Ding Dong

Ding Dong … Ding Dong … Ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong.

A couple new neighbors moved in, each with young girls.  These girls like to play with my daughter, who is in 4th grade, and they are 1st graders.  Interestingly, I’ve noticed these little girls playing unattended with no adult, or older sibling in sight.  Our little mini-cul-de-sac within our condo association sees very little traffic and strangers – so it’s probably the ‘safest’ you could possibly be… but only recently have I felt safe to let any of my kids play “unattended” and they are 10 and 12.  Because they do say it’s usually someone you know or neighbor that is the culprit in children’s disappearances, etc.

Okay, so I might be a little more wary than some other parents.   However, there were never any kids on our block to play (safety in numbers)  And, my son (who has a learning disorder) is without common sense.  Mostly he’s a regular 12-year-old, but is easily duped and we can just see a stranger.  “Hey, kid.  There’s this awesome roller coaster at the carnival down the street.  Want to come real quick and check it out?”

And because he’d really want to go on a rollercoaster, this is how he would respond…

“Well, I’m not supposed to ride with a stranger, but let me see real quick.  I think it will be okay just this once.  Wait…  Where’s the carnival.”

And then bad things happen to him…That would be our son and my husband agreed.  Our daughter, on the other hand, distrusts everyone. She doesn’t like strangers, but is so tiny someone could just toss her over their shoulder and leave.  In addition, I had some CRAZY stories from my youth that happened from the age of 7 to 11 years old when I was by myself.  So, I’m wise.  I know what’s out there.  I had a friend (10) in our  apartment complex that was murdered by the ice cream man. (that’s my daughter’s age)  She lived directly across from me.  Another gal (15) used to babysit my friend and I, was raped and murdered in the park.  We lived in a good area, but back then, many of us were often without parental supervision.  They called us “latch key” children.

With that said, I’ve never really let my kids hang out without one of us, or another parent watching.  Recently (as in this past weekend) I allowed the kids to get on their bikes and ride, in small jaunts, around our neighborhood.  Okay you can go here, and I’d map out a small street.  Okay, you graduated into the next level… you can now go here.  Once you demonstrate you can get back home without getting lost, you’ll advance to the next level.  But, you have to ride together.  Stick together.  Because I know they will tattle on each other.  “You’re not supposed to go inside… we’re not supposed to eat food from them”  … and they parent each other when crossing the street.

Back to the little girls… where are their parents?  I always see them by themselves for hours.  We have a lot of new neighbors, no one knows each other yet… And as soon as they see me drive up with the kids home from school, they both come running over, well, often it’s just 1 gal by herself.

Don’t you have homework?  My kids had homework in 1st grade…and even more now in 4th.  We tell them, my daughter will come out when she’s done with her homework.

About 20 minutes later, one will come to our door, DING DONG, DING DONG, ding-dong-dong.  Does your mommy know you are knocking on people’s doors?  No, why would she- she is never downstairs and I never see/hear her on the balcony checking up either.  I think you need to be careful knocking on stranger’s doors.  Should always have another person with you.  Safety in numbers.

After 2 weeks, I’ve now had to use my “mommy voice” with them – don’t ring our doorbell anymore, or only once (big eyes) so I softened it by saying “okay, sweetie?”

Today, not 20 minutes goes by that we got home and told the girls we had homework.  DING DONG, DING, DING, DING.

My son who has a difficult time focusing on homework, opens the door “stop ringing the door bell.  I’m trying to get my homework done!” 

I had to tell him to be nicer…but maybe that’s what it takes to make them stop.  And one of the girls has their little dog with them, that they are probably letting poop where ever and not picking up…

Where’s the parent?

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Ding Dong

  1. I came from a family of eleven kids and in our neighborhood, a family with so few kids were considered slackers. In the summer, at any given time there were three baseball games being played in the street and kids still had to sit on the bench. In fourth grade, I typically met my parents only for supper, the rest of that time, I and every other kid, ran free.

    Years later, when I worked for the Minneapolis Police Department, I compared the level of crime from my childhood in the 50’s to the 90’s. Crime had increased 40 fold in that time.

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    1. Well, I didn’t have the childhood you had. In my early childhood years (5 to 11 years old), my life was split between my mom and dad. My mom was an overly-tired single mom, trying to make It in the 70’s without any child support and holding a swing shift job. Also, she had a thyroid issue that she slept most of my childhood. The apartments we lived were okay, but I was left unattended (by myself) and there weren’t many kids- all hours. I saw things and am lucky to be alive today.

      Yes, I used to ride my bike about a mile to my friends house on a busy road. The thing that’s different now, damn cell phones and texting. Yes, supposed to have “hands free” devices, but talking and concentrating on phone call is still too distracting. I’ve personally known (3) kids that have been hit. One got a broken hip and in hospital for months. One had a concussion and had to stay over-night in hospital. Another died! It’s really hard for me to let the kids ride their bikes around the neighborhood. (and I say no to riding to school) People in Southern CA suck at driving as it is! Things are just different. In fact, in our own neighborhood, the main street that leads out into the city, a motorcycle guy was hit by a car and died! Right across from our condo someone wasn’t paying attention when they made a left. SMACK.

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  2. I was raised in a washington dc suburb during the 50’s…we were basically allowed to go anywhere within a two block radius. no privacy fences back in the day and our mom’s could see us n matter where we went. thirty kids all running around, aged 4 to 13, without any supervision (that we could see). my kids were raised in the country in the 70’s…….and were allowed to go anywhere within a mile….ten kids all around the same ages played together with no supervision. Until one small boy was kidnapped by a delivery man and raped and killed. Then NO kids were allowed anywhere without supervision. Now my grand children are all at “playing outside” age..and they go NOWHERE without permission of parents, a background check on the people they are going to go spend time with and prior discussion by all parents of the kids involved. I would be very concerned about two little ones coming out to play with no one watching out for them.

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    1. Yes, that was my point exactly. Had I not had some “personal” experience with crazy stuff back in the 70’s and 80’s… I would be a little more loosey-goosey. And a lot of the times, when you read about missing children… like the girl in San Diego a couple years back- it was the neighbor that went to her bedroom window (in middle of night) and took her in his motorhome and raped/killed her and dumped her body in some remote area.

      It really concerns me that I always see these two little girls (7?) either by themselves or together with no parent/older sibling in sight. (every day)

      I try not to be too crazy with rules, but there are only a couple of people I’ve allowed the kids to stay-the-night. It is just the way it is now. You always wonder about that weird uncle or older brother that are “off”

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