After a swimming play date with a school friend, we sat on our porch and chatted with the mother while the boys scootered and played. Suddenly, I heard our newest elderly neighbor shouting at the boys from his balcony. They needed to quiet down and stop playing! Oh no he di-in’t.
What I wish I did next: I wish I had calmly walked over and said, “Excuse me, sir. There is no reason to yell at the children. If you have a problem with them, you may come downstairs and discuss it with his father and me.”
Luc: “Oh no you may not yell at me, Old LADY!”
Me: “Luc, go inside. Sir, you may NOT EVER yell at our children! Don’t you EVER yell at these children!”
Luc: “What? Why?!”
Me: “Luc, just go. And other thing, SIRRRRRR….”
At this point, Reed came over to tell the man to stop yelling at me. The man went on to complain that the children’s behavior was unruly. That the common areas are not a playground and that they should not be so loud at that “time of night.”
Reed: “Sir, it’s 6:30 on a Friday evening. It’s not late, and the kids have every right to be playing with their scooters in the common areas. Come on, Al.”
I should have gone with Reed at that point. I really should have. But the guy just stood there glaring at the children (who had not gone inside) from his balcony. I didn’t like it. So, in pure COPS episode form, I anchored my feet, put my hands on my hips, and glared at him.
Reed came back and physically pulled me away. But, as he did, Old Man Kvetchy mumbled something about being unpersonable. I don’t remember much about what happened next. I think flaming serpents shot out of my scalp.
Anyhoo, after a “You clearly don’t have children or didn’t participate in raising them if you do!” and a “Sir, either go inside or come down here!” (go Reed!) and a “If you ever yell at my child again, I promise you there will be trouble!” I finale’ed with: “I HATE this place! I HATE it so MUCH! I want to MOVE!!!” And burst into tears.
Keepin’ it classy, folks.