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Sorry For Ruining Summer


For the first 8 months of his life or so, Auggie used every opportunity possible (which is a hell of a lot when you have a 7 year old who languidly opens doors and wanders through them) to bolt from the sanctity of my home to my neighborhood. I cannot tell you how many times my fat pregnant ass had to huff and puff down the street after him in a futile exercise of Showing My Neighbors That I Cared. It embarrassed me to have The Dog That Runs and shamed me further that there was very little I could do about it. He was too fucking fast for me, that little asshole.

(note: these are the days when I dreamed of taxidermy-ing him into The Perfect Dog)

Eventually, we’d get him back in the house only to repeat the cycle ad infintum, ad nauseum.

Fortunately for us, we live in a really nice neighborhood and no one really gave us hell for it. It wasn’t as though we could do a whole lot about it (save for patch our back fence, where he’d happily escape) and we did what we could. It’s a Shiba Inu thing, The Internet told me, which made me feel loads better and the only reason that ickle shit head isn’t gone, doggie, gone.

One of the last times that he bolted, this happened. I hate to be an ass, but go back and read it and come back here.


(hums the Jeoprady song)

Oh wait, what’s that? A cute sibling picture while I wait? Don’t mind if I do.


Man, you’re a fast reader. I was gonna put more pictures here, but okay, moving on.

That was last October and for some inexplicable reason, Auggie stopped bolting. I’d say it was the Fear of God that I put in him, but anyone who knows me knows that’s a load of crap. The only person in this house afraid of me is Ben, and that’s because I’ve convinced him I’m psychic.

(also: how awesome is that?)

What I left out in that post was how ridiculously upset that made me. I don’t mind people being pissed at me for doing shit on purpose, but damn, I was trying to FIX the fact that Ben had let Auggie out. So not my fault. But I came home and cried my head off (see, I do have emotions other than, I Want A Fucking Cheeseburger and I Want A Fucking Nap).

So, a couple of weeks ago after school, Amelia happily napping in her swing (so glad I bought a crib for her not to sleep in), Alex happily destroying the hell out of my house, Ben brought over my Crusty Neighbor’s granddaughter. She’s been here before and she’s a huge brat, but this was before The Curious Incident With The Dog In The Daytime.

Honestly, this little girl was so unpleasant last summer that I really would rather her not come over–she’s also several years younger than Ben–because I don’t care to have to discipline someone else’s kid so that she can have the afternoon off. Plus, her grandmother was a huge bitch to me, and while I’m not pinning her voodoo doll likeness with straight pins, I’m not exactly baking her batches of cookies.

I sent them back outside that day because Amelia was sleeping and I didn’t want them to wake her.

But that brings me to my question, and it’s an honest one: should I overlook my own feelings on the matter so that Ben can play with his friend inside my house? I certainly don’t mind if they play together, but I’d prefer not to have to be the one in charge of her.

Tell me honestly what you think. What would you do, Internet?

54 Comments to

“Sorry For Ruining Summer”

  1. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:32 am Ames Says:

    I’m not one to like to discipline other people’s kids either. If it were me I think I’d do the same thing you are doing.

  2. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:33 am Rachel Says:

    Ceara has a friend that is an intolerable little bitch, and I won’t have her in my house. I have told Ceara not to even bother bringing her inside, and have told her that she is NEVER going to spend the night at our house. If she wants to play w/her so bad, they can play at the playground across the street.
    Does that make me a bitch? Probably. But I only have 1 good nerve left, and that kid just jumps up and down on it.

  3. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:34 am Badass Geek Says:

    If she’s not your kid, you should have to be responsible for her unless you are getting paid to do so.

  4. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:37 am Sarah Says:

    I’m so the wrong person to ask. My home is my sanctuary AWAY from things like other people’s children. (Even the really sweet and well-behaved ones.) It’s all my monkeys can do to get a decent kid through the door, to say nothing of a punk. THAT having been said, I also try to balance my distate for other people against what works for my kids… they LOVE other people, LONG for their company, because I’m a neurotic twit, and I understand that. Also, having them playing with other kids means they sleep at night…. Sooooo…. essentially it would depend on my mood, and just how bratty the neighbor kid was being on any given day.

    Which means, most of the time, it sounds like they’d be outside!

  5. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:41 am Anjali Says:

    That picture is so adorable. It’s funny, I have a same but different issue I posted about today…

  6. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:06 pm BB Says:

    I would let them play together outside, but I would not let her play in the house. I think you did the right thing.
    Our next door neighbor is aweful, and her son is aweful as well. It got to the point last summer that my girls were not allowed to play with him at all. This year, they have started playing together, and he is better behaved, but there is no way he will be coming in my house to play.

