17 April 2012

the mean lady on the block

A new family moved onto our street several months ago.  This family has several small children.  Children who are left basically unattended and outside most afternoons.  These children leave their bikes and toys scattered all over our street, just waiting for the day when we accidentally run it over with our car.  This makes Dan crazy.

They also like to pound on my door demanding that I let "the little boy" who lives in my house come out to play at all hours of the day.  This makes me crazy.

The few times that I have let Mabes go out to play with them, they take her toys and play with them and basically ignore her.  Figuring she needed to learn to work things out I tried my best to stay out of it.  Once I pulled one of the older boys on the street to the side and told him he needed to set an example and be nicer.  I pointed out that Mabes is only four and thinks that everyone is her best friend and doesn't understand the concept of being used.  Things improved slightly after that talk.

That is until last Wednesday.

Two of the children from up the street came down and started making their usual demands about playing with Mabes.  Since I was already planning on spending the afternoon outside working on a project in the driveway and could keep an eye on her I agreed to let her play if she wanted to.  She took her new hoop-a-loop (as she calls hula hoops) and plastic golf clubs and set out to play.

Rather than get into all the little details let's fast forward a bit.  Just imagine that in the span of about 30 minutes there was some yelling, some dropping of toys down a sewage grate, disrespect towards an adult (me) and child-to-child threats made.

All of that lead to my little girl hysterically crying in the living room.  Snot pouring out of her nose.  Heart totally broken.  All because the kid up the street woke up that day and put his bully pants on.

Let me tell you it is hard for this Mama not to put on her own bully pants and really make those children regret that they messed with my girlie.  Sadly, being a grown up doesn't allow for such behavior.  Just as sad is the fact that I haven't been able to sit down and talk to their mother about the behavior (and language) of her children; another story for another day.

For now I suppose I will have to settle with getting myself a bike with a basket and a silly hat so I can happily to ride up and down the street humming the wicked witch theme song just to solidify the notion that you don't mess with me or my kiddo in the minds of the other children on the street.

Have any of you had to deal with a bully?  What did you do?  Where do you draw the line between letting them work it out for themselves and stepping in?

2 comments:

  1. this sounds like a family on our street, although i obviously haven't had to deal first-hand with them bullying my little one (yet) - I have seen it toward another sweet little boy (much younger) in the neighborhood. the children are often outside in the road, i've had them literally dart in front of my car before. another time one was sitting on his tricycle at the end of my driveway and i just happened to glance out of the window instead of using my rear-view. it's so frustrating and i imagine even more so when it's your baby that they're picking on!

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  2. From the stories you've told me, it sounds an awful lot like neglect. And that, my friend, is not okay. I might try leaving a polite letter to the lady detailing her children's behavior and how it's impacting the neighborhood. Then if she still chooses to ignore her kids, step it up.

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