When we moved here 3 years ago one of the things we were looking for in a house was a nice neighborhood. A neighborhood where our children could play and be safe and have other kids to play with.
We were lucky and found such a house. We live on a cul de sac which at first one would think is a great idea b/c there's not much traffic. I can tell you that is a myth. Our cul de sac is very busy for many reasons:
1) One house at the end of street has multiple families living in it. This means there are cars coming and going constantly.
2) People turn down the street thinking it's a through street and then must turn around when they get to the end of it. This happens a lot.
3) You'd think people would drive slow down a cul de sac but no they speed down it doing at least 30 mph. Especially the people who live at the end. I guess they think they don't need to slow down until they get closer to their house.
There are a lot of kids that live on this street and for that we feel our kids are lucky to have playmates so close.
I should say that we live in the middle of the cul de sac and the houses w/ the other kids (at least the ones our children play with) are toward the end of the street.
There are 3 boys Carsen's age that like to come over and play. Every time we pull into the garage one of them rides in just behind us on their bike or scooter. I want to say right away all 3 boys are very nice, sweet, and for the most part well behaved. Their manners are a bit lacking but what kid has perfect manners?
At the beginning of the school year is when they first started coming over to play w/ Carsen and Ainsley. But what they really wanted we found out pretty quickly, was to play w/ all the things we had in our garage. Ainsley's new trike was too tempting and one boy hopped on it and took off down the street.
Nothing was safe. Bubbles spilled and dumped out, sidewalk chalk broken, random golf balls we had collected on walks thrown into the yard, and every bike, trike, and scooter we owned was pulled out and discarded on the grass.
When everything had been played with, they would grab their own bikes and ride off down the street to their own homes.
Our neighbors told us they had to make the rule that no one but the owners are allowed in the garage. We quickly put that rule into action at our house along w/ no leaving our yard and stay out of the street. I still don't feel comfortable leaving them all alone outside though.
So far we haven't allowed these boys to come in the house to play. It's
only happened once when Ainsley asked and I quickly said no. Seeing their behavior toward our outside toys, I
definitely don't want them inside roaming free.
Some nights after seeing us pull into the garage one of them will ring the doorbell and ask if the kids can play. This is around 8:00 at night! Call me a "mean mommy" but that's almost bedtime in this house.
How do you find the balance between being the house everyone wants to play at and being the house no one wants to play at?
I'm dreading this summer when I want to try all the ideas I've been pinning on Pinterest like homemade sidewalk paint and chalk and other games for fear these boys will want to join in. We may be playing in the backyard for most of the summer.