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wednesday 12.06.2000
street kids

somewhere along the way common sense got lost in my kids growing up thus so far. for my son this makes sense. he has particular issues that make common sense a difficult thing to master at any age, much less the cognitive age of 5 or 6. there are some things i would expect from a 6 year old that i don't expect from my son however. for example, when you tell a child not to walk in the street, at the age of 6, you kinda expect that to make some sense, even if just based on a mommy says i'll get hurt if i walk in the street. i usually give better explanations, like, the cars use the street and they are much bigger than you and could hurt you. good thing to give them the info as to why you are saying what you are saying sometimes.

so imagine my surprise today when i hear from jewel that froggy didn't want to hold her hand on the way home from the bus and ran in the street to avoid having to do so. thank god SOME drivers try to be alert to kids in rural areas. apparently she was almost hit and that was avoided purely by the fact that the driver saw her and avoided her. she came in the house sneaking behind her older sis and then "snuck" up the stairs. and when i called her down to discuss this with her, oh the look! i would have been dead if looks could kill. she had done this once before with kitten, and the reaction was quite different when "caught", so i am thinking the look was because she KNEW she did wrong and was upset at being "told on". i know some may think the fact she was almost hit may have to do with it, but i am not quite so sure. this is the kid that felll down our stairs 3 times and still insists on running up and down them, fell off the top bunk twice and still wanted to be on the top bunk for as long as we had it. she is her own walking danger zone sometimes and is either oblivious to it or thrives on it. take your pick. so i am pretty sure it was that she was being told on and would be getting in trouble for her behavior that brought on the attitude.

i rarely put up with "tattling". its a horrible habit kids get into. and it usually occurs when one kids has what another kid wants, the kid who is tattling is in trouble and wants everyone else to join him or her in the dog house, the kid they are telling on has done something they didn't want them to do...or didn't do something they wanted them to do, or something else retaliatory. rarely is it because the kid did anything seriously wrong, and even more rarely is it because the kid did anything dangerous. so the rules in my house are pretty close to, "no blood, no death, no major injury, then no tattling.". not that this always works, or that i won't listen to a tattle of another nature if its serious enough, but this at least gives the kids some guidelines as to appropriate tattling. i particularly loathe the "she won't let me play in her room" kind of tattling. i always want to look at the kid and say, "and?" but if i kid is in danger, then by all means TELL ME. that kind of "tattling" is more than appropriate in my mind.

so jewel came in and passed on the information of the afternoon's events and little froggy was talked to and sent to lay down until supper time.

froggy is 6 and can be allowed memory hiccups like this. but kitten is 13. she should have some common sense. and since a parking lot can be just as dangerous as a street at times, i was even more shocked to discover her and jewel playing in our parking lot. her excuse? "you never told me not to!" ummm...i am supposed to specifically say she's not to play in a PARKING LOT? she does KNOW that streets are off limits, so why on earth would a parking lot, also used by large heavy vehicles, be any different? and of course she got in trouble for such nonsense as well, but her look wouldn't have killed me, just blistered the skin a little. then came the tears.

i do not know if i can manage to live with a teen, a preteen, and a 6 year old going on 15 for much longer. i am sure some of it is the attitudes of the kids in the neighborhood rubbing off on them. the kids in the neighborhood own the street. they walk and play and do whatever they want in it any time they want to. the fact that they are more likely to be shot than run over must make our streets (as in the pavement) much safer than what i make it out to be. safe enough to ignore the fact that they have been told all the safety rules for streets and to ignore common sense about parking lots. am i missing something to expect a 13 year old to be able to make the connection that streets and parking lots are both places for vehicles and therefore both dangerous playgrounds? maybe not in those words, but at least the concept?

at any rate, it is much quieter earlier this evening than usual. both street kids have been sent to bed early. hopefully the next time they forget about streets and parking lots i will be just as i was today and they will come home safe and sound.

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