Sunday, March 15, 2009

Honey, I Think We're Breaking the Kid

Forgive how scatterbrained this post is. My brain is a direct reflection of how my weekend has gone. I'm sure there are those among you that can sympathize.

Here goes...........

When we bought out house 11 years ago, we intended to live here about five years.

I'm guessing you already see a problem.

There are two problems with where we live:

1 - the street in front of our house is quite busy (it wasn't when we moved in). So busy that it simply isn't safe for us to use the front yard.

2 - this is probably the biggest problem. There are NO kids living near us. At least none near AM's age.

When I was growing up, my parents used to shoo us outside as soon as it was warm enough for our eyelashes not to freeze. We rode bikes, roller skated, played in the sandbox, played kickball/baseball/whateverball, until the "streetlights came on".

I'm guessing I'm not alone in these childhood experiences.

Looking back, I know that this meant my mother could make dinner in peace. My father could relax after work. Both of them had hobbies and interests that didn't begin and end with their kids.

It meant I learned how to throw a ball, build a bike ramp, ride a skateboard and play a mean Princess Leia/Daisy Duke depending on our mood that day.

There were scads of kids and we played until we were as worn out as the knees on our jeans.

Unfortunately, AM is not having any of these experiences. If we want him to ride a bike, we have to pack he and the bike up, drive them to a park, and let him ride. If we want him to go outside and burn energy, we have to provide the entertainment. If he wants to play with a friend, we have to go get one and take him back home (or arrange for a "play date" at the park).

While I don't mind meeting at the park, or picking up a buddy for the day, I do mind that these are his ONLY opportunities to play with a friend.

Summer is quickly approaching and with it "I'm bored"-season. Sure, I can take him to the pool, but unless I intend to do something to entertain him every day I'm home, he'll end up inside watching tv. Or playing a video game.

I do NOT want another summer like this.

While I'm sure it's not PC for me to wish I could shove my kid outside, the truth is that he NEEDS to have many of the same experiences I had as a child. He needs to get dirty, learn how to do the monkey bars and skin his knees.

He needs buddies. Other boys he can rough around with. I NEED a way for him to burn energy. He needs to play.

The lack of kids in our neighborhood is effecting his development. For heaven's sake, the kid can't ride a bike without training wheels and it's completely due to the fact that there is NO place for him to ride and nobody for him to ride with.

So now our desire to move has gone from "eh, we'll do it someday" to "this needs to happen NOW".

We have friends that live in subdivisions FULL of kids and those kids have the childhood I had (or something similar). When their kids get home from school, they are outside playing with neighborhood pals.

When AM gets home from school, he sits. Yes, I go outside with him, but the reality is that I can't be outside shooting baskets, inside making dinner and inside with the baby all at the same time.

Plus, I'm mom. I'm not a guy buddy he can go get dirty with.

Is any of this making sense?

Moth wants to move someplace with land, but at this stage it's more important (he agrees) to get AM into a neighborhood where he can have a more active childhood. Eventually, NR will need a "boy" outlet too.

We need to make this happen. Fast.


Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

I am praying for a good sequence of events that lands you in a house with kids around it. Preferably about 15 blocks north and a little east of your current location.


Chaos-Jamie said...

Amen sistah!

We have neighborhood kids, but they are all so involved in their drive to activities that they never have time to play. Drives me crazy.

Where ever those neighborhoods are, good luck finding one.

Chaos-Jamie said...

You snooze, ya lose. The house behind me sold. Sniff.

The good news is some kids are moving in with it!

Here's hoping I approve of them.

Imperfect Mom said...

My boss wants us to buy her house out in the western burbs. Her boys are ALWAYS outside playing with neighbor kids. I can't help but be a little envious.