Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Can your kids come out and play?
Last night was bath night, so while Gina was prepping I was entertaining the girls in the living room. It was still light outside and I noticed the little boy who lives across the way playing by himself in the grass out front of our door. Now this is probably the loneliest little boy I've seen. He lives in a one bedroom with his mom, her girlfriend (yes girlfriend) and a few adult relatives. While that may seem like a very social environment, realize that there is no one in that cramped space that he can really relate to. And most of the time the girlfriend (who reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy) is yelling at him for no apparent reason. I see him, almost daily, either playing by himself or desperately running after other children in the complex trying to interact with them. He's rarely successful, and when he does mingle you can tell it's awkward and lacking practice. But he's very cute. He'll often shout "Hi" at me from across the complex as I'm walking to my car or the mailbox and after you say "hello" back he stares at you as though you should ask him to play hide and seek. Unfortunately if Gina caught me playing hide and seek with the 5 year old across the way instead of coming in side to relieve her I'd get a frying pan upside the head. ... come to think of it if his mom saw me playing hide and seek with her 5 year old son I'd probably get ride in a cop car AFTER the frying pan upside the head. Anyway, I saw him out front yesterday and I felt bad for him as I watched him walking repeated circles around the large pine tree out front. But what could I do? So I looked back down at the girls for a moment and suddenly I got the feeling I was being watched. I looked out the window and there he was, plastered against the glass like a stuffed Garfield cat with suction cups sewn to his paws clinging to the rear window of a 1996 Dodge Caravan. I awkwardly turned my attention back to the girls but a few seconds later I glanced my eyes back that direction. He was gone from the window. .. .now he was plastered against my screen door. I chose to just try and ignore him for the moment. Maybe he just wanted to observe life in our house for a while, and if it got to long and creepy I would just close the door and draw the blinds. Which wouldn't be the first time. ... the kids in our complex can't seem to grasp the idea that it's rude to stand and stare in peoples windows. But we are one of the only units with only one family living there and add the fact that both parents live there too + there are twin infants and you've got yourself must see TV. Gina says she feels like a fish in a bowl all the time. I feel like a chimp in a zoo wondering what they heck is so entertaining and why can't I seem to get out of this place. Anyway, I turn my focus back to the girls and suddenly I hear "Can your kids come outside to play?"... I look up quizzically, "what?" "Can your kids come outside and play with me?" I pause for an eternity to internally debate if he's serious or not. Can my little blobs, who can't yet sit up with out support, come outside and play? I had to move quickly to stifle the Kopp Sarcasm before it escaped and made him feel stupid. "No, I'm sorry. They're not old enough to play outside yet," I responded. "Can I come in there?". ... "No, I'm afraid it's bath time for them and then they have to go to bed". I was in a really nice mood so I was very gentle with him. "How about when they're older?" If we're still living here when they're old enough to play outside I will be so depressed. "Sure, when they're older I'll send them your way." "OK." And off he skipped in to the twilight air, happily filled with the knowledge that, in 3 years or so, he might have someone to play with. Gina then poked her head out of the bathroom "Did he seriously just ask that?!" "Yes hon. ... yes he did."
at 7:09 AM