  7. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:25 pm Kristina Says:

    Well it’s obvious where the kid gets her shitty attitude from. If it were me, I wouldn’t let her play. I have enought to worry about and don’t need someone else’s kid coming over to my house and acting up. Between peeing on the carpet and saying “cuz” as his answer to EVERYTHING (He’s two, by the way. Can you imagine his attitude at 12?), my kid has enough bad habits and doesn’t need to learn anymore from Crusty’s little darling.

    Furthermore, if the bitchy neighbor doesn’t like the way you handle your DOG, why would she allow her brat of a grandkid into your house anyway? I think when it’s time for little Darling to go home, you should put her and all your kids on those kid leashes and march them to her house. Obviously, you understand leash laws.

  8. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:33 am Michelle Says:

    I honestly would not have her over. If the bitch acted that nasty about your dog, can you IMAGINE what she’d do if, say, her granddaughter fell and hurt herself while at your place? Sad, but these are things we have to consider now.

  9. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:37 am trish Says:

    As is always pointed out to me when I give parenting advice, I don’t have kids of my own. Somehow, this negates me from having what I consider common sense (not on this topic, but on other things). BUT, since I think my advice is good, I’ll tell you what I think.

    I don’t think you should allow that kid to come back to your house. Not because of her grandparents, but because she’s not well behaved. It’s not your job to discipline kids that come over to play; it’s the parents job to make sure their kids know there’s rules when they go over to other people’s houses.

  10. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:38 am Inna Says:

    I think I needed more cute sibling pictures to answer this question (that and I’m not qualified to answer, me having no kids, it but I still wanted to post a comment cause I care. :))

  11. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:40 am statia Says:

    I don’t have kids that are of bringing home other kids age. Most of his “playdates” (fucking hate that word) are my friends who bring his age mates over.

    However, I suspect that I’ll be the type of parent, that visits from friends will have to be scheduled. That is to say, anal retentive, and should the kid in question be a huge brat, they won’t be welcome back. I don’t put with that from my own kid, I’m not going to put up with it when I can’t discipline them. Because you know that’s a fine line.

  12. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:41 am kbrients Says:

    yeahhhhh – outdoors would be my choice… indoors you have to not only discipline them you have to feed them and clean up after them.

    Outdoors would be my rule, unless you are being paid by the hour.

  13. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:43 am ms. bliss Says:

    I would have done the same thing….send her outside…if they want to play together they can play outside or at her grandma’s house where she can do the snacks and babysitting!

  14. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:44 am Mrs Soup Says:

    I would tell her that just like there being Leash Laws, there are also such things as babysitting fees. So send her an invoice. With a smiley face. And deliver it with your dog, on a leash, and allow him to shit on her lawn. With a big grin on your face.

    I’m slightly vindictive…..

  15. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:48 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    It depends… does Ben NEED this girl as a friend, or does he have enough playmates? If he has enough, he doesn’t need another.

    Also, if he really enjoys playing with her, then all bets are off and you should just suck it up for his happiness.

  16. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:49 am deb Says:

    Well I must not be following along very well because I don’t know where the dog comes into play. But…
    I would let them play. Inside or out is totally up to you. It’s not her fault her gma is a biotch. It’s not even relally her fault shes a pain in the ass. She’s just allowed to be. But if it just gets to be too much, or you see her attitude rubbing off on Ben – that’s it. I would put the kibosh on the whole deal.

    I’ll send you my bill.

  17. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:51 am fidget Says:

    uhh I missed like 85% of that post b/c I could not stop staring at cute sibling pic….

    I make the neighborhood shitheads… uh… no really, I mean shitheads, play in the yard. they sure as hell are not allowed inside of my house where I may be suddenly overcome with the urge to beat the snot out of them. Now the nice neighbor boy who is quite unfortunately moving, is on occasion allowed in the house to play

  18. On May 6th, 2009 at 11:53 am lady lemon Says:

    Dude, you’re neighbor is a totaly dick/bitch (I didn’t catch the gender, but it matters not). I would round up all the turds from my yard and throw them over their fence.

    But that would involve rounding up turds, and well…

    I say let Ben play with her, I guess. If he really gives a shit about it, anyway. Otherwise, fuck it.

