Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It takes a village

So, I'm all about it takes a village to raise a family. I love my friends and family, and am super willing to jump in and help out, and occasionally super willing to share the Booger with them, especially so I can sit and engage in an adult conversation that does not contain the words "poop" or "nap" or "toys", or my getting up to redirect a crazy curious daredevil toddler.

However, I question if a given person's village, should include a complete stranger who happens by their sidewalk. Mind you I don't even know whose village I was just whisking my son and his bike away from. Or where the person who is the chief of the village of 2 naughty little children was located while said children descended upon us like attention craving, yelling, pushing vultures as I desperately tried to extricate my son and his bike from their grasps.

Apparently the coolest bike ever!

Seriously! What in the world! Are you truly that busy with the rest of your life that you are completely oblivious for a matter of at least 7 or 8 minutes while your young children are outside, alone, in the ghetto? (reminder, we don't live in a particularly terrific neighborhood) Apparently these folks are okay with any random stranger, ahem, villager, stopping by and doing who knows what with their children. Not so much how I run my village.

The Booger and I were toddling quietly by when two little girls appeared from nowhere off of a porch and proceeded to mount my son's bike and push every button. For a few minutes, he was interested in checking out their things and it was a pretty fair exchange. With his toddler attention span, this happy exchanged turned sour quickly as soon as he realized his bike had been commandeered. However the younger girl was very interested in a toy that was complete and worked as it should (which does break my heart- very lucky for what we have).

All the while the girls yell at and hit each other, and one tattles to me that the other hit her. And I'm pretty sure how I handle a hitting child and how the adults in their home are quite different. So I advise her she should let her mom or whomever is watching her know. Thinking, "hey, this'll help, another adult will come handle them and I can get outta here! " No such luck. More time passes and the Booger is now less than pleased that he is neither walking nor riding his bike.

I pull out the polite, friendly, most-kids-this-age would-get-the-hint "We are going to finish our walk now, maybe we'll see you later". Which was promptly greeted with beeps and sirens from my son's bike.

That was still being held hostage.

I wait what seemed an appropriate amount of time and repeat my attempt at politeness. After several minutes of this, and some firmer words from me I manage to rescue the bike, pick up my son, and reunite them several feet down the sidewalk.

Only to be followed and surrounded again. One of the girls insisted on talking to me and running into my legs with her bike, while the other proceeded to push buttons on the Booger's bike.

While he was sitting on it. Yep. My space even felt invaded.

Somehow we managed to extricate ourselves again with some firm words-- including "you're pushing and hitting, we're leaving because we don't play with people who push and hit". Now I have an angry Booger under one arm, the bike in the other hand and am going back to our house.
And I'm still being followed!
Around the corner.
No longer in sight of their house.

By golly, you can believe I didn't want them to follow us all the way home. I'm pretty confident they would let themselves into my house and into the Booger's toys, and never leave. So I choose to stop moving toward my safe, one child home, and start pulling out some reasons why they need to go home.
"I'm worried you are going to get in trouble, you are too far from home. You might not get to play outside anymore".
"We are going to eat dinner and are all done playing".
"You need to go home, now".
Finally, someone from the little girls' village got a clue, and proceeded to yell obscenities, that effectively summoned the girls' to return home. Guess I should've tried that.

I have no plans to turn left at the corner ever again. No need to re visit that village.

1 comment:

Barbara Manatee said...

eeks!! hope the parent was at least yelling at the girls, not you...although maybe if they'd been watching them in the first place, yelling may not have been needed.

Love those encounters. We obviously don't have a 'neighborhood' to have something like that happen, but have has similar instances at play grounds, etc.

Poor Booger...