Thursday, October 02, 2008

Vagabond

I think we've discovered our local vagabond in our new neighborhood. You know what I'm talking about. Every neighborhood has one. It's the kid that just won't ever flipping go away.

Oh, it started out simple enough. I thought she was kind of cute at first. The day we moved in she asked me "Will he be my best friend!?!" while pointing to Joseph. Joseph was on cloud nine.

The next day I was introducing myself and the kids to the woman next door and her three red-headed little girls when the vagabond popped up again. "You're still my best friend right?" she asked Joseph.

"Uh, yeah" he said. "What's you're name again?"

I thought I caught the woman next door raising her eyebrows at me in sort of a crazy way but I just chalked it up to a facial tic and not as an attempt to warn me that the vagabond was going to attach herself to us like a leech.

Two days later Joseph and I were having a conversation with the four year old across the street. She started telling us about the vagabond. "She just comes to my house every day to bug me. She never goes away. Plus, she picked one of my mom's flowers!"

Joseph looked very serious. "Do you have any evidence of this?"

Without missing a beat the four year old responded "I don't even know what evidence is."

I like the four year old across the street.

In the past few days the vagabond has been here constantly. The second we walk in the door after school she's right there ringing the bell. If I say he can't play just then she hangs around outside the house until he can play. It's getting a little old and we've only lived here a week or so.

I think it crossed the line from "cute" to "Ok, now you're weirding me out" last night though. She and her brother and Joseph had played together for about three hours or so and then I said we had to take a break and eat dinner. I said that Joseph could maybe go for a scooter ride after dinner and if he could I would send him out later. Five minutes later I'm standing in front of the stove and I turn towards the front window and there she is, standing on our front porch just looking into the house.

I'm sorry, that irked me. Maybe I'm over-reacting because after all, she's only six but come one! I don't like anyone looking in my windows.

How do you handle kids like this? Does your neighborhood have one? And if you think it doesn't is it possible that's because your kid is that kid?

18 comments:

Laggin said...

Yes, ours was called Germy. (Actually Jeremy, but I loved calling him Germy. Cuz it applied.)

He used to stand and look in our front, glass storm door. I'd just go imitate him. I'd stand on the other side of the door with his exact posture. Or if he had his hands cupped around his eyes (ya know, to avoid the glare in the glass and get a better peek), I'd do the exact same thing.

It freaked him out a bit. He stopped.

Hmm. I really should blog about good ole' Germy.

Sharon said...

Ours was Laurie. She was a weird kid. Did the peering in the screen door thing a LOT. I wonder whatever happened to her...

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Don't you wonder where the parents are? I mean, she is just six. I for one, would want to know where my six year old is at supper time. Maybe you could ask her next time, and possibly have a talk with the parents? Seems to me there's some adult supervision missing on her part.

Dakotapam said...

I would definitely talk tot eh parents, if they are around. They may be unaware that their daughter is being such a pest. This, of course, will have to be handled with some delicacy as well.

Next, I would institute some strict visiting hours. You can get some sort of symbol to hang outside your door when neighbor kids are welcome and you can remove it when you are having family time. Maybe a special wreath or sign.

Also, I've found you have to be quite blunt with neighbor kids. While YOU would be quite offended if you were visiting a friend and she said "Now you have to go home because we are having dinner now". this is a the easiest signal for a child to decode. They just don't understand subtle hints.

I hope this helps...I'd love to hear how things go.

Mary said...

We have two sisters in the neighborhood that used to show up at our house at all hours, call our house at 8am (on Sunday mornings!) and sometimes just walk right in. One time when I told them my kids couldn't play (they were watching a movie) the girls pulled our chairs on our deck up to the french doors and sat and watched the movie through the window. Their parents are nice and (seem) normal enough, but they seem a bit lax in the kid monitoring department. They have stopped calling/stopping by in the last year or two, probably because my kids would always tell them they couldn't go out and play.

Heinous said...

You must live around the corner from me. I turn around to find her in the house asking for a juice box. This happens even when she's not playing with my son at the moment. Her parents tend to not be around as much and it is sad to see her cruising the street looking for her next victim...um...playmate. We just politely shoo her out when she's overstepped her bounds.

Cinthia said...

I keep asking myself, where are the parents??? When I was a kid, my parents always knew where we were and the same goes for my niece or any kid I am watching. It almost sounds neglectful really... If the kid is always coming over, the parents must not be paying attention at all. If the kid is always asking for juice or coming over during dinner time, that is also worrisome.
I think talking to the parents is best, but if the parents are neglectful constantly and do nothing about their kid, then maybe someone else needs to be contacted.

Stimey said...

Oh, I'd be annoyed. Does she have parents? Geez.

StickyKeys said...

I would try to find her parents, but honestly you have to treat them like they're your own kids.

If the parents would have a problem with you setting firm rules they probably wouldn't have her out running the neighborhood in the first place. Good luck!

Trish said...

Oh, that's sad. She must be terribly lonely. I kind of feel badly for her. I wonder if she has any real friends, or if her parents are really watching over her at all.

I like the blunt signal approach, like with the wreath on the door when neighbourhood kids are welcome. That way, you're not hurting her feelings, but you'll likely eliminate the peskiness of her being constantly around.

Try to remember how lonely she must be to be pulling this. If you can feel badly for her, it might ease your annoyance.

Jen said...

soon it will be -20 and she won't be able to hang around for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Ah, avoidance. The strategy of champions.

Joy said...

I'd nearly forgotten 'bout ours. Her name was Ashley and if there was a car in the driveway she'd come and knock. Once we'd open the door she'd put her foot in the door jam so we couldn't shut the door without smashing her foot, and ask can they come out? when can they come out? maybe later? maybe tomorrow? how about after dinner? can they do their home work later and play now? I can help with their homework! seriously impossible to get rid of.

mamaneeds2rant said...

We had one too. We had to teach him manners like not just walking in our house and not getting our attention by saying "Hey, you." He would be at our house way after dark and he was quite young--and his parents wouldn't even be looking for him. Which is why he was the way he was. The parents just didn't give a crap. Which is very sad.

Jill said...

Our's was Maddy. She was five.
The day we were moving, she spent 6 hours at our house.
She kept wandering through our house and asking us what was in every box we were moving.
I finally asked her "Maddy, don't you think you should go home? You've been here a long time, and I'm sure your mom is wondering where you are." to which she replied "No, she doesn't care where I am."
And it was true, because a few weeks earlier in church, I overheard her tell someone "I just send my kids out the door in the morning, and always make it back home eventually."
In our current neighborhood, ALL of the parents are very involved, and we haven't had this problem.

Jamie said...

We have not experienced this yet - My question - where are her parents???

Alison Wonderland said...

I'm going to be honest, I think my son's been that kid. it wasn't that I didn't care where he was, I cared very much but he would tell me he was going to play across the street and a couple hours later I'd go over to get him and he wasn't there. He'd just go from house to house looking for kids who could play. I talked to him about it and tried to watch him and all that stuff that you should do but I couldn't quite bring myself to completely stifle his independence and I'm only one person and he wasn't my only kid.

bigmouthmom said...

We have one too. I never learned his name, but he lives next door and instead of asking if my son can play, he asks if the dog or my husband can play!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

Oh, what a bad spot her parents are putting you in! I feel awful for the little girl, given that her parents obviously don't know or care where she is, plus she will likely always be known as the "weird girl who just hangs around". However, feeling bad for her probably just makes the situation harder for you! I would definitely try talking to her parents...

Ok, obviously I'm no help.
Keep us posted!
Steph