  19. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:23 pm GingerB Says:

    I want to be the mom at the house where all the kids come to play so you know where your kids are – because when I disappeared I was smoking pot and planning to drop out of high school, and by then it was probably too late. I never will be that mom because I work full time . . . but I’d mostly let kids come over so we develop that history and then have the rule that bad kids go home, just like bad dogs make good eatin’.

    Do my meme or I withdraw my vote! Suffer! Suffer! Work for it!

  20. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:27 pm baseballmom Says:

    Our house is kind of the hangout for the kids’ friends, BUT, that said, I do not let kids come over that can’t behave themselves. I’ve gotten waaaay better about saying something when the kid is not being nice or is not following my rules, and if they want to go home because I’m being a bitch? GO ALREADY! I would be afraid to let that kid in your house, because, like someone said before, it’s a liability if she got hurt and the grandma is already a known bitch. I’d let him play outside with her, but not in your house.

  21. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:40 pm ainebegonia Says:

    Let them play outside, that way Ben still gets to play with his friend but you don’t have to deal with her.

  22. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:43 pm Eva Says:

    There’s enough we have to do in life that we don’t want to. Don’t knock yourself out being nice.

  23. On May 6th, 2009 at 12:46 pm heather Says:

    I don’t think I’d let her in either. I agree that if something happens to her in your house, you’d be held responsible. Not to mention, the kid could make stuff up. Better not to take the chance.

  24. On May 6th, 2009 at 1:03 pm CJ Says:

    Do you have a tazer, by chance? Maybe the threat of a little shock would make her stay in line.

    (Sorry, obviously I have nothing helpful to offer on this topic. My son doesn’t have any “friends” yet, just other toddlers whose moms I like, so the munchkins are forced to share toys while we talk.)

  25. On May 6th, 2009 at 1:11 pm tash Says:

    Here’s just me: think about the good kids. Ultimately, what you want to have happen is for them to play a bit at your place, and THEN GO PLAY A BIT AT THEIR PLACE. It’s the whole ying/yang of karma/playdates. There’s no hard-fast tally going on in my ‘hood or at school, but we keep silent checks in our head about who owes us, and who we need to spell some afternoon.

    Now, how comfortable are you exactly about your child disappearing into that house? With that person as the disciplinarian/overseer?

    Blergh is what I say. Time to schedule the hell out of your kid so he has no time for this shizz.

  26. On May 6th, 2009 at 2:19 pm ryanandjoesmom Says:

    as i explain to my boy who feels that the only cool place to play with his friend is inside – it is only nice for 5 months out of the year so get outside and enjoy it.

    after the disasterous 11 year birthday party where half my house was destroyed by ‘good kids’, i don’t trust any of them in my house anymore, much to the boy’s dismay.

    if all else fails and they end up in the house – put them to work. 🙂

  27. On May 6th, 2009 at 1:36 pm mumma boo Says:

    I’d do the same thing as you. Outside is fine – inside, no way. Obviously evil grandma doesn’t want to deal with her, so why should you have to? I won’t let my neighbor’s kids in my house. I’ve seen the inside of theirs and it a-scares me.

  28. On May 6th, 2009 at 1:55 pm Kristine Says:

    Although mine isn’t old enough to be bring in friends without their mom (his friends all still wear diapers and if I’m not related to you, or being paid, I’m not changing your diaper.) I am in the outside camp for annoying kids though.

  29. On May 6th, 2009 at 1:56 pm amelie Says:

    Totally let them stay outside – and then pull the GOOD mom card. You know – playing outside combats the “epidemic” of childhood obeseity andf the vitamin d builds strong bones, and misquito bites build immunity etc. You are only thinking of her health. Smile sweetly as you send her obnoxious self right out the door.

  30. On May 6th, 2009 at 2:03 pm a Says:

    I think everyone wants to be the mom with the house where all the neighborhood kids hang out – that means your kid is cool But in reality, they should be outside playing, unless they were specifically invited over. I remember many a time when my friend’s mom (who is as close to being my mom as possible without giving birth to me) would invite me to leave because it was dinner time. Or cleaning time. And there were a few people my friend couldn’t have in the house at all. I thought her mom was kinda mean in that respect, but since she was so nice otherwise, I just overlooked it.

    Anyway, bratty kids should not be invited in, unless you issue the invitation, and really in this day and age, probably through the parent or grandparent. Leash Law ought to keep a better eye on the grandchild – I somehow doubt that the child’s mother approves of her kid wandering into other people’s houses.

