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Our Neighbors Think We're Heathens

My neighbors think we’re horrific parents.

I’m convinced of this is fact.

It’s spring, everyone’s outside, windows are open, wind’s blowing in the right direction…life couldn’t be better. We live in a very urban area – I can almost touch my house and my neighbor’s house at the same time.

So, I’m outside drinking wine and watching the kids live-out their childhood. Occasionally I’ll wave to a neighbor with that calm, collective, “what’s up man! Life’s good…just relaxing with the family” kinda wave.

Usually that’s the kid’s cue to go absolutely ballistic.

Immediately the boy yells “I said no Macy now STOOOOOP!!!!” Then rides away on his bicycle towards the corner of the street inches from going into traffic.

As I’m running down the sidewalk carrying wine, yelling “HONEY…GRAB MACY…SHE’S BLEEDING” I happen to notice half the neighborhood stopping mid-discussion and turning towards our rabid family.

“WHAT?!” my wife screeches from inside the house.


This is where I bring the scene to a screeching halt and reveal that we are actually the “older” family on the block. My kids are almost 6 and 8. The average age of the rest of the block’s children… 1.7 years old. So they’re standing there in horror as they watch elements of parenthood unfold that they have yet to experience.

As they gather their children and herd them away from the scene with disappointing looks on their faces I can almost hear them mumbling “we’ll never be like that will we George?”

“Never Marcia. We’ll never parent like those heathens!”

The neighborhood air is consistently filled with the loving ramblings of our family-of-four as sentiments such as these come flying out our house windows regularly:

 “I said GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!! How many times do I have to ask you?”

“I AAAMMMM finishing in the shower…geeeeze!!

“OOOOWWWW daddy!!! Your pulling my hair, let me comb it!!!”

“Mooooommmyyyyyyy Macy won’t stop snoring!!”

“NO! You cannot have a chocolate bar while you go to sleep!! That’s just insane! Now go to bed!!”

“But honey!!! I thought tonight was really going to be ‘the’ night!?”

I think back to before we had kids and I remember the many times in the grocery seeing the mother say to the little boy, “stop touching things on the shelf. Do you hear me?! One more time Mr. and you’re in BIG trouble.”

And I always thought…I’d never, NEVER talk to MY kids like that. Guess it goes to show the number one rule as a parent is never say “I’ll never.”

Now if I can get my wife to stop talking to me like that in the grocery…