Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Knock Knock, Go Away!

I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t like other people’s kids. I have never been a kid person. Luckily, I fell in love with my own children the moment I saw them. When it comes to other people’s kids, however . . . . they bug me.

There is one child in particular that I occasionally wish I could smack. Or maybe I just want to smack his parents. Tell me what you would do in this situation.

There is a boy in the neighborhood who is the same age as my son, and they often play together. That is great, but I don’t need the kid at my house every day. I learned early on that this was going to be an issue. I stay at home with my kids, and Neighbor Boy’s (NB) mom works. They get home around 4:00, and the second they get home, here he comes.

This gets incredibly frustrating for several reasons. If I do let this kid come in and play, he tends to stay for hours. Plus his mom has called when he is over here before to say she is leaving to run errands. Once, she even left him here playing so she could go have dinner with a friend.

Okay, I’m the stay-at-home mom who needs a break. She hasn’t seen her kid all day. Yet she dumps him here whenever she gets the chance.

I have begun making sure the front door and screen door are locked every day because if it’s not, NB will just walk in. I usually put Georgia down for a nap around 2:30, so she is still asleep at 4:00 when NB comes over and tries to get in.

That’s right! He doesn’t knock. He tries to get in my house. I can hear him banging on the door handle trying to get it open. Only when he realizes it’s locked does he start knocking. Make that pounding on the door. Loudly. While my daughter is asleep.

Now, what would you do? Because this happens a lot even though I have told this kid's mother when Georgia naps in the afternoon. Either I can ignore it until NB goes away. That’s what I did today only to have him go in his back yard and start screaming at the top of his lungs, “ELI! COME OUT HERE!” (Eli, by the way, was taking a rare nap and apparently didn’t hear the door.) Or, I could answer the door, which I’ve done only to have NB argue with me when I tell him Eli can’t play, or just try to walk in my house anyway to look for Eli, or peer around me and start yelling for Eli.

Do you see what I mean when I say I want to smack this kid?

So, what should I do? You know I’m not shy when it comes to ripping someone a new one, but I don’t want to create bad blood with a neighbor. How do I handle this situation tactfully?


Donna said...

Well, I'm known for being blunt. I'd tell the boy he can't come in and play unless I invite him; if he entered without knocking, I'd escort him right back out. I'd also tell his mom I'm not a babysitter, and to take her kid with her if she's going someplace.

LadyBugCrossing said...

I'd follow Donna's advice with one addition. When you march him back out the door, march him home and hand him to his mother. Explain that it is rude and against the law to simply walk into someone else's house.
I would also call the mom and tell her that her kid cannot come over every day after they get home. I would tell her that you will call when it is a good day.

Lindsay said...

I have to agree with the previous posters. You need to put your bluntness to good use and explain EXACTLY what you have a problem with. Otherwise 10 years are going to pass and you're going to really go off on NB someday, and we don't want that for you.

I can't believe the nerve that kid has. He deserves a good butt whippin' if anyone ever did.

Sadie said...

Wow. I think it's the mother that needs a butt whippin. She's totally getting free babysitting.

I agree that you have to put a stop to it sooner rather than later, or else the kid will be 16 years old and causing a MAJOR problem with Eli.

I agree that you should tell him he can't come in without being invited. And that he has to knock. And if he comes in without knocking take him back to the door and (if you're okay with him playing that day) make him knock and wait for you to answer the door before he can come in.

I agree that you could take him back to his mother and tell her that it's just not a good day to play and that maybe next week or some other future date. If he comes back the very next day you'll know you have a problem with the mother.

Also, if he's over and she calls and says she's headed out you could say that actually YOU were about to send him home because you have plans for the evening. That's vague enough that you don't have to worry that she'll see you didn't leave the house because you didn't tell her what the plans are.

But I also don't have kids and I don't care that much about my neighbors, so take my thoughts for what their worth.

Sadie said...

Ooh, also, if she calls and says she's leaving you could tell her that'll be fine, you charge $15 hour for babysitting. :)

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

You are being used to the max. Free babysitting is what is happening. I know you want to keep the peace with the neighbor, but she's a clod. You need to tell her you are not babysitting her kid while she runs all over creation doing errands and going out to dinner.

What's the going rate for babysitting? Tell her from now on she will be charged. Okay, the kid sounds like a clod too, but he only has his mother as an example. What a horrible position she has put you in. You aren't at fault she is. I call these type of people CLODS and USERS! :)

Thea said...

Yep, you definitely need to set some boundaries with this one. You're never going to get anywhere with the kid so maybe you could invite the Mom over for coffee while the kids are playing and talk about what the issues are. Give her the benefit of the doubt -- ignorant, yes. Idiot, maybe not. Just explain about Georgia's nap and that NB can't come over until whatever time...and that it can't be everyday.

As far as running errands or going out to dinner...ask her when she is available to watch the kids so that you can do the same.

Anonymous said...

I would have my kid over there at 4pm sharp to hang at his house.Then I would call 15 min later saying you and hubby are going out to dinner and will be back before bedtime.That should take care of it and give her a huge hint.If you dont want to do that then take the other posters advice.I would keep my door locked and or march her kid back to her and say it is not a good time for company.What a rude lady ,she is totally using you and taking advantage.Put a stop to it now or it will NEVER end.

Justin said...

I feel so sorry for that little boy. He may come over so often because you give him attention ... which he may lack from his own parents.

Now does that mean you need to be his surrogate mother? Absolutely not! However, I bet you are finding this situation hard because you are a good and caring mom and the thought of just abandoning this little child is different to you than abandoning a popped tire at the side of the road.

All the more reason to be firm with this little boy's parents. They need to be good parents like you are and give him attention.

kristi said...

I have dealt with this too. Especially when we got our trampoline. Our neighbor kids would bring their big dogs over and I put a stop to that really quick!