Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Get Off My Lawn!!!!

How did my house become the hot spot for all the neighborhood kids? My kid is not even three yet but they all flock here--playing in my yard and relying on me to bring out toys for them to play with and snacks for them to munch on. Perhaps I should never have fed them to begin with, but they all look so needy with their dirty knees and unruly hair.

The main reason such mayhem has been bestowed upon me is probably that my yard extends to a large empty lot on the corner of the street. The lot is situated as such that it is visible from the front porch of practically every house in the neighborhood, so it acts as a magnet when the parents send their children out to play. Observe:




See how all the those houses up on the hill are just peering down at my lot with lust?


Before I had my kid, it was a real pain in the butt since we didn't spend a lot of time outside and I don't really think that my neighbors understood that the lot was technically my yard. Thus, people would come from all around to start games of baseball and soccer right outside my window. One month, we had a couple of 300 lb.+ non-English-speaking men coming over every single day--without so much as a cursory knock on the door, I might add--to play some sort of game where they threw sharpened sticks into the ground. My dogs barked incessantly at them until I finally got up the courage to tell these guys that, actually, this is my yard and I would appreciate it if they would take their game elsewhere. They were surprisingly nice about leaving.

I've spent many an afternoon and evening doing my best Mr. Nebbercracker impression ("Get OFF my LAWN!!!!"), shouting through my window screen for the kids to go away. Yep, I was the grumpy neighborhood lady for a time. It's not like I even have a manicured lawn--I just didn't want them outside of my window. Like I said, the dogs barked. Loudly. Until the kids left.

Since the kid has come into the picture, I've mellowed out considerably--he's gotta have friends, after all. I've even come to hope that the neighborhood kids are in my yard when we come home from an outing, because then my kid will have someone to play with. For the most part, they are pretty well-behaved and fun to be around.

I took my laptop outside today and recorded a little video to show how incredibly popular my house has become. Please excuse the way I look--I have a cold and the sun was shining very brightly in my eyes.

video

I have no idea who that teenager with the baby is. Today is the first time I've seen her, but I gave them a toy we were going to give to Goodwill so, saved me a trip!

Also given away today: 7 bags of fruit snacks, 6 cups of water, 8 packs of smarties, and one Toy Story DVD. At least they're helping to de-clutter my house!

The best part about knowing all these children is that now I don't feel as bad when I yell at them to get away from my house. Fruit snacks are a valuable currency for kids--they'll so almost anything for a fruit snack. Kind of like Sea Lions with fish...or dogs with milk bones. Too bad I didn't learn this lesson a few years ago--it sure would have been useful!
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