Archive for the ‘neighbours’ Category

Yes neighbours I am the crazy woman yelling at my kids.

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

I just a read a post from someone else’s beautiful blog about her daughters happily playing outside on their organic farm, and then the sun shined through the clouds. And then I threw up on myself a little bit.

You see even if I lived on an organic farm, my two boys would not inspire that kind of post.

Instead you get this one.

My wild child turned feral today. Completely. Out. Of. Control. Feral. Wild animal thrashing about, screaming like his leg had been chopped off, punching into his brother, throwing stones at the new car, kick the dog, throw the train set kind of feral. And all because I said no.

I believe in boundaries. I believe in consequences. I believe in teaching kids limits. Well at least I did until I witnessed the complete maniac my four old turned into on a fairly ordinary Sunday afternoon. He was not allowed to go over the neighbours house. He had asked to go over this morning, and their Dad said no. So we told him he wasn’t allowed. Response, go anyway.

I don’t do defiant well. Ask any kid I’ve ever taught. I see red, quickly and fiercely. At the moment defiance is flavour of the behaviour month in our place. If he doesn’t want to do it, he doesn’t. Hence today. Complete meltdown. Eventually we got him in the car where he calmed down and channelled some kind of freak angel child for the next hour at the park. Lucky for him.

And then afternoon comes. My folks turn up. Rare occurance, but not enough of a novelty to save the humiliation for another time. Seems they aren’t special enough to turn on the charm for anymore. So this afternoon when he is told that his Dad’s rule of not playing at their house for the week, comes into effect, the meltdown is repeated. Of course by now, Dad is off surfing and I get to invoke my most common role as most un-fun parent. I say no. He goes over. I return him to our house. He loses it. He loses it so bad, I nearly cry, and every single strategy I have is completely disregarded. Put in his room= throws toys at the wall, put in time out in the drive way= throws stones at the new car, cuddle him = kicks me, put in the pram to go to the park = starts laying into his brother. And all the while, the neighbours are pulling back curtains and locking their doors everywhere. Especially the ones whose house he was trying to go to.

My parents are at a complete loss. He is mental. My dad even tells him off. Takes no notice. My Mum tries some nice calm primary teacher talk, too busy screaming to care. So all I have left is throw him in the car, still screaming, well by now, both of us are because I am embarrassed, furious and terrified of what is happening to my little boy. The guy across the road just stares at me as I drive past wondering what kind of psycho he lives across the road from. I fight back tears and take my new car for a spin round the block. (Don’t even ask me what colour it is, because I have no freaking idea.) It works. He stops, I calm down. And then we pull in the driveway and the kid next door is out the front again. I talk him through walking inside without being completely mental again.

To face the horrified faces of my parents. It is worse that they see him for the absolute worst behaviour he has ever displayed in his life? He is not the golden grand-child anyway, but now he might be lucky if he gets a christmas present. Or can they at least see his naughtiness and not just my whinging aside as overreactions. Maybe now the fancy cafe they’ve booked for Father’s Day next Sunday might not have as much pressure attached to it. My Mum, the primary school teacher, cannot think of one possible strategy that might work, instead just citing the most mental kid she teaches in Grade 2.

We get to the park. He is fine, good even. Me, well let’s just say thank god there is a bottle of white wine in the fridge.

And at least it was my parents, the in-laws don’t need any more ammunition.

Maybe this full time work caper isn’t such a bad option after all.

Well it’s no Ramsay St, but it’ll do

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Neighbours. I’ve always been a little bit sketchy on the topic. But just recently my son has fallen in love with the two kids next door. He adores them. They are a bit a older and have school, luckily or he would be over that fence calling out to them every day. No actually he does call out to them every day, but if they were home they might answer every day and be over here. It works really well. It’s not like the normal play date. ┬áTheir parents are not really my friends, he has chosen the kids. So we stay in our own homes and the kids play at one of them. I get a few things done whether they are here or there and he has a wonderful time.

It’s a rarity for me, to let him play with kids without hovering around him, checking he isn’t hitting them or smashing stuff. I am a bit of a helicopter parent, I’m not proud of it, but I would much rather prevent the fight than mend the consequences. I don’t care if he climbs fences or trees, or rides a bike down a hill, but when he is playing with other kids, especially at other peoples’ houses, I keep a close eye. Most of the time he is awesome and his vivid imagination and keen sense of humour means he has a ball playing with them. But it only takes one too many wrestles on the trampoline or one too many hits with a tennis racket for it too all come crashing down. So I talk to my friends, follow the crawler around and watch him out of the corner of my eye.

But when he is over at the neighbours, I can’t do this. I like it, but it’s weird. He’s only been allowed to stay for very short stints so far because they have been on their way out – or so they say, maybe this is their way of getting rid of ┬áhim early – but he’s there on his own nonetheless. I wonder how he does without me watching and reacting? I don’t expect too much impulse control of a child who is three and a half, and I know when the kids are here that he equally entertains them and annoys them. But they do that to each other as well and they are brother and sister.

I’m sure the novelty of the funny little boy coming over to play will wear off, and even the appeal of our trampoline will get tired, but for now they all enjoy it. For the time being, his calling out over the back fence gets answered, so it’s lovely that they can enjoy each others company at the end of the day when the activities are over and I’m trying to get some dinner ready. And generally he only cracks it when he has to come home, but then he’s my problem to deal with anyway.

And at least there is one screaming episode for the day that they do understand. The rest of them they can keep wondering what on earth is happening in this crazy house next door.

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