Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Suburban Nightmare

Note:  Rant ahead, just so you are forewarned!

I currently live in a standard generic American suburb.  Not by choice.  I grew up on 160 acres of fields and trees in Maine.  There was also a farm house that was, shall we say, a handyman's dream.  Despite the difficulties of living in a circa 1840's farmhouse during the harsh Maine winters I loved our property.  There was plenty of room for the horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and kids.  I could get in a good trail ride and never leave our little slice of heaven.  

Fast forward through the next eleven years in which a teenage girl with big dreams and wanderlust heads west to go to college and seek her fortune.  Things take a a different turn than planned and she ends up married and following her husband around the various oil field hubs in this great nation of ours.  Enter suburbia.  

The first town we moved to after getting married was in the high desert of southwest Wyoming.  Trust me, the scenery is not what you think of when you picture Wyoming.  The town was surrounded by federal and railroad owned land.  There was very little privately owned land and what there was was out of our newlywed price range.  When we moved to Texas I had put my only horse down nine months before we left Wyoming and I was three months pregnant with my daughter.  I had convinced myself after having to put my mare down that I was taking a break from horses so we didn't even look for horse property when we relocated.  The horse bug came back (I really don't think it had ever left) while in Texas and when we planned this move to Colorado I swore we would be getting horse property.  I had purchased Rosie six months before and DID NOT want to board again.  As we began looking for our new home in the Denver area we found that nearly everything was out of our price range and what was in it was still at the high end.  My husband, whose degree is in Finance with a real estate concentration,  was also a mortgage lender before this oil field gig kept running the numbers and our choices were low end horse property with a huge mortgage or a house in a subdivision that would be nearly paid for.  With me kicking, screaming and crying the whole way we moved into suburbia.  Again.  In hind sight given what has happened with the economy since last August it was probably the smartest move, but don't tell him that I said that.

We ended up purchasing a new spec home and the backyard was not landscaped.  We decided to finally do things the way we wanted since we had a clean slate to work with.  We put in a deck and did some upgrades with the trees and concrete curbing and such.  We accomplished all this last fall just in time for cold weather to set in.  We waited all winter for warm weather to roll around and now that it has we have discovered that we have an annoying problem.  Sadly, we can't call the deck guy or the landscapers to fix this issue.  The problem we are having is with a little, blond five year old boy.  What could be the problem you say?  Well, let me enlighten you.  Everytime we set foot in our backyard and he is in his, he knows it.  Within two minutes (usually less but I am feeling generous) he either invites himself to our house or asks if my daughter can go over to his house.  Usually he invites himself to our house first.  The way everything is situated this boy has a toy he can climb on and see virtually everything in our backyard.  Our back door is on the side closest to his house.  Everytime we set foot in our backyard and he is in his, he knows it.  Tonight he had the audacity to ask "if he was invited to our house" with his father standing right there.  Now here is the part that really gets to me.  This is not the first time he has done this with his father right there and you know what his dad does?  Nothing.  He usually says something like what he said tonight "Probably not tonight, it's getting close to dinner time," to which my husband agreed even though we had eaten an hour prior.  If he was my kid I would have said "no, and you are being rude" and left it at that.  It's pretty obvious this kid runs the show.  So now it's pretty clear that not only am I going to have to keep my kid in check I am going to have to keep theirs in check too at least as far as coming over to my house goes.  It doesn't stop there.  If he can't get either mine or my husbands attention to ask if he can come over he tells my daughter to go ask one of us if he can come over.  Luckily she is still too young to know what he is talking about and never asks.  Wait, there is more.  Once it is established that he can't come over for whatever reason, if we are sitting on our deck which is probably a grand total of 25 feet from his play set that he stands on and rapid fires questions at us until we retreat inside.  We spent thousands of dollars getting this yard the way we wanted it and now we can't bear to be outside.  It is only May.  What am I going to do once school is out and he is home all day?  I think he goes to half day school of some sort, not sure if it is kindergarten or like a preschool something or other.  A few weeks ago when I had purchased some flowers and seeds for my daughter and I to plant, kind of a mother-daughter activity, he hollered at us over the fence for her to come talk to him the ENTIRE TIME.  Tonight I found myself encouraging my daughter to come inside on a gorgeous early summer evening and watch t.v. just to escape him.  Thumbs up on the parenting there.  

Now, I know your probably thinking "go talk to his parents."  If you actually knew me you would know how non confrontational I am.  I don't even like to call people on the phone, I prefer to do everything by e-mail if possible.  I don't know why I am like this, I just am.  I guess I just keep hoping his oblivious parents will take note of what he is doing and put a stop to it.  Here is to wishful thinking.  Oh, one more little factoid, when he comes over he brings his three year old sister with him.  Suddenly, I have three children running around instead of one.  I have realized something about myself since becoming a parent to a pre-schooler.  I really don't like other peoples children.  I don't dislike all of them, just most of them.  My friends kids I don't mind because we are all mostly of the same mindset and behavior such as this would not be accepted.  I used to work at an elementary school and the kids there had to listen to me.  Now, if I can't discipline them I don't want to be around them.  Why, oh why can't I be surrounded by acres of waving green pasture with my horses grazing peacefully as I sit on my (silent) deck and enjoy a glass of iced tea on a summer day?

Well, that is my rant for the evening.  I hope everyone else's outdoor activities are going better than mine are.  I also hope my neighbors aren't reading this.  Or maybe I hope they are....          


Zephyr's Mom said...

Wow, that truly sucks. Any chance your hubby would talk to them?

Rocky Mountain Yankee said...

He might, if it gets worse. He is better at that sort of stuff than I am.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I understand your frustration. I had a similar situation a few years ago; next door neighbor had 4 little kids plus she babysat. Kids constantly hanging over the fence and talking to me and throwing rocks in my yard. Very annoying. I don't know that there is much that can be done but hope they move. Or plant those fast growing trees along the property boundary. The boy sounds like he's lonely. His parents probably send him outside so they can get some peace and quiet. That's a tough situation. I'm sorry you can't enjoy your yard in peace. And I know what you mean about the burbs. I was so ready to get out when we moved a couple years ago. But we were the ones driving the neighbor crazy. My stepson broke 2 of his windows with baseballs. I'm sure he was very glad to see the moving van pull up to our house.

~*~Lysh~*~ said...

On one hand I say scream yell act like a lunatic....the parents will keep the kid away from the crazy lady next door ;) BUT at the same time, maybe it's a blessing disguised as a little monster .... maybe it wouldn't be so bad if he came to play with L every once in a while....he might tire quickly of playing with a little girl (or girls if he brings his sister lol).....you know I don't like most kids, so my first reaction is the scream/act like a lunatic LOL I have it down to a science - want me to come scare them away? :)