Ok, since this is a chat thread I think I need to vent! I feel like I can tell this story safely here because there is no way this kid's parents are on MDC.
You mamas with first or only small children have this to look forward to--the neighborhood child hospitality dance. My DD is going into second grade, and is much more sheltered than most of the kids on our street. It's a reasonably safe neighborhood as far as people but a very busy street traffic-wise, and we don't feel like she needs to "roam" yet; we keep her in our yard and (big) driveway and give her plenty of supervised time to ride her bike and scooter further from home. There is a girl who lives next door and is in and out of our house a lot, but we don't allow my DD to go to her house (long story, but you wouldn't either, and it works out fine for everyone because they'd prefer their kid be over here too. Whatever. Other story.) Anyway, this Saturday while my DD was out with my DH riding scooters she met a kid we'd never seen a few houses down and across the street. Evidently it is the grandparents' house but the kid and her dad (who has partial custody) have just moved in. So she and my DD played for a while and my DH visited with the adults, and then after a reasonable amount of time my people came home and told them they were glad to know a new friend on the street and all that. Then the next day, FIVE MINUTES after I get home from church and have not yet changed my clothes, the father and the little girl knock on my front door. She's here to play with my DD. I'm like, oh, ok, great, I heard she was glad to meet your daughter, she's upstairs changing, if your DD wants to go on around to the playground (our swingset is sort of in our side yard; you can see if from the front) I'll send my daughter our when she's changed. Then the dad is like "oh it's ok, she can come inside" and basically walks off and leaves me with this kid I have never met inside my house. So my DD comes down and they start to play. The kid seems well-behaved enough, although she can't talk very well. I'm no expert, but I'm thinking it's not just a speech issue; I think she must have a learning disability or something. Her vocab and ability to express herself, as well as her actual speech, is well below my lisping 3-year-old boy's speech. But fine; we're not snobs about that sort of thing, but then the things she does manage to say indicate that she doesn't really share our values. She tells a potty joke which my kids don't get, being homeschooled and tv-free (they don't know all the nicknames for poop, apparently, or that it's supposed to be funny), and she sort of lists for them the high-ticket items she or one of her parents' own, apparently trying to impress us. Ok, again, not really offensive, just not best-buddies stuff. But then my kids get hungry (they would normally have eaten as soon as we came home) and she's still here; it's been more than an hour. They come in to the kitchen to beg food. I'm like, "hey, neighbor kid, my kids haven't eaten. Have you already had your lunch? I can walk you back across the street to have your lunch." She says she hasn't eaten but she declines to be taken home. I'm like, well, my kids need to eat so they are going to eat now. If you don't want to go home you can sit with them at the table. Because I'm really, really not going to feed a kid I've never met and who just got dropped off at my house, right? She could be allergic to anything, and doesn't express herself well enough to tell me, and I've got the feeling she may not have the capacity to keep track of that sort of thing herself. So my kids eat and I offer her a glass of ice water, which she drinks. Finally, at 3:00, her father comes back over to get her and take her home to eat. They are out on the swingset at that point and she throws a fit and he has to carry her off crying (did I mention she's going into second grade?) and he's like "It's ok, you can come back right after you eat." WTF?!?!?! And so she does come back 20ish minutes later and I honestly think she'd have stayed until bedtime, but at 5:00 my DH and I decided we'd had enough (he works crazy hours and Sunday is his day to play with his kids) so we tell her we're all leaving to walk our dog and that we'll drop her off at her house on the way. She's like "ok, I'll see if I can come." But I'm like "our walk is just our family time. DD's had fun playing with you but now she'll see you NEXT weekend." So we take her home and when we return from our walk my DH and I both get this funny hankering to approach our house from the back, through the alley, not walking past their house again. Like "oh! how funny! me too! I've been thinking we should check out the alley!" So we sort of sneak back home and are doing our own family thing, but it doesn't take very long before there is a knock at the front door AGAIN and it's the dad trying to drop his kid back off! But this time I got more nerve and was like "DD has had a fun time playing with you today, but now she's doing other things. She can play again next weekend." So they left. But now today I'm scared to open my front door like I usually do during the day, because I don't want them to see it and take it as an invitation! She's probably not over there during the week, maybe? I have no idea. I'm hoping the kids don't ask to go outside and play. Why do people have no boundaries? I'm just a tired and cranky pregnant woman--I don't want to babysit the neighborhood!
Ok, thanks for letting me vent. Sometimes these things just need to be gotten off the chest so you can move on. ;)