I suppose if we had paid movers to schlep our boxes from our hovel to the new place, we would have reason to complain about the various causalities our home has suffered in the moving process.  We were surprised to find our staircase was so narrow and by surprised I mean yelling "PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!" like Ross did in Friends all while heaving two sofas (two! dos! ni! whatever the number 2 is in German, add an exclamation point here!) up a flight of stairs. And if we weren't so tired, we would have probably fought to the death about the cracked light switch plate, the scuffs on the staircase wall, and the top floor's bathroom having NO WATER PRESSURE.  Do you know how great a bath would feel after 12+ hours of moving?  If so, please tell me because all I got was a dribble.  I had to drive back to the hovel because I was as clean as a leper. 

But we didn't fight.  Instead, we shrugged everything off maybe because of delirium or fatigue and the overwhelming drive to get it the hell over with.  Our headboard cracked?  Some glue and nails should do it!  Our cherry wood dining table now has divots because someone didn't hear me when I said, "WAIT!"  A table cloth will do the trick!  No husband-wife murder needed when there's duct tape! 

I did want to kill the two kids who climbed into our U-Haul and used their super-soakers to douse our mattress and box spring.  If using caps lock would convey how I felt walking into that cab and finding our belongings damaged, then I should tell you that I was FILLED WITH MURDEROUS RAGE.  I had seen them running around, squirting each other and and taking peeks into our yard, but I never once thought that they would purposefully violate someone else's bed.  But when we got there and found our beds wet, I called out to the one kid who didn't run.

"HEY!  Get over here!"  I pointed at him.

"I didn't do it!  My friend did!"  He cowered.

"I saw you with that water gun."


"What's your name?"


"Where do you live?" I asked. 

He pointed to a tiny brown house about five hundred feet away. 

"Let's go have a talk with your mother."

"She's not home."

"Fine.  When is she going to be home?"

"I don't know."

"Then tell your mother that the lady whose bed you ruined will be back later."

He shuffled into his house and shut the door behind him and if I could have struck him down just with dirty looks alone, he wouldn't have made it to the porch. 

I was fuming.  Fuming!  Like those cartoons when steam comes out of the ears, only it wasn't steam but a flurry of curse words.  I was glad that his mother wasn't there, and even if she had been there and he was just lying, I was grateful all the same because it gave me some time to think and not just yell at another mother.  It was the first time I've ever had to deal negatively with other people's kids and I felt I was tossed into delicate situation.  What if the mother didn't care?  Granted kids will be kid and it was just water, but it was our bed!  Our bed that we couldn't sleep on because it was wet!  Actually, we weren't going to sleep on it anyway because this was going to be the guest bed but still!  And with summer looming, those bored kids could retaliate!  I have enough trouble with people writing "WASH ME PLEASE" on my car, but what if they took it up another notch and their graffiti wasn't so nice? 

When I returned later that night, with my baby in tow, an older boy answered the door.  He swept his shaggy hair to the side.

I introduced myself politely and told him that we just moved in next door.  I asked if his mother was home and he said that she was out getting his brother a tetanus shot.  At night.   I asked him if Z. was his brother and he said yes.  I asked if Z. had told him what had happened earlier that day with the super soaker-bed fiasco.  He shook his head and apologized profusely.  He said that he would let his mother know and that "he won't be beaten or anything, maybe just given a talking to and grounded."  I left it at that and continued the long move. 

Question is: should I still talk to his mother?  I'm thinking yes, only because I would appreciate it if someone told me what Nathan had done.  Right now, all he does is put food in his mouth, pull it out of his mouth, examine it, and then put it back in.  (Also, reports from Lisa, Branan, and Cooper state that yesterday Nathan ate crackers, applies and curry and cried whenever Lisa left the room.  I would be remiss if I didn't say how thankful I am to the LBC camp for watching Nathan and how integral those hours were to completing our hovel-to-house transformation.  I'm emailing this post in, but in the meantime copy and paste this into your browser: http://lisa-branan.com/). 

I'm just trying to make a living, raise my son and wake up every day without "GHOST WUZ HEA" on my fence.  Surely another mother would appreciate that?  Right?

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  1. Butrfly4404 says:

    I would be so absolutely raging pissed, that kid would have been crippled with fear.

    It’s not about “permanent damage” – it’s about the fact that he basically trespassed and was completely disrespectful by doing so.

    I would probably try to catch her still. She really should find you now that you’ve been there twice, but some parents are just like that.

    (PS- We totally damaged our house while moving in, too. )

  2. Swistle says:

    We trashed our house moving into it, too. Long stripes of paint removed from freshly-painted walls, transferred onto the furniture we scraped it onto. Big cracks in bureau drawers. Long scratches on the newly-refinished wood floors. I too was glad it was us and not movers, because I think if it had been movers I’d be stewing to this day, whereas instead I got all philosophical about it, which was good for my stewy character.

    Ug, I don’t know what I’d do about the kid. I’m such a huge chicken, but…I guess I might go over, but I’d go gently. I’d explain what happened in an “I thought you would want to know” way, and hope that she would respond with shock and dismay as opposed to a shrug, because a shrug would send me into a fiery column of vengeance, and that’s not good on the first day in a new neighborhood.

    Um, my word verification is a bad swear spelled wrong.

  3. oh i would be so livid the kid would have had a hair dryer to that mattress! What a brat!!! I understand that kids will be kids, but that’s just ridiculous! I agree that she should find you now, but if she doesn’t, i would be hauling my baby (not that i have one) back over there….

    i’ve lived in my house a year…and haven’t really fixed much of anything i screwed up in the process…ooops…

    i’m very glad y’all didn’t kill each other. i would miss my daily dose of “insomnia”!

  4. Mona, I feel your pain! I can’t stand most of the kids in my neighborhood. And the thing is, we live in a pretty decent neighborhood, too. You’d think at least parents with high paying jobs would teach their children a little respect. Instead, we have latchkey children roaming around the neighborhood dumping their Gatorade bottles on other peoples lawns. It sucks that you have to confront a kid’s mom this early into your new living environment… I had to do the same thing when I moved into my neighborhood, and it went horribly. I hope if you do talk to his mother, that she’s mature enough to deal with the situation.

  5. Melissa says:

    Maybe you should just be thankful that they didn’t pee on your mattress. šŸ˜‰

  6. Seattle Mamacita says:

    as a middle school teacher i’m all for holding kids accountable that and the mom in me would like to know what trouble my guys are up to when i’m not watching…

  7. I would definatly still stop by and agin and talk to his mother. You never know that the story will reach her otherwise. If it was my kid, I would want to know.

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