Since 2012 started, I've been doing what most people have been doing: working out more than usual, being more responsible about getting tasks done right now, planning [better] meals ahead of time, and so forth. At some point, things will likely back up (although I'm trying to think positively, I need to be realistic!) but I hope that with each little "push" I can keep on top of things, at least mostly.
But the one thing I don't want to be on top of are the kids across the street.
Ordinarily I wouldn't complain about the folks living around me in the name of neighborly love - and, after all, my kids have their own quirks - but sometimes things get a little wacky.
For example, there is a family down the street that believes in community property. As in, it is totally OK to come into our backyard to take toys, especially if nobody is there. One of the boys even tried to walk into the house. When he found the door locked (suprise!) he pounded on it, then shoved past me when I opened the door to inquire what was going on. (I'm glad he didn't beak a window.) Thankfully, after some super-polite correction time and time again, these kids finally got the drift, and no longer impede upon our lives.
But, I fear a different set of kids may be the death of me.
A few months ago, I noticed a rather dangerous game: the two boys across the street would jump up on a dirt pile at the exact same moment that their uncle would brake his car in front of it. I nearly had a heart-attack watching this, but their relatives didn't seem to think it was a big deal. They appeared amused.
At that time, I told my kids never, ever, ever to do what they were doing. Over and over again I emphasized how cars are dangerous. How the dirt could give way so the kids slip into the still-braking car. How the car could move a bit too far into the dirt, hitting them. How it was a mistake to be comfortable so close to live cars.
Yesterday I drove up our street. As always, I go pretty slowly. There are a lot of kids, and I've definitely had a few pop up in front of me before.
The two across-the-street boys were going straight down the middle of our street on their skateboards. Other kids in the same situation jump off their boards and go to the side of the street when they see me.
Not these boys. They kept going straight for my car.
I stopped completely (of course!)
They rolled completely up to my car. One brother went slightly off to the side, but the other lay down in front of my left tire.
I repeat, since it is so unbelievable: He laid down in front of my left tire.
I couldn't see him anymore. Had I turned to my son in the backseat to tell him something, or otherwise diverted my attention for a moment, I could have assumed that since I didn't see the kids in front of me, that they must have moved over to the side to let me pass. I'm glad I kept my eye on them to know that one disappeared in front of me.
Finally he moved over a tiny bit. And then a little bit more. Finally I had enough room so I could dodge both boys, but they appeared completely oblivious to me.
As they skateboarded back to their house, it took me yelling their names several times before they finally gave me their attention, only to shrug and roll their eyes when I admonished them for their dangerous behavior.
I'm glad I'm not in jail right now for running over a neighbor; but if this type of behavior continues, I fear I may not be so lucky next time. And of course I fear my own boys' safety given that they enjoy playing with these other boys. I don't want them to have friends who have a lack of survival instinct.