I’ve not yet mentioned the affect and downward spiral in the kids of Neighborhell.
You would expect there would be SOME sort of effect from all the trash talking, infighting, and power plays that went on, and that’s certainly true.
In the summer after my ultimate victory over Apronstring, my husband and I were alarmed to notice that Apronstring and her husband Splat, no longer supervised their kids Puke, Spits, and Swallows.
Oh, they confined them to their front yard, a small patch of straggly land where no entertainment was readily available, other than a battered old porch swing.
My husband, Brian, and myself had made a conscious decision to keep Puke, Spits, and Swallows out of our pool, waterslide, playhouse, and trampoline…in other words, our entire backyard.
We came to this decision after Swallows, who had enjoyed a day full of our food, our aforementioned playthings in the backyard, sat on the trampoline after I chided the bigger kids to make certain they didn’t jump too high on the trampoline, and called me a bitch.
I said nothing.
I just talked with Brian and decided to ban them from our backyard.
So, Apronstring and Splat were indoors on a hot summer day, leaving Puke, Spits, and Swallows outdoors.
My kids eschewed our entertainment to go out front and play with Swallows, Puke, and Spits.
The only entertainment in Apronstrings front yard was a old and battered porch swing.
Puke, Spits, and Swallows were sitting on it, with room for more.
Except see, they didn’t want to allow Liam or Reilly on the porch swing for whatever reason (probably being banned from our back yard).
So Liam came up to me, in tears….but Liam tends to always be in tears for some perceived slight, so I brushed it off, commiserated with him, but also reminded him it was THEIR porch swing.
The straw that broke this bitch’s back was when my youngest son, Reilly, went up and wanted to sit on the swing, on which, if you’ll remember, there was plenty of room.
He was also refused admittance.
Keep in mind that Reilly is not only autistic, but also tends to not make demands like Liam does on other kids. Reilly is not bossy like Liam, and not bent on getting his own way. In short, he wasn’t making a difficult request and is well known for being easy to please.
In addition, by this point, I was watching events unfold from my front yard, which sits adjacent to Apronstrings.
When I saw Reilly cover his face with his hands and begin to cry, it’s more than fair to say I lost it.
We packed up and went indoors, but I have this terrible temper.
I believe I’ve mentioned it before.
I believe I’ve also mentioned that I don’t have a filter between my brain and mouth.
Therefore, when I came outside to lock our back gate so the little bastards couldn’t sneak in, I was trembling.
It should go without saying I didn’t keep my mouth shut.
So, as Puke, Spits, and Swallows gawked at me, I told them “I know that Liam can be bossy and not nice all the time, and I know Reilly isn’t perfect, but they are both in my house crying because you little pieces of SHIT wouldn’t have the common decency to let them sit on your damned porch swing.”
I went back in my house, still trembling.
Apparently, upon my dramatic exit, all three boys had run into their house, crying and making a big stink over me calling them pieces of shit, which gee, they were and are.
I wasn’t too surprised to see Splat appear on my doorstep, asking if we could work things out.
I’d had it.
I’d had it with Puke, Spits, and Swallows socializing with my kids if and when they were playing with something cool that they wanted to play with, and ignoring them pointedly if they didn’t get to.
I’d had it with Reilly walking up to talk to Swallows and being made to feel totally invisible.
I’d had it with Puke slapping Liam full across the face when Liam said something Puke didn’t like.
I’d had it with trying to tell Apronstring and Splat about Swallows telling Liam at school that he couldn’t sit by Spits, and Liam crying as a result, and no action being taken. Swallows did that two days in a row, and only when a teacher said if he made Liam cry again, he’d go the principals office, did he stop…not because his godforsaken parents took any action.
So I told Splat no, he was catching me in the heat of my temper, and it was best not to talk to me, and I wasn’t sure we could work things out, this was merely the tip of the iceberg.
He left, and as my anger abated I decided I should have waited until I cooled down before speaking.
That the last thing I needed was another war in Neighborhell.
So, I called Splat and told him I was prepared to explain why I was so angry, and that even adults needed to control their tempers, but I also explained to Splat that I was going to ask them first why they thought I was angry and had acted out.
Splat was of the opinion that his children (ages 5, 8, and 10) were not capable at their tender young ages to comprehend what I was asking, or what could have made me angry.
I tried not to laugh, but set up a appointment to walk over and make my….statements known.
So, I walked over, and asked Pukes, Spits, and Swallows why they thought I was angry.
Each kid volunteered that I was angry because they had been mean to Liam and Reilly.
As Apronstring and Splat reeled from their kids knowledge of right and wrong, I went on to say that I have a issue with my temper and don’t think before I talk.
I also asked if they would be angry in my place, and they agreed.
I promised to work on my temper, and pointed out that obviously adults aren’t perfect, myself especially, and also stated I’d like to see them treat my kids better, that friendship is a two way street, and if you want to keep friends, you have to include friends.
Then Apronstring pulled me aside and said she’s sure it would not have happened if Splat had been out watching the kids.
Oh, the irony, when she had been home, but not outside at any time from the very beginning of summer.
So peace was made, and all was well for a time in Neighborhell.
You might have noted a couple things I did not say to either Puke, Swallows, Spits, or their parents.
I did not apologize for calling them pieces of shit.
I did not retract my belief that they were pieces of shit.
I never will.