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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some people's children

Posted on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM

What is wrong with parents these days? And I'm not talking about welfare bums or unwed teenage mothers. I'm talking about seemingly normal adults with homes and jobs and not a sweet fucking clue how to raise children, never mind teach them common sense, manners or respect.

On my street the lawns, both front and back, are collectively strewn with thousands of dollars worth of destroyed toys. Bikes, helmets, roller blades, skateboards, scooters, hockey sticks and nets and an alarming amount of electronic battery operated toys that have no business outside in the first place lay rusting and rotting at the curb and usually blocking my driveway. Children discard their garbage wherever convenient; tree branches, shrubs, the holes in the cinder block retaining wall of my front steps, et cetera.

There are unattended school-age children looking in my windows, leaping in front of moving cars one in particular usually with pissed pants or beating my door down waking my children from their naps and trying to push past me into my home to "play" with my one- and two-year-old. This "play" consists of two school-aged kids ignoring my children while they try to snoop in my bedroom or ask for endless treats. When I wised up after the first trauma-filled visit and started saying no I was met with crossed arms, frowns, huffs of exasperation and jaw-dropping responses. Sweet baby Jesus were they raised by the broken condoms that failed to prevent their miserable existence? The parents never know where their kids are nor do they call them in for supper. The children just wander home cold hungry and dirty for a bowl of cereal and their TV when it gets too dark out to terrorize the neighbourhood. There is a blissful moment of silence as I bathe and tuck in my own children before the toddler a few houses down begins their nightly ritual of screaming at ungodly volumes until the exasperated parents set it loose in the yard to burn out while they toke up (I don't really blame them). And then just when my partner and I are settling down to sleep at 10:30 or so comes the night shift, a herd of 9- to 12-year-olds swinging from trees like monkeys, hollering, patrolling up and down the street or through our yard on their decrepit bikes and thundering on foot within inches of our bedroom window.

My kids aren't perfect but I don't and will never let them run wild, treat their belongings and the property of others like shit or fail to teach them basic manners and respect. I thought moving further from the city would be nice but I'd almost rather the little punk ass drug dealers of north end Dartmouth to these annoying children and clueless parents. At least welfare bums keep their kids locked up in the house to protect their investments. I don't blame the neighbours who seem nice but only take their kid outside in the early mornings while the others are still sleeping. Is there ANYWHERE in NS with a nice sense of community where adults and children alike are civil, respectful and pleasant to be around? Am I dreaming? —Made in the '80s

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