course I’ll have to pop out and do the Mom thing even though I was looking forward to quiet because at that point I had just put Natalie down for her nap. I was hoping to type out a chapter in my novel or at the very least, a few pages. Something. But no. I had to give that up and deal with other people’s children.

“Please share,” I informed the group through clenched teeth.

“Chase is being mean!” a little girl told me seriously, pointing to the brat who has been known to make fun of Tommy. His parents seem like fabulous people, really. I went over to introduce myself and I was in the middle of going, “Hi, I’m Amber, I’m Tommy Mo—” but then the father’s cell phone went off and he actually HELD UP A FINGER at me and answered it. Then he proceeded to carry on a conversation about biking (!) so I just walked off and sarcastically said, “It was lovely to meet you too…”

So really, this Chase kid doesn’t seem to have the greatest parents. I haven’t even seen the Mom yet and I’ve been here for nearly three years. I’m wondering if Creepy Biker Dad keeps her caged.

“If you aren’t going to be nice, then you can go home,” I said loudly to everyone because I know it’s not fun to be singled out.

Then I went back inside and started to write a few sentences in my novel. I was starting to get into a groove. The words were flowing, my grammar seemed to be on par, the dialogue seemed plausible, the---


“For the love of chocolate!” I shrieked and stomped to the door.

“Yes?” I practically yelled at the girl standing there.

“Um...people aren’t sharing the water guns,” she informed me.

“Then go home!” I wanted to shout.

But I’m too nice so I went out and said that people had to share, for the love of God, SHARE! Didn’t they learn that lesson in preschool?

I came back in. I had already lost my writing groove so I decided to watch some Gilmore Girls because it’s possibly one of the best shows out there. I started to get involved with the plot even though I already knew the outcome. But it doesn’t matter, with a show like Gilmore Girls you can always---


“Why do I even bother?” I muttered as I paused the show. I walked over to the door.

“Some kids are breaking stuff,” the same girl said.




I hurried out and saw that they had taken apart one of Tom’s things that he uses for his models. It’s some sort of bottom that helps his diagrams stay up.

Look, I don’t even know exactly what it is. I just knew that it was now in pieces all along my garage.

Right, you little shits, what is WRONG with you all!!? This was on the tip of my tongue but I forced it down.

“Who did this?” I demanded. “Who did this?”

Of the six kids standing there, no one would confess.

“You can’t just take apart people’s things!” I shouted, throwing the pieces into a plastic bag. “Please be good out here! I was in the middle of watching a very good episode of Gilmore Girls where Dean breaks up with Rory since she keeps making eyes at Jess!”

The kids just blinked up at me in confusion. They had no idea what I was going on about.

I wished I could be mean like Tom. The kids are afraid of Tom and if they see his truck in the driveway, they basically stay away. Because one time they started to get rough with one of Tommy’s toys and Tom went out there and went, “How about I come to your house and start throwing YOUR toys on the ground?”

And then when a few of them got too close to his beloved truck he suddenly screamed, “DON’T TOUCH MY TRUCK! You don’t want to know what will happen if you do!”

But I can’t do that. No. Instead all I can manage is, “You can’t just take apart people’s things!” which doesn’t exactly have the same effect as Tom’s “DON’T TOUCH MY TRUCK!”

I went back in and started to watch a bit more Gilmore Girls but then I heard the sound of running water outside and realized they were messing with the hose.

This was my breaking point.

I stepped outside and saw that our poor lawn was drowning in water. It was like a giant puddle outside the front door.

“Okay, it’s time for everyone to go home. The garage is closed. Bye bye now,” I said and started to shut the garage door.

“Wait! Misty is still in there!” a girl shrieked so I held open the door and a terrified looking blond raced out from behind a bunch of plastic totes that they had stacked up. This also infuriated me because hello, don’t touch other people’s plastic totes! Is that not a rule?

I told Tommy he could go play with his friends at THEIR houses if he wished but that ours was closed for business.

Tommy shrugged. “I’m done playing. Those kids give me a headache,” he said.