  31. On May 6th, 2009 at 2:10 pm Sara Says:

    I agree that they should play outside. I thought that was what summer was for anyway!

  32. On May 6th, 2009 at 3:17 pm The Boss Says:

    I don’t think you should chance it by having the girl over. If the grandmother is such a hag about the dog then I can only imagine what she would be like if god forbide the girl gets a splinter or falls on your property. I wouldn’t risk it.

  33. On May 6th, 2009 at 2:39 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    They’d be outside if they were here. That damn near forces the kid’s grandmother to at least (one would hope) poke her head out the door a few times (as she apparently did when the dog issue cropped up!) to make sure her granddaughter is behaving and following whatever rules she’s supposed to follow. I say this as the parent of boys who like to have their neighborhood friend come over (hell, strike that – who invites himself over!) and playing in the house for hours at a time. HOURS! I swear to you on all that is holy, that kid’s parents don’t even know my name.

  34. On May 6th, 2009 at 2:58 pm Mama Bee Says:

    Dude! I totally require a photo of your cute little Shiba!! Aren’t they the prettiest dog EVAR?! We had one (emphasis on “had”). She went KER-azy when I popped a kid out my vag and never was the same so we had to find a new home for her.

    Well, wasn’t that a downer. Sorry!

    I would have preferred her stuffed as well. 🙂

  35. On May 6th, 2009 at 3:10 pm honeywine Says:

    Leave them lil suckers outside. They’ll live. And, hey, they don’t get enough fresh air, right?

  36. On May 6th, 2009 at 3:57 pm Michelle Says:

    Hmm, I didn’t read the other comments, so I may be repeating. If he really seems to have fun with her then I would let them play. I would limit the time indoors though to very small amounts.

    Adorable sib picture!

  37. On May 6th, 2009 at 4:10 pm Coco Says:

    I say keep your sanity and enforce outside play.

    Your neighbor is an asswipe and I’d subtly encourage Ben to play with ANYONE but the little devil girl.

    And I say this as the parent of a devil child in training. Sigh.

  38. On May 6th, 2009 at 5:34 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    I’m a sucker. I’d probably let her come over. And try to be nice to her. Until she pissed me off. Then I’d send her home. Harsh letter to follow.

  39. On May 6th, 2009 at 4:44 pm Michelle Says:

    Ahhh playdates, love em and hate them! The last playdate my son had with a particular boy, he (the other boy) threw out my son’s Nintendo DS. Because my son stopped to rest and watch the TV. I was ticked off and let the boy know that that is not the way we do things in our house, and I would go to his house and throw his DS out. But since my son has limited memory of anything anyone does bad or mean to him, still plays with this kid. Does not help that he is at the bus stop and in his class.
    This boy also said to me in a very loud voice as I dropped him off at preschool, “You’re not FUCKING listening to me!” At 4 years old. I should have moved then.

  40. On May 6th, 2009 at 5:02 pm Holli Says:

    I’d let them play together, but only outside.

  41. On May 6th, 2009 at 5:12 pm Kendra Says:

    Well, my oldest is only 5, so we don’t have a lot of neighborhood kids just stopping by (plus we don’t know our neighbors too well). I also do day care, so I’m used to disciplining other people’s kids.

    So I guess it would come down to a couple of things for me. First of all, while I am used to watching other people’s kids, I am being paid for it; but more importantly, we have a formal agreement about me watching their kids. They know their kids are here, they know I’m licensed, they know I have certain standards with respect to the kids’ behavior and my own. So if I was going to let this kid play in my house, I would want to have a talk with the grandparents or whoever she answers to, making it clear that she needs permission (from them and from me) before she comes in our house. And I would mention that we’ve had some behavioral problems with her, and if she’s having trouble controlling her behavior, she’ll be sent home. We do know one little girl next door, who comes over to play sometimes when we’re outside. I’ve only ever said hi to her mom, but she’s also never been in our house; I feel fine with her being here when we’re outside and her mom could easily see her out the window, rather than in our house, where it feels a lot more like my responsibility.

    I would also consider my kids’ feelings about her. If she’s a dear friend, maybe talk about ways to control her behavior or talk in advance about how you’re going to handle it if she’s a brat. If they don’t care much and she’s just a warm body to play with, I wouldn’t worry so much and just kick the little turd out if need be.

    But then again, what do I know? The only kids who come over to play are ones whose parents pay me, plus one little girl who plays in our yard.

