This afternoon I was forced to channel my inner old lady. Actually it probably more of a rare glimpses into the future only then I will have gray hair, be wearing a robe or a mumu (or is it moomoo? Moomu? Mumoo?- whatever those things Mrs. Roper always wore on Three’s Company) and wielding a cane as a weapon.
Picture it if you will, it’s furlough Friday. I am sitting on the couch watching Criminal Minds reruns on A&E because I decided I really like that show and cross-stitching a bookmark for a co-worker when my cell phone rings. I pick it up. It’s my brother.
“Hey you might want to go outside and check your car- there are some kids messing around at the back of it. They look like they are on bikes.”
For those new to BadGroove, my brother lives across the street from me (actually catycorner)- and has a pretty good view of my house from his kitchen window.
I asked him if he thought one of them had run into my car on their bike.
“I dunno I can’t really see the back of your car- they are behind it.”
While still talking on the phone, I go to the front door and swing it wide open, not exactly knowing what I would see, which was probably really dumb of me in hindsight considering “kids” could be anywhere from first graders playing hide and go seek to teenagers looking to steal my car or pieces of it. My car which is usually parked in the driveway just happened to be parked in the street in front of my house in plain view of the front door. What I saw was two children sitting in the street right up against the rear of my car- fiddling with something and a third standing on the street strip of grass. I knew the one kid was the boy from the house behind me and the other two while I didn’t know their names, I knew they were from our neighborhood and often played with the boy in the house behind mine. They just looked suspicious. Sitting IN THE STREET right behind my car like that- the the boy on the street strip almost like a look out. I don’t know if they were just hiding from someone, plotting their next world domination or just quietly sitting in the street deciding what to do with the rest of their afternoon. Thing is that first off it was a dangerous place to sit. I live on a corner lot and we have actually had a drunk driver come sailing around that corner and hit a parked car before (luckily not mine- but the across the street neighbor)- so had someone misjudged the turn and smacked into my car they could be seriously injured. Secondly- this boy (the one from the house behind mine) has been told on numerous occasions not to play near the car- both in the street and in the driveway.
“What are you doing to my car?” I asked a little more sternly than I expected myself to sound.
Those kids eyes got wide and the one jumped as far away from my car as possible, tangling himself in his bike that he had laid down- also behind my car. (Meanwhile my brother is on the phone with me saying in my ear- Let me know if you need me to come out there).
The boy from behind my house rolled his little eyes at me (by the way- this kid is a first grader- maybe second…but I think first) and said:
“We are just sitting here.”
He stood there looking at me with the expression like what are you going to do about it. He has a real attitude for someone his age. My sister-in-law one told him to stop shooting her and my infant-at-the-time nephew with a squirt gun and he told her No that she was not his Mom.
“You should go home.” As soon as it come out the kids just looked at me.
“We were just playing.”
“Play at your house.”
They proceeded to give me stink eye their whole trip around the corner as I walked out to my car to see what they were doing to my car. From the front door it looked like they were fiddling with my license plate or something- but I didn’t see any damage or even any indication that they had actually been fiddling with my car.
After the fact I felt a little bad. I was a little sterner than I meant to be. As a matter-of-fact, I don’t think I have ever said anything so direct and…mean sounding to a kid. Usually its “Please don’t play by the cars.” But I don’t like the idea of some kid futzing around near my car. I would never have done that as a kid- I remember a couple of definite incidents where I was instructed sternly by my parents not to play around the cars of neighbors or relatives.
Pretty soon you will find my on my porch in a robe (complete with ratty yet matching slippers) with a super-soaker yelling at kids to stay off my lawn.