I love our new house - love the layout, love the quiet neighborhood, love the closeness to nice grocery stores (not the shabby Safeway we lived next to in the rental house), love being so close to Kari's family... what I am not necessarily in love with are the neighbors. The miniature neighbors, that is, the ones who always want to come over and play. Here's the rundown.
We have one set of neighbors with young boys, ages 6 and 3, that love to ride their bikes around and yadda yadda and they're great! Perfect fit for our kids, and they have played here and Patrick has played at their house. We have a second set of neighbors who are retired but a number of times each week their grandsons stay with them. THESE boys are ages 9 and 11 and, while we were cleaning the house and preparing to move in, seriously headed across the street the moment they saw us pull into the driveway. Every time! They liked the play with the kids but one time we had NO kids and they just walked on over and inside anyway! Now that they are in school they head to our house the moment they are dropped off!
This is weird.
I've got a couple thoughts swimming about here -
1) I am happy there are kids nearby who like to play with our kids. They're friendly and polite and get along really well; our kids definitely enjoy them coming over.
2) I am totally weirded out by the age gap. Why would those older boys want to play with kids who are 4, 2, and 1 years old? I would understand it a lot more, I suppose, if it were girls, who often like to feel like babysitters and moms or some authoritarian-over-small-people figure, but boys? I'm confused.
3) We kinda feel like the grandparents are mooching. Seriously, we are not even completely moved in! For a month we were just coming here to WORK, so no, I do not want to watch your kids; now that we ARE moved in we are unpacking and painting and NO, I do not want to watch your kids! I am weeks (or days, please please!) away from delivering, do you think I don't have my hands full? Or do you perhaps think that because your grandkids are older they are babysitting rather than being babysat?
4) To be fair, I have not sent my kids to THEIR house to play, and I don't necessarily expect them to head here to ask if my kids want to go there... once you're together, let playtime begin!
5) I do not plan on sending my kids to their house to play. While the grandparents are very nice (we've met them), these kids are totally older and have access to things (like the internet, video games, etc) that my kids don't have, and they might not get that what's appropriate for an 11-year-old just isn't for a 4-year-old. Basically, I'm scared my kid will have a creepy experience where some older kid whipped out a Playboy magazine they nicked from their dad/older brother/whoever (and of course the sweet grandparents don't know) and now my kid's totally confused. So now it's back to being resentful because the only option I'm comfortable with is having extra kids at my house.
Am I being paranoid? Do you guys have any experience with something like this? Kathy, does Gideon hang out with Rushmore's friends? (Just putting that in writing is so ridiculous, I'm thinking "nope!"). What about you, Sherrye? Debbie? Mom? Anyone? I want to be polite but, at the same time, not dread 3:00 as the school bus is dropping its load and, consequently, MY load.