Monday, July 28, 2008

a nice day at The House

Today has been a peaceful day. First thing, we had to go to the kids' new school so Patrick could have his hearing / eyes checked, and everyone actually cooperated and we got there a few minutes early!!!! (I KNOW!!!) I found out that the school also does home visits to all incoming K students, so someone will be here early next week, I'm assuming his teacher. This is like night and day from when Josie started K in the county we used to live in. We didn't find out who her teacher was going to be until the day before school started, and not only did the school not visit incoming students, but we were actually DISCOURAGED from coming into the school!!! We actually ended up pulling her out in first grade to homeschool because of that, and various other issues, like school-tolerated bullying and verbal abuse of the students by a teacher. Anyhoo, Patrick's teacher will be coming here, and I'm delighted that they are so involved! It seems so... homey.

After that, we went to the gym, which I haven't done in forever and a day, and I did cardio and weights. For once, both kids had a really good time in the childcare, too. Typically, Josie sulks and pretends to be bored, and Patrick gets upset because he didn't get enough time on the video games they have there. Today, though, it was obvious that they had been running in the basketball court and climbing area, and they both said they had a good time. I'm so glad, because when they have a good time, I'm a lot more likely to go. It's hard enough getting my own initiative up, but when I also have to fight two draggy kids, forget it.

When we got home, Josie went to a friend's house, and Patrick watched some TV. Then, Josie and her friend came back here, and they're all playing outside in the hot tub. This is good, too, except this particular friend has been repeatedly told that she's Special (and not in the short-bus way), so she sometimes acts accordingly, expecting that things happen when and as she wants them, whining, etc. She also puts on an act of being really timid, which is catered to by her mother, and drives me bonkers. I understand why her mom does this, because she had a terrible childhood herself, and she's projecting onto her daughter, who is of course having a wonderful childhood, except that now she's WAYYYY coddled and over-praised. Anyway, other than that, said child is perfectly nice, and they all get along pretty well, so I'm still happy to have her here if she's going to take the pressure off of me to amuse the monkeys!


After my friend's daughter left, we went to meet DH at the pool for an hour or so. That was lovely, too, because since we've been going at the end of the day, there is pretty much no crowd there, so the kids can go down the slide and off the diving board all they want with little or no wait.

Now the kids are running around with some of the other neighborhood kids, like a herd of wild elephants. Slam! in the house, booomaty boomaty boom up the stairs, shrieks of laughter, bang bang, boomety boom boom, slam! back outside again. Before we moved to this part of the world, we were The House in the neighborhood that all the kids came to, and I pretty much ran a lunch and snack cafe. It was nice, actually, because the kids were happy, no one really fought, and everyone was tired at the end of the day. Also, I always knew their friends, which is good both so I know what kinds of people they're with, and also as they get older, it means I'll know all the teenagers in the neighborhood and be on good relations with them, which would hopefully protect us from any petty thievery. It seems that we're moving in that direction again, which is good with me. I mean, I like it when the kids go to other people's houses as well, since it gives me quiet, but really I don't mind having six kids here.

The other reason I like it so much is a selfish, living-through-my-kids one; when I was young, I was never allowed to have neighborhood kids over. I wasn't even allowed to socialize with the neighborhood kids, actually. My grandmother hated everyone in the world, especially her neighbors, who had really done nothing to engender her animosity (she was a total nutter who spied on everyone on the block with bird watching glasses), so I wasn't allowed to so much as speak to anyone. I wasn't allowed to have anyone over past 4pm, even if I was allowed to have a friend from school over, because she served dinner at 4, so I had to be home and so did anyone else I might have over. Basically, I was the neighborhood hermit who had to sit inside and watch all the other kids play ball in the street, and stay home to hand out the Halloween candy (regardless that it was my birthday and I should have been having the time of my life). Even when I was in high school and we had moved out of my grandmother's house, things stayed pretty much the same, although at least then my mother was distracted by her non-speaking-to-me live-in boyfriend, so I was pretty free to spend all my spare time at someone else's house. Still, that was way past the neighborhood playing stage. So, having The House now is like my childhood fantasy come to life, in time for my own kids. I'm so glad to give them this opportunity, and to be able to see what a housefull of happy kids is like. Better late than never, right?


Kristin.... said...

Your day sounds wonderful.

I so want my house to be THE HOUSE. But I think that may be hard, living in the sticks with only one neighbor on our little private road. BUT, I will strive to make our house THE HOUSE. My house wasn't THE HOUSE, not for the reasons you spoke about, but just because my family wasn't that way~we didn't have all the kids over just because. And maybe a bit because my parents didn't want their yard ruined by a bunch of kids. Oh and our neighbors liked to do things like call the police on my 16th birthday when one of my friends got pushed into the pool. Oooh, digressing.

Sometimes I really miss living in a neighborhood.

Erin said...

Definitely better late than never. It sounds so cheesy, but how rewarding to give your children that kind of joy.

desperate housewife said...

I never got to go trick or treating, either. Religious reasons. I enjoy the holiday so much now, with my own kids.

BTW, you WON! You won my Pay It Forward, I should say. Not, like, the lottery. But still. Will you email me so I can get your address? It's