Dear Neighbour: A letter

Dear neighbour,

I don’t mind having your child over to play with my children. It bothers me a bit that she often chooses to show up at our door right at mealtimes, but, other than that, she’s welcome to come and play.

I don’t mind when she’s already here and you call or walk up and ask if I mind keeping her while you run to the shops or whatever for half an hour, either. Especially if the children are happily playing and I don’t have to be anywhere myself.

I even don’t mind if you call me up and ask if I will babysit her for an hour or two. If I’m able to for that time, I will. Not a problem.

I do mind, however, when your husband throws her out of the house in the pouring rain and tells her to go find another house to play at for awhile.

I do mind when said husband *assumes* I will watch your child when you aren’t home and while he goes out to run errands, and doesn’t even have the courtesy to tell me he’s gone.

I do mind when your child fronts up at my doorstep at lunchtime and announces her father told her to go to our house until 5pm because he has other things to do or places to go.  Twice she has done this when I was on my way out of the door with my children – and I don’t have enough seats in my car to safely accomodate your child, too.

Neighbour, this behaviour is not okay. And it makes me feel very cross. In future, if your husband wants me to take care of your child while either of you are away, he can ask me first.


Disgruntled Neighbour.

Disclaimer: If this child was neglected or otherwise in need, that would be a completely different story. But no. This child is well looked after and loved. Her father is just looking for free babysitting. Not okay. I have tried bringing this up with both neighbour and husband and they listen to me, agree with me, and then nothing happens. And I end up turning this little girl away from my door more often than not, because I don’t want to be taken advantage of. Grrr.


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

12 responses to “Dear Neighbour: A letter”

  1. Corettas Elegant Events says :

    Grrr is right. Dad is definitely working that situation for all it’s worth. Extremely unneighborly.

  2. solodialogue says :

    Wow. Poor little girl. You have been awfully patient – I’m sure for her sake but that guy is shameless. I would call that neglect – by him. How sad. That mom is going to have to pick up the slack. 😦 (Hope he doesn’t take off before he finds out if you’ll let her stay!)

  3. Dianna Graveman says :

    Oh, my gosh. Are you serious???? Actually, I know you are, because stuff like this used to happen to me when my kids were small, too. Although I miss the earlier days of motherhood sometimes, your post reminds me there are things I don’t miss now that my children are adults. Maybe when I become a grandparent, I’ll have to deal with this again–I hope not! You have every right to feel disgruntled.

    • Broot says :

      I’ve noticed that grandparents are better at telling people off without necessarily sounding like they’re telling people off. Better yet, because grandparents are *usually* old enough to be the parents of miscreant parents, they can put on their Authoritative Parent voice and make people jump. 😉

  4. eof737 says :

    This is truly sad…
    You wrote: “This child is well looked after and loved.”
    She might look well but I’m not convinced she is loved. How caring could they really be if they send her out in the rain to find someone to play with…? This goes beyond wanting free childcare. You know, there are all kinds of abuse? This sounds like emotional abandonment to me and it is abusive… 😦

    • Broot says :

      I hadn’t thought of it that way. I am convinced, however, that her mother is very loving. It is only her father that behaves like this. I will think about this some more. Thank you Eliz!

  5. Blond Duck says :

    Those parents suck.

  6. Jenn @ You know...that Blog? says :

    Wow, that is negligence though – what a couple of jerks! Some people should never have children if they don’t want to have them around. This makes me really angry. How do you tell a little girl you don’t want her because her parents are being jerks?? Puts you in a horrible position. Grrrr.

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