Friday, May 30, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
We really had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. The weather was basically perfect - warm, not-too-hot, bright sunshine, no rain. We had an early playdate on Saturday with the neighbors who live behind us. They have an almost-5-year-old daughter, and an almost-3-year-old son, and a 10-week old daughter. The kids are adorable, and the parents are super nice. Really super nice. Like, Ned Flanders nice. They brought sticky buns and used the phrase "yummers" when I said we had bagels and lox.
On Sunday we had a BBQ over here because my cousin Rachel was in town with her boyfriend, who none of us had met before. Her Mom came down from CT, and my parents came over, of course, too. I made yummy chicken wings and cedar-planked salmon, which everyone seemed to really enjoy. Actually, I really want more of those wings right now. Yum. The boyfriend is really a great guy and very personable. I hope they get married. The girls loved everyone and everything, doing all their "tricks" including a new one - blowing off their afternoon nap completely. Ack! Bedtime was early that night, but their sleep was very interrupted and today's nap was shortened, too. I hope the fallout does not continue tomorrow.
Today we laid low at home, other than lunch at the diner and a trip to the Home Despot. While the girls napped, I weeded my garden, put up a new little edging fence around it (the reason we went to the Despot in the first place), and planted tomatoes and peppers. I wasn't really sure I was going to do a garden this year, but my Dad (who starts his own veggie seeds) had a bunch of extra plants and offered them to me. I accepted, thus forcing the issue. I'm so glad I did. There's not much yummier (yummers-ier?) than fresh ripe tomatoes in the summer.
The only dim spot in the weekend was a situation with my next-door neighbor. She is a very nice, maybe not-so-bright single mother of a very bright, very manipulative, but also very personable almost-7-year-old who I'll call Jenny. We don't have fences in our neighborhood, and since we moved here 3 years ago, Jenny has always come across to our backyard and we've played with her. Ryan more so than me. As she's gotten older, her mom has given her a lot more freedom, and basically just lets her come outside and pretty much counts on me letting her play in our yard, and keeping an eye on her. Most of the time she doesn't even come out herself until it's time to call Jenny in for dinner.
I find this pretty frustrating. I have 2 kids to take care of already, and the thing is Jenny doesn't want to play with the girls. She spends a couple of minutes pushing them on the swing or whatever, but for the most part she wants me to play with her. I know she's very high-energy and her mom runs out of steam, but it's not really fair to constantly pawn her off on us. But then, I have never sent her home (successfully, at least) and when her mom has said "I hope Jenny's not bothering you" I've never said "Well yeah, she kinda is..." because who can say that without coming off as a bitch?
So on Saturday when everyone was here, Jenny saw us outside and came right over. Her mom said "Jenny, stay away from the kids - you have a fever."
OK, what? Your kid has a fever and you let her come over here to play with just a lame warning? I know I should've said something right there and sent her home, but I felt so uncomfortable with the confrontation, and I assumed that her Mom would come back out in 15-20 minutes or so and say come on home, you're sick, or something. She never did, and Jenny was at our house for the whole afternoon. Ryan told her she needed to go once, and my Mom told her twice. But she just lingered. Short of taking her by the arm and walking her home, there was no getting rid of her. I actually don't even know how she ended up out of here at the end of the day - she just eventually disappeared, as far as I know.
This afternoon, she showed up again. Her Mom came after her to remind her not to get too close to the girls because she's still sick. I looked at her Mom and said, pretty sarcastically, "Well, she was here all day yesterday..." and she smiles brightly and says "And the girls are OK?" At that point I was so pissed-off that I just said "That wasn't exactly my point. She was sick, she was here all day, and she was asked to leave several times." (I'm pretty sure Jenny wasn't paying attention to this conversation, but not certain) Her mom looked at me and said "Oh. That wasn't what I was told." and I said well, that's what happened, and she said "Well we're going to have to have a talk about that," looked towards Jenny, told her they had to go, walked away without saying goodbye and went in the house.
Ryan thinks I was absolutely in the right, but not very diplomatic, and now thinks that Jenny's Mom is pissed-off. I interpreted what she said as embarrassment - partly at her kid's behavior, and partly at her own negligence. Either way, I'm glad I said something, and this was really my only opportunity to do so, but I don't know where to proceed from here. I don't want her never to come over, but I can't be responsible for someone's high-needs kid (who isn't even really a playmate to my kids) for hours at a time, and even more so when I am having a family gathering, not to mention I don't want a sick kid hanging out with my kids for hours on end.
I wish we'd had the stupid confrontation yesterday, so it wasn't the last thing lingering from the weekend.