Sunday, July 12, 2009

Neighborhood Nosy Rosy

That's me.

We live in townhouses that back up to another townhouse community. A wooden fence separates the two, but there are parts of the fence missing, making for easy access between the two.

There is a river on the west side of both communities. Being Indiana, it's reaching to call it a river. In Michigan, it would be considered a big creek. It's not very deep, but the drop off to the bank is treacherous.

Not too long after we moved in, Mia met two little girls named J and A. (Side note: I first thought J was a little boy because she was dressed very boyish, had short hair, and her name could work for either sex. She's sort of a Pat-ish child.) J is five and A is seven. Mia is six. Perfect age for playmates, right?

Well, it seems that J and A live in the other community behind us and regularly visit ours. Alone. Just a five and seven year old girl.

I didn't think much of it at first; whenever they came to play with Mia, I walked them home. At one point, on a Saturday morning, Dex was up earlier and Mia wasn't installed on the couch watching Sponge Bob. He figured that Mia was up in her room playing. She's always the first person awake. Martin and I always sleep in on week-ends, at least til ten. Dexter is drinking his coffee and watching something on TV when there is a knock on the door, and it's Mia. She had invited herself over to J and A's house. Not good. Not good at all and Little Miss Independent got grounded for a week. I guess she thought that since J and A had free run of the area, so did she.

I do not let Mia out to play or ride her bike or draw on the sidewalk alone. I don't let her walk 100 feet to the mailbox with watching her.

These kids are all over, riding their bikes, and not just on the sidewalk. They're out when it's almost dark. They roam way down to the front of our community, which is certainly not within yelling distance of where they live.

They're nice little girls, but I'm not real comfortable with their freedom.

Dexter has a friend named Mike who lives three doors down. Mike has a brother named Ryan who is 11. This afternoon, we saw Mike outside and said we were going down to the pool and Mike said he'd see us there, that he was taking Ryan. Mike didn't know that Ryan had told J and A where he was going, so they ran home and got their suits on. Mike is 17. He was watching his brother and I mentioned that it worries me. Mike was a little freaked out because apparently, J and A had indicated that Mike was watching them. Mike wanted no part of it, and I don't blame him.

Who let's their kids go not only to the pool, but a pool farthest away, and swim with somebodies seventeen year old brother, whom they've never met? Seriously, WFT? Mike is perfectly harmless and a good kid, but what if was someone else?

I'm not going to confront their parents, but I will call their community office, and ours. It concerns me. Actually, it scares the everlovin' shit out of me. We don't live in a high crime area. It's pretty quiet, mostly families. It still worries me. And if I am the neighborhood nosy rosy, so be it.

I have one child who is sixteen and another is six; other than them trying to escape the Mumma, they are whole and healthy and unmolested and I intend to keep it that way.


Ronni said...

A lot of parents haven't caught up with our new and dangerous world. They live in the land of It Can't Happen Here. I used to run wild like that as a child, but I think it's flat out stupid to let kids do it today.

I would be over talking to the parents, and asking them if it really is all right for the little ones to go wherever and with whoever. Not in a confrontational way, but just asking. Explain that, if your son is going to watch them at all, you will need a medical release, and a notarized permission, and proof of insurance. I realize it was the other kid, but you might have a word with his folks, too. Also ask to see their Red Cross Swimming certificates that will let you know how well they can swim. Maybe it will be an eye-opener for them, or maybe they are fishing for a lawsuit, in a Munchausen sort of way.

Have the T-shirt said...

I'm Miss Overprotective.

If you don't believe it, just ask my sons.

We live in a wonderful community where the police have to hassle teens cause they have nothing better to do.

And still I never let my boys run our little neighborhood until they were twelve. And then ONLY in our subdivision.

Seriously, I don't think you can be too careful nowadays.

And OMG! Mia leaving like that? My heart stopped at the thought of what 'could' have happened.

judemiller1 said...

We have a couple of little kids here in our community, 4-6, and they ride their bikes down the center of the streets ALL OVER the area. I have never seen their parents outside at any time--I think they push the kids out in the morning and lock the door so they can't get back in.

Mia going off like that scared the crap out of me--glad it all turned out all right, but in today's society, I think you have every right to be concerned.