Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yes, I Do Chase After Cars I See Speeding In My Neighborhood

I take the dog for a walk almost every day around my neighborhood. Its 10 minutes or more of everyone being outside, stretching our legs, and getting some fresh air. As a result, I know my neighborhood and my walking path pretty well and I can tell pretty quickly if something isn't right.

Stop SignA yellow, 4 door Chevy running a stop sign and speeding down a residential street isn't right.

A yellow, 4 door Chevy running a stop sign, speeding down a residential street, and not slowing down despite the woman on the side of the road waving her arms and screaming for you to slow down isn't right.

A yellow, 4 door Chevy running a stop sign, speeding down a residential street, not slowing down despite the woman on the side of the road waving her arms and screaming for you to slow down, and driving on the left side of the road to get as far away as possible from the waving and screaming woman isn't right.

Did I mention I had Daulton with me? He was safely on the sidewalk on his bike and even he noticed how fast the car was going.

I attempted to talk to the driver of the yellow, 4 door Chevy but she wouldn't come to the door. So, I waited for the adults who live there to come home. The conversation didn't go as well as I would have liked but I can live with that. (This is not the first time I've made someone mad, and it won't be the last.) I wanted to communicate to my neighbor that the driver of this car was speeding, not obeying stop signs, and is a danger to all of the children who play outside in our neighborhood. She didn't like what I had to say but I could tell my words struck a nerve because instead of defending the driver, which later turned out to be her daughter, she chose to attack me instead. Why go on the extreme offensive if your child did nothing wrong?

My neighbor did ask me "if I chase down every car that I see speeding through the neighborhood?". And my answer is and will always be, "yes, I do chase down those cars that I can catch" because it is my responsibility as a neighbor and a parent to keep my neighborhood safe. So if that means chasing down cars, knocking on doors, and having conversations with my neighbors is what I have to do, then I will do it. I would expect my neighbors to do the same for me and my family.

The irony of the situation is that after our conversation, 3 of her 4 children were at my house hanging out and playing with Daulton.  A fact I am pretty sure she was unaware of.

I wasn't sure how this situation was going to turn out but considering the fact that my neighbor made a point to drive by me tonight, while on my walk, and do a textbook perfect stop at the stop sign, I think it is going to turn out alright. I doubt she ever asks me for a cup of sugar, but she heard my message and has responded to it exactly how I had hoped she would.

What would you have done? Said nothing and let the reckless driving continue? Or say something to the neighbor?  How would you react if someone came to your door to discuss how your child was driving?


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Elementary School Carnivals Are Like Zoos

I recently had the pleasure of going to Daulton's school carnival.  Matt makes the school runs and does the class parties and field trips.  He sees Daulton in the school setting more than I do so I was very excited to go to the carnival and be a part of Daulton's school experience.

We are also frequent visitors to the Indianapolis Zoo and I could not help but notice how quickly the elementary school carnival resembled the zoo.
  • Bounce houses are like cages for the wild and crazy kids.  They go into the cage resembling a wild animal and after 10 minutes or so of bouncing, they come out resembling your child again.
  • Tickets are like rewards for good behavior.  Animal trainers use food rewards to train animals to do tricks and it works on kids too.  Kids that behave, get tickets.  Kids that step out of line don't get tickets and instead have to watch the good kids get tickets and play games.
  • Everyone cheers when you win a game similar to cheering for an animal that does a trick. 
  • Kids run in packs like wolves.  If you aren't part of the pack, you don't really matter.  And good luck cutting your kid from the herd.  I would suggest dangling some tickets in front of his face and he will come a-running.
  • Its important to remember that like wild animals, elementary school children can turn on you in an instant.  They can go from sweet, happy children to screaming, tantrum throwing monsters with no warning or cause.  Have an exit strategy in place should you find yourself in this situation.
  • Some animals are cuter than others.  I am not saying your kid is ugly, but sometimes the way he or she acts can be.  There is a reason why people stop to watch the dolphins and quickly walk past the warthogs. 
Observing Daulton in "the wild" was interesting and entertaining.  Its also comforting to watch your kid when he doesn't know he is being watched and to see he is good, kind friend. 


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Scenes

Spring has definitely sprung at our house and we are loving it.  The windows are open, flowers are blooming, and the wildlife has been out and about.

Can you spot the rabbit?

There he is.

The mama duck is out with her babies.  I originally called them chicks but my editor, Matt, corrected me that this duck did not adopt baby chickens.  He also reminded me the proper nomenclature is ducklings.

The rabbit is back.  If this rabbit is going to be around for a while, I think he or she will need a name.

My daffodils and tulips were beautiful.  Well worth all the hard work last fall to get them planted.

Seeing the tulips in my garden makes me happy.  Its a sign that spring is here and its time to put away the winter coats and break out the flip-flops and shorts.

Some days it looks like we live on a swamp.

And I've had the song "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" stuck in my head.  I wonder why?

Spring is here and we have been spending time at the baseball diamonds, riding bikes, and enjoying walks around the neighborhood.  I also know spring is here because I got Matt's car stuck in the mud at the baseball park and have been wearing my pink rain boots to baseball games.  Its a good thing I'm cute enough to get away with both.



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