  42. On May 6th, 2009 at 5:28 pm Sarah Says:

    Three points that I’ve gleaned (read: stolen) from the other comments that I’d go by:
    1. Bad behavior DOES rub off.
    2. Grandma WILL go apeshit on your head if something happens to the little brat.
    3. There ARE other fish (read: kids) in the sea.

    That being said, sending them home when they are bad is a pretty good message both to child and parent/guardian if Ben really digs this person. But no, you aren’t responsible for them. Maybe you could mention they play outside to Grandma and if she’s concerned, perhaps she should keep an eye on them.
    And I still want to go back and sack that guy about the freaking leash laws. I’m sorry, but WTF?

  43. On May 6th, 2009 at 5:34 pm Jen Says:

    I agree, keep the kids outside as much as possible. However, just to play devil’s advocate, it’s not this kid’s fault that her grandma’s a douche and that she may just be a douche-in-training. Maybe she’ll be like the dog when he stoped running away and fight the urges of douche-dom.

  44. On May 6th, 2009 at 5:34 pm Jenn Says:

    If someone’s kid is being an asshole then they aren’t welcome here. I teach my kids manners and when other people’s kids are here I expect them to have manners too. But I guess I could overlook it if it was Monkey’s very best friend or something. Maybe. On a good day.

  45. On May 6th, 2009 at 6:25 pm Susan Says:

    Mine’s too young to deal with this type of thing yet, but I don’t think I would have the bratty friend over. Don’t you, as we all do, already have an assload of things to deal with on a daily basis? Why add a PIA kid, WHO ISN’T EVEN YOUR OWN, into the mix? Sounds like the poor thing is already on the road to walking in Grammy’s footsteps…

  46. On May 6th, 2009 at 7:43 pm Susan Says:

    We always have a houseful of extra kids and the rule is, if you’re in my house you’re following my rules. I’m not ugly or anything, but my kids have certainly learned how I expect them to behave when they’re at other people’s homes. Kick her bitchy little ass.

  47. On May 6th, 2009 at 6:47 pm Stacie Says:

    Okay, piping in a bit late here and I’m being lazy and didn’t read more than the first couple of comments so if I duplicate I’m sorry. Thankfully most of the children in my neighborhood are quite pleasant. However, there was a kid in our old neighborhood that I could not stand. His parents were lazy and would send him outside by himself (he was 4) or send him to our house. I would let the kids play outside (while I supervised of course), I would not feed him (I sent him home if needed to eat something), and if he got out of hand he went home. It worked out pretty well.

  48. On May 6th, 2009 at 7:27 pm kalakly Says:

    Keep her the fuck out. One little scratch or other likely play date mishap and Granny get your Gun is going to be all over yo ass.
    Also, gee I wonder where the wee one gets her charming personality???Hmmmm

  49. On May 7th, 2009 at 2:37 am Jessi Louise Says:

    I wouldn’t hold it against the kid, but as soon as she acts up I would kick them outside or send her home (depending on whether it was just annoying/wild behavior or downright mean). We’ve mostly had good experiences with neighbor kids, but there have been more than a few times when I have to say, “OK, time to go home!”

  50. On May 7th, 2009 at 2:22 pm Lola Says:

    Since I’m a cranky old bitch, I keep all the kids outside, and the dogs are in the house with me. I guess if Ben really likes her, and maybe she’s not as annoying since she’s a year older, I’d see how it plays out – while they play outside, of course.

    If she’s a little bitch, get rid of her.

  51. On May 7th, 2009 at 5:30 pm Betts Says:

    I’m once bitten, twice shy. If a kid comes over to play and she’s a problem, she’s not coming back until she has her driver’s license.

  52. On May 7th, 2009 at 6:16 pm sara Says:

    crap jbauman or jason is me..sara. Sorry!

  53. On May 13th, 2009 at 8:34 pm Erica Says:

    Having several of my own children makes me highly intolerant of OPK (other people’s kids). Not that my kids are saints by any stretch of the imagination, but…if I’m not gonna put up with from my own kids, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna put up with it from OPK.

    This is not a playdate. This is Crusty Neighbor being annoyed w/ granddaughter and pawning her off on the neighbor for a couple of hours. Bullshit. She can play outside with your kid if she plays nicely and if not, direct her back from whence she came. Perhaps on a leash 😉

  54. On May 26th, 2009 at 3:32 am Sorry For Ruining Summer < It’s all about the trends Says:

    […] It embarrassed me to have The Dog That Runs and shamed me further that there was very little I cou click for more var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : […]

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