Sunday, August 05, 2007

    The Kids Next Door

    We have been blessed with good neighbours, which is fantastic.

    They’re not-too-neighbourly/not-too-strangerly.

    She likes to garden, so I often see her out the front, and when their lemon tree is overladen, I get a nice bagful ( hint: really looking forward to making my first lemon meringue pie in years, dear neighbour, so get fruitin’ )

    We’ve loaned a ladder, and helped her break into her house, hid a Christmas bike in our garage, and looked after their rubbish and mail when they’ve been away. All good stuff.

    But their kids have been annoying me for a while, in a lonely-old-lady-with-cats kind of way. Which has made me feel unkind, so i’ve drafted all my whinges as uncharitable and unpostworthy.

    And it boils down to this:

    They won’t look me in the eye, greet me, answer my son when he tries to talk to them ( who hero-worships older boys like these, being what – 9 and 12 ? ), and they won’t say please or thankyou when I either let them in my yard to collect their footballs, or chuck them back over myself.

    So today, they sent over one of their little friends.

    They do this a lot, and i’m not sure if it’s because their friends can’t kick, or if the friend has to be the patsy to knock on my door.

    So I answered it, looking a bit like this:

    And so I just said ‘yeah, i’ll kick it back’, but didn’t look so impressed to be hauling my arse out to the backyard.
    I was planning on a lecture on manners, but I couldn’t do that to the patsy, my beef isn’t with him.

    And I kicked it over.
    To hear a chorus of “thankyou” ‘s.

    So now I feel like a real shit.


    Stomper Girl said...

    Maybe they send the kid who kicked the ball over, as in it's your fault, you go get it

    I hate hate hate when kids have no manners which is why I'm really vigilant about my own kids' manners!! And it's awful that they don't greet your boy back. Have you tried greeting them really emphatically in front of their parents so that they get the manners nudge from mumndad?

    h&b said...

    Mum has admonished them before: "Aww c'mon guys, be nice and say hello to MC"

    It's really weird.
    The parents are so lovely and well-mannered. You just get the impression you are 'below' the kids, if that makes sense .. 'not good enough'.


    VictoriaE said...

    Remember you're allowed to be as grumpy as you want when you're pregnant.

    Sheeps Clothing said...

    We have the neighbours from hell.
    Teenagers childen, oblivious parents, skateboard ramp, floodlights, someone who buys beer for them. You get the general picture...

    Aunty Evil said...

    Next time the ball comes over, stick a toothpick in the valve and then snap it off right into the hole so they don't notice it until the ball is flat and they try to pump it back up.

    You may be starting to get the picture why I am called Aunty Evil. :)

    But seriously, you need to covertly revenge your son's honour!

    meggie said...

    I have the feeling it is not intended rudeness. We have friends with a 12 yr old, who is exactly like that. Avoids eye contact, & never speaks unless prodded. It might be a phase. An annoying piss offing phase. We would never have tolerated it in our kids. In fact we were once told we had the best mannered kids the people had ever met. My now-adult son curses me for making him so polite- he reckons he cant rip off at people even when he wants to!
    Er, sorry. Hope you get your lemons!

    Fairlie said...

    See that's the thing about that age-group...just when you make a statement about them (e.g 'They have no manners') they'll go and contradict you (chorus of thankyous). It makes it very tricky to win the high moral ground.

    Joke said...


    You got a Thank You chorus and you feel like...shit?

    Is it my Y chromosome or am I missing something?


    bluemountainsmary said...

    I think , Mrs Lonely Old Lady with Cats and pregnant as well - that unfortunately kids that age are pretty putrid. However in my own house whilst I tolerate a certain amount of pre adolescent putridness I cannot tolerate bad manners when we are out and about - hope things are on the up and up ..

    tracey petersen said...

    I can't abide a brat. One thank you does not an angel make!

    The Mediocre Gatsby said...

    Maybe the kids are smarter than you think. It could be that they saw that you were pregnant and decided not to upset you anymore. Maybe even after you have the baby, you should pretend you are pregnant just to intimidate them.

    After all, dumb kids don't know that pregnancy only last 9 months. You could keep this up for a couple years...

    velcro said...

    don't get me started about the kids I live next door to...

    muser said...

    I always feel sad when the big kids ignore the little kid who just wants to say hello.

    On a tangent... we actually had a crazy cat lady living up the road. She was in a rental with some 70 cats living in the house and the shed - in a rural area, mind you. She'd often call me asking if i'd seen any of her missing/escaped kitties. She was ousted by the real estate when presented with evidence of her feline craziness.

    dancingmorganmouse said...

    Those kids, they'll be fine and human about 30 I'm guessing.

    nutmeg said...

    I was scrolling down waiting to read Tracey's comment. She did not disappoint! Manners are very important - it costs so little and I am not in favour of parents tolerating it in their children or having half-arsed attempts at correction.

    The diva is very introverted and can be like this but I tend to take her aside before we are in situations where a hello and thankyou are required and talk to her about it then (so, a lot!). Mostly it avoids me having to extract a miserly response from her and making her embarassed in front of others. But I feel introversion is not an excuse - it just needs to be handled delicately.

    posiepatchwork said...

    Oh hello, i've seen you comment on other blogs & FINALLY decided to hunt you down. Aren't you fun!! You wouldn't like Darwin, i'm afraid we have cyclone fencing between houses, think tennis court wire, as wooden fences with privacy just act like daggers in a cyclone!! So i can see what my neighbours 3 houses up are hanging out on the line. Lovely!! Not only that, we're an Army family, living on a military base, which is a free for all come garden play time. We have the most children (4) & the best garden, with 2 trampolines, friendly dog, so we usually score up to say 10-14 extras. I'm 32 & have no hesitation to refuse any muddy barefooted child entry to the home, gate, nature strip, or street, as i insist to my lovely street neighbours, children from outside are street aren't so nice. Did i mention we live in a cul-de-sac too?? It's a proper bottle neck into our gates. I just don't get how 5y.o. end up in my garden with their bike, when i don't even know their parents??!! I don't let them shout either, i mean, i run 2 businesses from home, plus we live on an airport (christ, what a life hey, it's worth the sunshine & 30C minimum during Winter though). I guess our advantage is also, we don't own our house, the Defence Force does & we up & leave every 2-3 years, so bad neighbours aren't permanent. I wonder if the balls that get tossed over could magically deflate?? Go the spinster with cats look, have you seen Monster House?? That scared my husband!! Love Posie

    Elizabeth said...

    I find a lot of parents don't teach their children HOW to talk to adults and they try to avoid any interaction with them. Like wise, they probably don't realise how they look to your son, they just perceive their superiotiry to him because of age. I wouldn't be above pointing it out to them.
    One of the hardest lessons I learned as a parent was that I could really like some people but couldn't abide their children or their parenting. Makes life interesting. ( Hold out for the lemons!)

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