Some neighbors can be a little crazy and demanding. Many of us have these neighbors. In fact, many of us have quite a few and one of ours is named Austin! No, not the city...the 10 year old boy. In an average week Austin will usually need 3-4 kinds of food. He'll need to use the phone everyday and locks himself out a few times a week. He also needs to be taken to the playground every time we go and a ride to school everyday. We also attend his parent-teacher conferences with him and take him to every after school activity. On the other hand, he is a fairly nice boy and we enjoy him although he can be a bit overwhelming and demanding. Today, however, has been special. It included the normal rides to and from school along with whatever we will be eating...but when he went to his house he returned a minute later screaming that someone was in his house and I needed to call the police. I asked him what he was talking about and he told me all the screens were off the windows and the slippers on the porch had moved and the dead bolt was bolted and he hadn't locked them that day. Hmmmmm.....it took a little while to calm him down and then to calm down all of my children who were now pretty upset. Then I had to convince him that it was probably the wind that had done the damage (the gusts have been really high today, my other neighbor had some of his roof come off). Then I took a knife with me (just in case) and rang on the doorbell. His sister answered and he was able to go home and I was able to return to my now over anxious children.
About an hour later I get another pounding of the door. "MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE." Well, I didn't think I should quiz him for very long just in case it was on fire so I run across the street with Seth in my arms and my phone just in case I need to call 911. I yell at the kids to stay in the yard. When I get to the door the smoke is just pouring out and another neighbor runs in to check. It was a grease fire on the stove and he brought out the pan. Of course, Austin and his sister Miranda are literally in a state of panic. I open up all the windows and doors and then talk to their mom to reassure her the house is not on fire and tell her that the damage is pretty minimal. Have to get the smoke detectors turned off which took awhile. Now back to crowd control. Austin and Miranda are in tears still screaming and panicking. My boys are upset and Seth really wants to play with their dog. I assure Miranda (who is very sweet and quiet) that it will be okay and convince Austin that his parents won't kill them. Then I assure my boys everything will be okay. Now Austin is back and ready to play :) The sad part is I have had much more dramatic afternoons with Austin. This is probably just moderate. Also, anyone who smells me at Enrichment tonight will know that I wasn't actually smoking. Perfume anyone!