I never anticipated that my children having friends would be so difficult...
Approximately two weeks ago my two boys were playing at the neighbor's house. My six year old, Logan, came home crying and said that Jack had hit him. Hayden, my 9 year old, had defended his brother and of course he was the one to get into trouble. They were sent home. Although I don't condone Hayden's actions, I was shocked and secretly happy that he took up for his little brother. (Jack is a bully. He is always picking on Logan and another little boy in the neighborhood.) I had a talk with them and I gave them permission to go play with the other little boy, Oscar. The mother of Jack and Oscar are friends and Kate, Jack's mom, happened to walk over to Oscar's house. She saw my boys there and yelled at them to go home. Once again they came home crying. I was sitting on the porch playing with Bryn and they told me what happened. I was so angry that she took it upon herself to tell my boys that they couldn't play with Oscar, at Oscar's house. I herded the kids into the house and shut the door. As I was shutting the door, Kate yelled my name. Honestly, I was so angry I couldn't talk to her at that moment. (It was for her protection!)
I figured that this would just blow over. They're kids. They get mad at each other one day and the next they have forgotten all about it and want to play again. (We could learn a lesson from them.) I started noticing some tension between Oscar's mother, Maria, Kate and myself. Pretty soon the kids weren't allowed to play together anymore.
Jack was at my house yesterday playing with Logan. I stepped out to tell them to play nice and clean all the toys up when they were done. I go out back to cut Hayden's hair and I hear Kate calling Jack. I went around front to make sure they were cleaning the toys up and once again Logan is in tears. "Miss Kate said that Jack cannot play here and he had to go home. I told her that Jack was going to play nice. She said 'What about you Logan?'." It was like someone lit my ass on fire at that point. I have just about had it. Allow me to backtrack for a minute. Earlier in the day the boys were playing with Oscar and they came home just before lunch. Two minutes later Oscar's mother Maria came stomping over to my house and rings my doorbell. Logan answers the door and she starts yelling at Logan. Whoa, whoa...whoa! I go to the door and she is yelling at me that along with her son my boys were in her garage and proceeded to shake, open and spray beer all over. I understand that she was mad, but don't yell at me chica! Shouldn't I be mad that she wasn't watching them? I made the boys apologize and made sure the mess was cleaned up, because that was the right thing to do. I didn't need to act like an ass, she was already doing a good job of that.
I decided that maybe I should call Kate and try and mend fences. She told me that she and Maria have been talking and that they felt that I needed to be outside more with the kids. That kids need to be "instructed on how to play" and "taught how to share and be nice". I'm sorry, what? I was too busy laughing my ass off, I didn't catch that last part. Are you effing serious lady? I am outside any chance I get. I have an 18 month old baby and I have things to do. Why do I need to hover over them? They felt that I only knew what my boys told me and not the truth and I needed to see what goes on. Hmmm, that's funny, when they play over here I don't seem to have problems with them. Only once have I sent Jack home because he grabbed Logan by the head and slammed his head on the deck for not sharing a toy. I get it, that's my fault because I didn't properly teach Logan how to share. I suppose the "beer incident" was my fault too because I wasn't outside supervising my children at the neighbor's house so her ass could "work". Now this was the pot calling the kettle black. Maria is NEVER outside. She lets her two year old little girl, Chloe, wander around outside. Her kids are always running in the street. I am forever telling them to look before crossing and several times I have had Hayden pick up Chloe and take her home. There have been a handful of times that she has been at my house playing and Maria came out 30 minutes later calling her. She could have been hit by a car or worse abducted. But I'm the bad parent.
I decided to take the high road, these are my dad's neighbors and he has to live with them once I move. I told Kate that I just wanted the kids to play. I can't be outside all the time, it's just not possible, but that I am always watching them. Always. I told her that right now it's difficult because I am basically a single parent and the boys don't have their dad around. Her response was that she was too because her husband worked nights...and she has 4 kids to deal with (a 15 year old stepdaughter and a 12 year old stepson along with her two) and her daughter is not much older than Bryn. *I must compose myself* How dare she compare her husband working nights to my husband being in the military and being gone for sometimes weeks at a time. Her husband is there to see the kids leave for school, he's there for dinner and he is there on weekends. We have been apart from Chad for more than 4 months now. He has been somewhere in the Atlantic for two weeks. We count ourselves lucky if we get to talk to him on the phone or get to see him on an occasional weekend visit. Are you kidding me lady? Go sell your crazy somewhere else! I quickly corrected her statement "Your husband working 3rd shift in NO WAY compares to my situation and a three year old and an 18 month old are VERY different developmentally. Bryn doesn't talk for one.". It is a really good thing this wasn't a face to face conversation...I can and will loose control if someone attacks me. Especially my parenting skills. I'm not the best parent in the world, but I am certainly not the worst and my kids aren't angels. I let them be kids. After a few heated words, I just let it go. It wasn't worth it.
The more and more I think about what she said to me, the angrier I get. My dad was out of town and when he returned I told him what had happened. He said that he had thought more highly of Kate...but he didn't think anything of Maria the way she lets her little girl run around. My dad is always the voice of reason. Believe me when I say he doesn't always take my side. That is why I go to him for advice. He's fair.
Moral of the story: Don't attack me as a parent or I will Lay. You. Out!
This is why I love blogging. It's cathartic. Thanks for reading...all 3 of you!
*some names have been changed to protect the annoying