Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Someone Else's Kid

Our immediate neighborhood posse is comprised of nine kids, aged kindergarten - 4th grade. They roam free between the backyards here, none of which are fenced in. The gang assembled just after lunch, when the parents had all decided it wasn't really going to rain and tossed the kids outside. My kids might have been tossed out in a thunderstorm - since when was showing up to lunch in nothing but your boxers ok?

About an hour after they'd all gone out, a neighbor boy who will be in Kindergarten next year appeared at my door. He'd been standing on the slide and he wasn't ready to get off the slide by another kid had gone down the slide and he had to jump off the slide and...

I held up a polite hand. "Is anyone hurt?" He shook his head and tried to start in again, but I cut him off. "Does your mom like it when you tattle at home?" His eyes gave the answer I expected. "You know your mom and I talk, right? So she'll hear about things you do over at my house?"

A wave of relief washed over him. "Well," he said smartly, "You talk at the bus stop and school is OVER."

I ducked into the house fast, so he wouldn't see me laugh, and returned with a Flav-or-ice. "Get off the slide faster next time," I said and sent him on his way. Sometimes, dealing with someone else's kid is SO much easier.

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