Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


societal norms


Okay, I have to ask about this and I cannot contain my thoughts about it because I think it is wrong. So now I may have jaded you, but trust me, if I am being uptight and anal retentive I would love to know. Feel free to say, Cardiogirl let it go. It's not a big deal.

I have a next-door neighbor who has four kids, three boys 6, 4 and 2 and a two-month-old girl. And let me just add, I thank God every time I see her that I only have three kids. Her parenting style is much more lax than mine is. Without trying to bash her, but to give you an accurate picture, her boys run around in the street, play inside the car starting the motor with her keys and just last week I actually witnessed her 2-year-old playing with a pair of hand-held hedge trimmers (basically scissors for the grass).

We spend a lot of time in the backyard or away from the house as I am not particularly fond of her or her children. We have a fake friendship, basically we are frenemies. We are polite in person and we don't like each other behind each other's backs and we both know it. You know, the basic suburban mother's lifestyle.

So I had left a bucket of chalk on the steps up to our front porch the other day. Now this was some sweet chalk, let me tell you. Not that thin stuff that breaks the minute you touch it to the sidewalk. These were premium one-inch thick and five-inch long pieces of chalk in pastel colors. A nice sturdy writing tool that withstands the test of time. As chalk goes, it was top of the line. (Did you note the foreshadowing by the use of the past tense?)

When my kids and I go in for the day I tidy up the front lawn. I do not leave bikes and wagons on the grass or flip flops on the sidewalk. I clean it up so the casual passerby would never know children reside here. I admit that could be construed as anal retentive but I own it. So my little bucket of chalk was sitting primly on the steps, over to the side near the handrail. It wasn't an eyesore. It was just hanging out waiting for us to return.

When we did return, half of the chalk was gone, the bucket lying askew on the lawn with the handle ripped off and there was much chalk graffiti on our sidewalk, in front of our house. Now before you get the wrong idea, I have not said a peep to the neighbor about it and I do not plan on speaking to her about it. I simmer in silence. That's just how I roll.

But I am asking you what you think of that. To me, this is just so universally wrong it is akin to someone breaking into my house and wearing my clothes while they parade up and down the street in front of my house, rubbing my face in it. I know the answer to this is to never, ever again leave the chalk out in front of my house. I get it.

I'm just saying, don't you think she should have told her kids not to use up our chalk? (Don't be shocked. I have told you repeatedly I am a cheapskate. I buy the $1 bucket from Walmart and will not spring for the $5 60-piece box.)

Just a quick aside: they do have a brand-spankin' new 60-piece box of chalk. I have seen it with my own eyes and have actually borrowed a piece from the 4-year-old a couple of weeks ago. See, I try to lead by example. I asked the kid if I could borrow a piece. He said yes. I drew a butterfly and promptly returned it to the kid after saying, "Thank you." That's how it's done, folks.

It's the principle of the matter. I'm not going to go to war with this woman over chalk and she will never know what I think (unless she somehow stumbles upon this site, but I'm sure she doesn't have time to surf the web with a newborn in the house.)

I just think she is setting a poor example for her children. And I think this is basic common courtesy. If we don't have societal rules that we follow then we simply live in chaos. I prefer to live in a semblance of society.


Sending out a thank you: I'm sending an extra 1000 strides on the elliptical trainer to lifeasme66 who added me as a favorite recently. Thanks Chris!


2007-06-21 at 6:41 a.m.

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