Thursday, August 25, 2005

Neighbors...Gotta Love 'em (or do we???)

A new family moved on to the block this summer and I'm having a difficult time warming to the parents. They have two kids, one of whom is autistic (we rarely see him), the other is a little girl probably 7 or 8 years old. The girl has been over to play with Sam before and seems nice.

The family is a little 'different' than most on our quiet little street in that they're not exactly quiet. I was working in my yard a couple of weeks ago and I could hear the wife lay into the hubby. She was in their front yard yelling at him that it didn't "take (expletive) 45 minutes to go to the (expletive) store, you (expletive expletive)!" I live two houses away and I knew she had to realize that Dear Hubby and I were outside and could hear every word. Heck, people six blocks away could hear every word. Thank goodness none of the neighborhood kids were outside or I would've had to say something. In retrospect, I probably should have.

School started last week so we're seeing the parents at the bus stop in the morning. There's usually six adults out there with the kids. The potty mouth lady started hinting that she's starting a new job soon and will have to leave for work a little before the bus comes but that she figures "there are enough adults around that someone should be able to watch (daughter) get on the bus?" The husband doesn't work, but he has to drive the son to a special school and doesn't always make it back home in time for daughter's bus.

Another mom and I pretended to not to hear her, but this morning Mrs. Potty Mouth flat out asked me if she could send her daughter down to our house on certain mornings so that her daughter could walk to the bus stop with Sam and me. I asked what time she had in mind, and it seemed to be only 15-20 minutes before we leave the house anyway so I said okay.

I'm kicking myself for being a doormat, but I really do feel badly for the daughter. I'm sure that since the mom doesn't care if neighbors hear her cursing and yelling at the dad, she's probably doesn't tone it down in front of the kids.

Here's the other thing, though. This couple already has a reputation of taking advantage of the neighbors. For example, daughter was at another child's house playing and her dad asked if friends parents could keep an eye on her while he ran to the store "for half an hour." Sure, no problem. Until two hours passed and the dad still hadn't returned. Once they even left the house to run an errand without even telling the other parents they were leaving. It came time for the other family to eat dinner so they tried to send the little girl home, but she said she couldn't go because "no one was home." Sure enough, there wasn't. (At that point, I would've considered calling the authorities.)

Oy vey! What am I getting myself into?


Sugar said...

Sounds like an experience I had a few years ago. We moved to this n'borhood and our n'bors next to us were really gracious. Very gracious. The parents were really young.. the mom was a stay at home parent while DH traveled for business. Every time my DD (who was a year or two older than their oldest) had a friend over, n'bor would send over her youngsters with food. I hated feeling like a grouch about it. Turned out the mom was always overwhelmed what with 3 kids between the ages of 4 and 1 at that time.

Elle*Bee said...

That's kind of how I feel. I'm trying to keep an open mind b/c I know they have a son w/ special needs - that in itself is a challenge - and the husband is unable to work b/c of a disability. I want to be a 'good neighbor,' esp. to the little girl who's stuck in the middle of it all - but I don't want to become a doormat. When it comes to confrontation, I tend to run the extremes: I either end up avoiding it OR I'm a *little* too good at it, if you know what I mean. ;-)

Elle*Bee said...

I understand your point, Sugar, it's just that I don't think these folks would bother to send the food, y'know? I know I'm being petty, but I'm trying to draw the line between being Christian-like and push-over...