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The 7 Stages of Having Neighborhood Kids Over

As the mom of a nine-year-old boy, I realize it’s odd that I’m only now learning what it’s like to have neighborhood kids over.

If you remember, Boy Wonder is a pretty shy kid when it comes to making new friends, but I’m ecstatic to report he’s made friends with a neighborhood kid three doors down.

As much as I’m struggling working from home with my two boys this summer, adding a third child into the mix is helping ease their summer boredom. “Neighborhood Kid” (as he shall be named) seems to diffuse the sibling rivalry between my kids, and his novel presence in our home has become a perfectly adequate substitution for my undivided attention.

While I’m thankful for Neighborhood Kid’s ability to keep my kids occupied and bring Boy Wonder out of his shell, I’m learning things about the strangeness of our household that I never realized. Check ‘em out after the jump!


  • Stage I: Tension 1 of 7
    Stage I: Tension
    I've lived in my house now for five years without ever associating with my neighbors. Now that my kids have made friends with the neighborhood kids, I'm faced with the awkwardness that comes from living here for so long without ever having made a formal introduction and it's too weird to do it now.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage II: Defense 2 of 7
    Stage II: Defense
    When Neighborhood Kid's mom showed up at my door unexpectedly I felt the need to explain everything her unsuspecting eyes were taking in. "No, I'm not raising veal in this darkened room with curtains drawn like we live in a crack house. Our windows face west and let in way too much light and heat come summer. I work from home so I apologize for my pajama-clad appearance (and seriously hope that you're cool so I won't have to blog about you)."
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage III: Shame 3 of 7
    Stage III: Shame
    I recently discovered just how sheltered my 4-year-old son was when we thought nothing of taking a poop with the door wide open in front of Neighborhood Kid's mom. I guess you could say we don't entertain much.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage IV: Judgment 4 of 7
    Stage IV: Judgment
    I like Neighborhood Kid and everything, but he's got a pretty mature sass mouth on him, especially in competitive situations. While I haven't worked up the nerve to tell him to watch his sass in my house, I cringe every time I hear him shout, "What the!"
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage V: Anger 5 of 7
    Stage V: Anger
    I'll ask my kids nicely to keep quiet a solid half dozen times before I blow my top and yell like a screaming banshee. The first time Neighborhood Kid watched me blow, I personally witnessed the fear in his eyes. Look Kid, if you're gonna play around these parts you better get used to my yelling.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage VI: Truth 6 of 7
    Stage VI: Truth
    Look Neighborhood Kid, I know your mom lets you play by yourself in the front yard. I don't. I know your mom gets dressed every day and puts on a bra. I don't. I know your mom lets you watch R-rated movies. I don't.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage VII: Acceptance 7 of 7
    Stage VII: Acceptance
    Neighborhood Kid is a bottomless pit and when he's with my kids and three of them are working up an appetite, I can't seem to keep enough groceries in the house. Note to self: Invest in a Costco membership and deep freezer.
    Image credit: Shutterstock

Moral of the story: You’ll never know how weird your household is until neighborhood kids come over.

How do you feel about having neighborhood kids over?

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