Thursday, July 03, 2008

This is war and other puzzlements of my current life

Of course, you know I've been blogging in my head all day but once I sit down here to compose...pfffft!'s all gone. But here's the thing about the war. I think the bugs will win. There are just too many of them.

I went out this morning, ostensibly to weed the part of the garden that does not contain the squash plants, because that's where I've been spending much of my time recently. Sadly, very little of that happened because I peeked at the squash and was very disheartened to find potato beetles, a stink bug, and yes, even a vine borer. Of course, I smashed the stink bug and borer but I'm sure there are more lurking or some which have already done the deed. I did the Sevin dust again, as well as burying the squash root but I think this is one war I will not win.

Today being cloudy and rainy, I spent a lot of time this morning in the garden. Generally, I'm out of the garden by 10 or 11 because I don't like being in the sun all that much. When it's cloudy, I tend to stay in until my stomach tells me it's past time to eat lunch, usually 1 or 2. In addition to bombing the squash plants with insecticide, I picked snow peas and sugar snap peas, planted more yellow squash and green beans, and picked some weeds. Seems like with all that, I should have done more. Oh yes, I forgot. I babysat the twins and half the neighborhood, who were playing in our pool.

I think I'm turning into a crotchety old lady. I don't mind hanging out there and doing my thing in their vicinity and letting them run off some steam. The twins adore them and that keeps the twins amused. Generally speaking, the little girl is pretty good, the littler boy is ok and the older boy is malleable. Lately though, all of those children have been whiny, demanding, and mouthy and now their older sister (who actually lives next door, with the grandparents that the rest of the children are visiting) is constantly over and getting increasingly mouthy and demanding.

I have spent the last 3 years trying to teach the little girl some manners. By and large, she's good and polite. She stopped using words I don't approve of over here and polices the other children who stray from that. But she has a bad problem with inviting herself over for sleepovers and dinner. And the more she does it, the angrier I get. Now Abby is into asking if she can come over for a sleepover or dinner and I have to ascertain if it's Abby's idea or Neighbor Girl's.

Another thing that she and her siblings do is to come in our house as if it were their own. I can't fathom that. I didn't even go into my mother's house without knocking after I'd moved out. It's inconceivable. But they will just traipse along behind one of our children or just by themselves. I almost lost it with the 5-year-old boy (the younger of the two) last week. I have repeatedly made a point of telling them that they don't come in the house unless asked to. Friend Husband and I were in the kitchen talking about something last Friday when the back door opened and in walks the little boy. I thought it was my little boy, so I turned around to see what he wanted and saw this other child. He started to ask me a question and I stopped him with, "What are you doing in here?"

"But Mrs...."

"What are you doing in my house?"

"But Mrs..."

"What have I told you? Knock before you enter a house. Let someone invite you in."

"But Mrs..."

"Go back outside and knock."

The look he gave me was one of incredulous disbelief. He turned around, walked out, knocked, and was invited in, at which point he asked for a waffle. He was given a waffle and sent on his way.

That's the other thing that just chaps my hide. "Mrs. K, can I have X food? Can I have a popsicle? I'm hungry. Can I have something to eat?" I know their grandmother feeds them but they're constantly hitting me up for food. On one of his last illegal incursions, the week that Friend Husband and the girls were gone, Five-Year-Old Boy saw a bag of bagels on the counter. "I wanna bagel, Mrs. K. I didn't have breakfast." (It's now 11 o'clock.)

"No, go outside. You're not even supposed to be in here anyway."

That child asked for bagels every time I saw him for the next 24 hours, until I finally told him that we'd eaten them for breakfast. Then he acted put out. It was all I could do not to send him home permanently.

See what I mean about turning crotchety?

After they swam (and whined, and fought) and I gardened in the rain, Friend Husband decided that we were going to go out to lunch. So I shooed them all out of the pool and the yard and went in to clean up, get the twins ready, etc. When I came out, there was the oldest one, lying in wait. "Are you going out to lunch?"

"Yep, that's what I hear."

"I wish I could go with you."

"Sorry, not this time."

"I really like Chinese food."

I just looked at her, trying to exercise some modicum of self-control while responding to this nine-year-old girl. I think she sensed the volcano about to burst free and excused herself from the yard. Amazingly, she went back to her house instead of my front porch, which is where she usually hangs out.

Ok, sorry, gotta think happy thoughts here. I did not intend for this to turn out to be a complaint fest. We had a lovely lunch, and came home. Friend Husband dropped Rachel, Abby, and I home and he took the other three to the grocery to do battle with the picnicking crowds. After doing history with the girls (yes, they're still trying to catch up), I went to work out (for the 3rd time this week, pat me on the back), then came home to unload groceries and get dinner started. It was an ok day all around. I love mucking around in my garden (and it is muck these days, with the rain and constant cultivating), going out to eat, and just hanging around the house. It's a shame that it has to be messed up by the demands of the next door neighbors.


msta62 said...

I totally understand how you feel. This is how many of my friends live, children running in and out as if they were at home, "I'm hungry" or "I like that x" etc. Those times it makes me happy to come home to the P&Q at Hasterödsvägen 4. If you don't tell them your rules, who will? Not having kids of my own, does that make me biased? :-)
Have a happy Friday! Yay!

Gina said...

Your family might be the only normal family life these kids ever see. That doesn't excuse the over familiarity though! Would Grandma be horrified if she knew?

Oh and I knock at my Mom's house too.

Ohio_Momto3boys said...

The same thing happens here! You are NOT crochety. You are the teacher of manners to the untrained!

My response to food/drinks:
Q: I'm hungry. Can I have x?
A: Sure, head on home. I know your mom has some

Q: I'm thirsty
A: Ok, head home and we'll see you after you've gotten a drink at your house

Q: I sure love ________ (whatever we're having for dinner)
A: So do we! Want me to give your mom the recipe so she can make it for you when you go home?

Seriously, these little beggars would be here 24/7 if I allowed it. I'm not even nice to them BUT they come over every day! I think they like having rules to live by... go figure.

Enjoy the fireworks!

Leigh said...

You are describing my life!!! Stewart and I sit at the dinner table each night plotting our escape from our neighbors. We even plot ways to get them to leave. We're not even fun parents so why do all these kids need to be in our yard/garage/house??? I can't even go into the back yard without one hanging over the fence or at the gate asking to come inside the yard. We're captives! :) So, YES, this entry truly spoke to me.