Tommy is just like me. He doesn’t mind hanging out with people but after a few hours we like to retreat and enjoy some silence.

I am so not going to be the Mom who invites a bunch of teenagers in the house. No way. They can go hang at someone else’s home.

Plus, if one of them accidentally hit Tom’s truck, I honestly think some blood would be shed and Tom would wind up in jail.

So future friends of Tommy and Natalie? Please piss off and go somewhere else. Thanks. Because this house contains a semi anti-social writer and a man semi-obsessed with his truck. Just so you know.


  1. Girl, I don't know how you managed not to go all Tom on them!!! I so would have!!!

  2. lmao! I'm sorry, but for semi-reclusive you held it together really well. Next time do the Tom bit. It works in our house, but we call it going all Doug on their asses.

  3. I'm Tom in the female form. I've managed to run off most of the teenage girls that think hanging out at my house till dinner time is cool. Seriously, hurling insults and threats to my teen didn't seem to phase them. I had to get in their business. My teen whines that it is rude. Hello! It is rude to stay at someone's house when they've yelled at you to get out. :S And the boys don't come around...I slam the door in their faces. :D

  4. lol! maybe you should boobey(kid)trap the garage... seriously.. i'm not kidding.. hehe! you put up with much more than i could!

  5. We have that exact problem!!! Take a tack to the doorbell, haha. :) My hubby once waiting by the door and when they came back, he chased the kids off the porch with a super soaker, hehehe!! What a funny story!

  6. I think I'm too old to put up with that anymore but love that someone can. My writing has improved with more time but less with great stories like this to tell.

  7. Ha! We're that house, too. Only we live in an apartment complex and I can't just send them home because they all live right here in the quad area so my yard is their yard. And apparently that means our toys are their toys and our food is their food. If I don't keep them they press their noses to the glass and whimper. It's sad. I have to feed them. It's a sickness.

  8. The only good thing about the kids hanging at your house is that you know what they're up to - well at least most of the time. Unfortunately, a lot of parents out there don't really care what their kids do, and who knows what they'd get into! It might not be bad now, but as they get older - look out! I speak from experience here, believe me!

  9. Ha! Why do you get to be the lucky one that all the kids tattle too? That makes me laugh!

  10. Oh geez Amber. Thanks. That seriously sounds like my worst nightmare! I have so little tolerance to begin with - and then to have it stretched to its limits with incessant doorbell-ringing and tattling? Barf!

    By the time my boys are old enough to have friends over I'm totally going to establish my reputation as "mean mom." It's gonna have to happen, to save my sanity.

  11. I don't want all the kids at my house either. A lot of my friends finished their basements so that the kids friends would want to be there and they'd always know where their kids are. I know where my kids are. And I'm cool with that being someone else's basement.

    Other people's kids.


  12. This sounds like a weekend at my house, too! Dear god, the doorbell is my nemesis! There's a neighbor boy who will ring it every 8 minutes on the dot, even if I've told him my boys aren't home. My boys have gotten to where they want me to tell him they're not there, but I'm all, "Sorry, your cover is blown since he snuck down in the window wells and saw you playing in the basement."

    Yeah. He's *that* kid.

    It gets worse when they start combining their doorbell assault with the phone calls. There's never any peace here. Ever.

  13. Didn't they realize you were trying to watch TV? Geesh kids these day. Although I do love Tommy's comment, smart kid.

  14. I have no patience for children. I would have lost it.

  15. I am soooo like Tom...but even thru the mean-ness kids (my nieces and few family friends kids) still like to come over...but I'm so mean I even dictate WHEN they can come over....which is hardly ever! I know mean mommy

  16. I believe what you are describing is known as "ear rape". Yours is a serious case, indeed. You'll probably have to deal with these kids until they can all drive...

    For the love of chocolate?!??
    That's a lot of love.

  17. I had some "delinquents" playing in the parking lot of a building I owned. Since the law seems to be "no matter what happens, the owner is at fault" I had to chase them away so they could hurt themselves (if they were going to) somewhere (anywhere) else.

