In a nutshell, I seriously contimplated listing my house last night I was so angry. I got home from work, relieved the baby sitter and nursed the baby to sleep. As per the norm, the neighbor's 10 year old rang the bell as soon as the baby was sleeping - something I have told him repeatedly not to do. Baby is awake and crying, and I have this kid at my door step telling me my son is throwing gravel from the driveway. I passed the baby off and went outside to deal with it. I called my son over from his friend's house 2 doors down, who told me that his friend was doing it, too. The neighbor's kid said no, it was just my son that was throwing the gravel.
Meanwhile, my neighbor stumbles out of her house drunk. She is on partial disability for back injuries (but is able to shoot a crossbow in the back yard on a regular basis which is scary enough, I really don't know...) so she has told me she is on oxycodone, I believe it's called? Because of the drinking and the drug use, I tend to avoid her because she's just an angry, screamy person on the best of days. So she stumbles out of her house and says that I need to deal with my kid. I told her that I was dealing with him, and he would be disciplined, and that it must be something in the air this week because all of the boys have been making poor decisions - her boys had been kicking soccer balls at the lights in front of my house, breaking 3 of them. She inturrupted me and said: "Oh, you're going to be a C*** about your stupid lights? Your kid was throwing rocks. That's a big deal. I don't care if my kids are kicking their ball around. How DARE you tell them they can't play in the front yard." I tried to explain that I had said no such thing, I had simply asked them to be careful with the ball, or find somewhere else to kick it around, and she started screaming at me about how I think my kids can do no wrong, her kids are always getting yelled at and they are just being boys (over the course of the summer, they have destroyed quite a few things in my yard including a storage bench, the play structure, my son's soccer nets, part of our trampoline.... - I have not once yelled at them, but have told them that if they are going to be destructive, they can't play with those toys. I have not talked to the mom about it because, frankly, she scares the heck out of me.)
I called my son inside because I was just so upset about how she was talking to me. I felt totally attacked and vulnerable and on edge, and much to my shame, I reacted in anger and spanked my son. I felt so bad about it afterwards. I also grounded him from his best friend for the remainder of the summer (they go back to school in a couple of weeks) because they are just boneheads when they are together, and keep doing stupid things like this. I also sent my son over with money from his own bank account to offer to pay for paint for their door (they had hit the door with gravel, I guess, which was the issue. There was no mark, but I felt that he needed to have some sort of natural consequence ie: it costs money to fix things that you wreck). She told him that she didn't want "his mom's F***ing money" and sent him home. He went to his room and cried until he fell asleep. =(
So....moving forward.... I just don't know what to do. Obviously my son was in the wrong for throwing gravel. I was in the wrong for reacting in anger and spanking him. The neighbor was in the wrong for cursing at me in front of my kids (my 9 year old is now saying "Mommy, I'm so mad she called you a c***", a word she should certainly not even know!!) and I'm just beyond frustrated with her boys, who have zero consequences for their actions, but are the first to run and tattle the moment my son or his friend do anything wrong.
I went and spoke to the parents of my son's best friend to let them know that my DS isn't allowed to play with him for the next 2 weeks, and they said that the neighbor's kids had gone over and told them that it was THEIR son throwing gravel, and mine wasn't involved. So obviously there's more to the story there.
And now I feel like we are all prisoners in our own house. I'm scared to go outside because she's always out there drinking on her back porch and shooting her crossbow. I'm scared to let the kids outside because she obviously hates their guts (and is drunk with a crossbow, to boot!) I'm scared to talk to her because - again, she has a wine glass in her hand 100% of the time that I see her, and I really don't think we can have a rational discussion about this while she's sloshed. I'm just so sad about this. =( I'm at work and can't stop thinking about my DS and how bad I feel for spanking him, and how sad he must be at home, trapped inside for the day. This just really sucks and I don't know how to proceed.