I'm just sick with frustration right now.
I'm mad and irritated and embarrassed. And sad.
If you've read my updates on Facebook, then you probably know what I'm talking about.
Neighbor drama. *ugh* It's awful. There are two sets of neighbors on the street that I've never really got a good vibe from. Remember the anonymous letter about my lawn care last year? I've written about the neighborhood snootiness before. Not only do I not really like the adults, but I don't really like their kids either. Of course Jake likes to play with them. He doesn't seem to mind that they tattle all the time. Or that they don't invite him to their swimming parties. He just plays with them anyway. Because that's what boys do.
So anyway rewind to Tuesday I guess. Maybe Monday I don't remember anymore. Neighbor comes knocking on the door saying he's going to have a "conference" with all the kids on the street and as a parent I'm welcome to come join the conversation. Apparently Neighbors wife got a bunch of scratches on her car and they're pissed about it. I say ok, whatever, do what you gotta do and I send Jake over to the "conference". The whole time I'm thinking...how do you know it was one of these kids? Couldn't it have happened in a parking lot somewhere? Are you sure it wasn't your punk ass tattle tail?
But whatever. I was glad they didn't single anyone out.
Jake comes home, I ask him if he did it, he says NO and I say are you sure? he says I didn't do it! and I say OK and give him the speech about respecting peoples property and to be careful and to stay away from the cars. Ok Mom.
Fast forward to Thursday. I'm walking home from the park with another neighbor, one I actually really like, and we discuss the "conference" the kids had the other day. We agree that they whole thing seems blown out of proportion and they're making a big deal out of nothing. And that their little punk ass kid is a punk. Glad to know someone else agrees with me.
Forward again to Friday. I'm outside talking to The Good Neighbor. The kids had a little tiff that morning (because of the little tattle tail across the street) and I wanted her to know that I talked to them and everything seemed straightened out.
Enter Miss Priss from across the street. Tattle Tails mom and victim of a Hate Crime on her precious car. I can see the smoke coming off her head has she approaches. (and let me just note here again...I don't like this woman. Not because of the lawn letter, I'm over that, but because she's not friendly. Oh at first she seems friendly, but it never gets past the fakeness. There's only so much fake I can handle. I'm done with fake. She comes off very snooty when you talk to her, I don't like the way she talks to the kids and I don't like how she expects all the other kids to follow her rules but her kid gets away with murder) Anyway so here she comes...my heart starts to pounding. I'm thinking Dear God, what is going on now?! Well she starts laying into me and The Good Neighbor about how her car got all scratched up again, how mad she is, how some one's gonna pay for this....blah blah blah I pretty much just shut down at that point and then how she wants to have another 'conference' with all the boys again.
I'm not the kind of parent that never thinks their kid does anything wrong. In fact I'm usually the one that says What did you do? But Jake and I had already talked about this. And he told me he didn't do it. And I believed him.
So I send Jake over there and I tag along behind. There are about 8 kids between the ages of 5 and 9 standing there and she is ripping them all a new one. Seriously. She goes on and on about how You better fess up! I'm going to find out who no matter what! You better hope none of your friends tattles on you! You're going to be washing my car for an entire year! That's 54 times! (ahem. there are only 52 weeks in a year, dumb@ss) I'm just standing there dumbfounded. And that was probably a good thing because if I could have got any words out of my mouth, it wouldn't have been good.
So I bring Jake back in the house. I sit him down and say:
Jake, I already asked you this before. I asked you if you scratched her car and you told me no. I believed you. I still believe you. But if you know something or need to tell me something, you need to do it now. I need you to be honest with me.
He takes a deep breath. Tears well up in his eyes.
Well....*sniff* Well I had one of Johns Bakugans and...and I rolled it down the side of her car.
What? You did? Did you scratch it?
I guess. Maybe. I don't know. Am I going to get in trouble?
So at that point I just didn't know what to do. Had I become the parent oblivious to her child's behaviors? Did he really scratch the car or is he just so scared not to say something...What was I supposed to do now? I was so angry with that woman for how she spoke to all these kids, how could I possibly go over there and eat crow now? How could I go over there now when I was so sure my kid had nothing to do with this? I wasn't really mad at Jake for scratching the car. Of course it's not ok, but kids are kids and accidents are going to happen. And I really don't think he meant to do it intentionally. I was much more upset and disappointed that he had not been honest with me the first time.
Anyway, I didn't know what to do. I sent him to his room for the time being and put a call into Pete. He's at the ranch all weekend.
We were gone all day yesterday and I tried to not think about it.
So then today Jake goes out front and like white on rice Mr Neighbor comes right over to Jake and goes "Jake, did you apologize to Mrs. Neighbor?"
uhh...wha?? how does he know that Jake did anything? We never went back outside after the "conference" on Friday.
I hear this and I start to implode. I really don't want to deal with this until Pete gets home. Anyway the next thing I know Jake has high-tailed it back into the house. And its where he's gonna stay until we have a meeting with dad.
So for now he's grounded.
And he's going to go over there tomorrow to apologize.
And if she really wants a 6 year old to wash her car every week then whatever.
I guess he'll know he better not touch any one's car again.
I guess this is all part of being a kid. And growing up. And being a parent.
I think the hardest part for me is knowing that he really is a good kid. He made a mistake. An accident. And I feel like he's wearing the Scarlet Letter right now because of something being blown out of proportion. I feel like all of a sudden he's been labeled that kid.
I know in my heart of hearts he isn't that kid.