So I live in this neighborhood from like the 1960s. Kids who are like 5 years old walk to school by themselves, and all the neighborhood kids play together outside, like, all the time. There is no such thing as an organized “play date.” It’s a neighborhood, with kids, and they play. And I love it.
But I called off class last night (allergies plus a terrible rejection made me feel “unwell”) and I discovered that the pack of hooligans (seriously- 10-15 kids aged 4-10, or thereabouts) think it’s ok to play in my yard. Look, I’m not an asshole. I’m cool with them cutting through my yard to get to each others’ houses, because, you know, they are kids and that’s fine. You’re tiny – don’t walk on the main street. But I am now a person who owns property and I also understand things like “liability for injuries incurred on your property.” A pack of 10-15 little kids here, unsupervised, is NOT COOL. And nobody asked me if I’d watch their fucking kids!
When I confronted the little hooligans last night, I just asked, “Um, why are you guys playing in my yard?” and a 6-ish year old kid responded, “There’s so much space!” and I said back, “Um, yeah, but it’s MY space, and don’t you have space in your yard? You guys shouldn’t be playing here. You have to play in your yard” And they left. But so tonight I thought, I’d better drink wine on my deck to make sure this isn’t a regular thing. And don’t you know it: those little ruffians were back tonight! One started climbing the fence in my yard! And I was all, “Get off of that fence! Go play in your yard!” And I was RIGHT THERE! They did that and I was clearly right there watching them! Dude!
Here’s my thing: it’s not wrong for me not to want little kids to fuck around in my yard and potentially get hurt! What the fuck? Clearly I need to remain vigilant, and if this continues, I’m going to need to make them take me to their parents and I will need to give all of these parents a talking to. Free-range kids are grand. I support kids having autonomy. But FUCK. You don’t play in strangers’ yards without an invite! I could be a child molester! A mean lady! Or similar!