    A simple "Out" followed by a "Play somewhere else, now" seemed to do the trick except for one who looked at me like I was the hunchback of notre dame.

    It took pulling a cellphone out of my pocket and saying to the brat, "You parents are going to love talking to the police about you."

    He finally got the hint and left. What is with these stinking brat's parents??? Don't they teach them things like "Dont bother the neighbors?"

  18. I sure hope that they consider themselves warned!

  19. First, Gilmore Girls is the best show in the history of TV. The writing and acting was great.

    Second, you are way too nice. I would have booted the kids at the second ding dong.

  20. Those kids give me a headache too, Tommy.


  21. You are way too nice. You need to put your foot down now, you're looking at a pretty annoying next 10 years!

  22. Moving to Montana's starting to look pretty good here, isn't it? Parents default and hope anyone else will raise/teach/save their kids. It's crazy-- don't have 'em if you're not going to nurture and teach them. And my favorite axiom about parenting: If you do not model what you teach, you are teaching something else. Amen.

  23. Hmmm thinking of the quiet in Montana? Or maybe just disconnect the doorbell and lock the garage!

  24. You are so patient. I'd have went ballistic.

  25. I would never have lasted that long - you are a saint.

  26. Beat this~ tonight when we went to town? Our neighbor boy found an unlocked door and left us flowers. Last week? He walked right into the sun room when I was hanging with the boys. Luckily he is cute.

  27. How did you restrain yourself? With a newborn in the house, I have found it difficult to stop myself and now the neighbourhood kids hear a lot of "I don't care!" and "Shut the hell up!" and "Stop throwing your crap over the fence!"

    Nope. No milk and cookies in my house.

  28. You know, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I don't mind the kids playing at our home because it keeps my kids busy and out of my hair (for the most part, until someone grabs someone else's toy and all hell breaks loose). And other times, the last thing I want is to have a playdate at my house.

    You are way cooler than me...I would have lost it way before that!!!

  29. Yeah, hearing you on this one. We have five sets of neighbours and I think they take it in turns for their kids to just annoy the crap out of us.

    I don't have the 'scary man' gene, sadly. Thankfully my wife used to be a teacher and that seems to help when it gets too much and she gives them an evil stare.

  30. I can only handle my own child. Patience is not a strong suit for me.

  31. Okay, so I've spent the past week feeling sorry for my kids that ten years ago I thought it would be a good idea to buy a house out in the country away from everyone and now they can't just walk down the street to their friends' houses because there aren't any houses on our street...and then I read this. Thank you for reminding me of the joys of the country! I'm with you...I like my peace and quiet and hate being interrupted when I write. Obviously interruptions don't interfere with the quality of your writing!

  32. That sounds more ANNOYING than anything. Like you don't have enough to deal with your own kids, right?!

  33. next house: finished basement, or distant bonus room and thick doors and oh, a bad ass attitude. Trust your instincts about the troublemakers - it only takes one to ruin an entire neighborhood's day.

  34. I think being armed to the teeth would TOTALLY be a rockin' look in your street. Try it. Then tell me how it goes.

  35. I'm like you. Way too nice for my own good. What I wouldn't do to have the power to be a bitch.

    also. Gilmore Girls? Best.Show.Ever.

    I would marry Luke in a heartbeat.

  36. Oh, that is so funny. What a headache! I'm just stopping by from SITS. Have a great day!

  37. I lived at that house too, until the husband got involved. But, I actually enjoy the teens that come over and hang out. At least I know where my kids are and what they are doing with their friends.

  38. Does Montana begin to sound like a good place? Ooo you keep your cool very well, I'd have been ranting like a fishwife if I'd been faced with all that. I think I must be heading towards a hermit-like existence.

  39. Next time you might have to open a can of Whoop Tom on those kids. I couldn't stand it if they broke my stuff!

  40. I love Gilmore Girls too! (Visiting from Buried With Children, but I'll be back)

  41. Brilliant, new to your blog I was thinking with all that great dialogue you should write a book and then I read you are..good.



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