No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Free Government Money!"

The good news is that the house next door finally has people living it it again. So does the one across the street. There are now only two houses left on the cul-de-sac that are empty. That is, as Martha Stewart says, a good thing.
The house next door is a blended family, with a total of three children, one of them is only there part time, and one on the way. They are nice people. Their kids are cute. The first few times my doorbell rang, to be followed by, "Can Sally come out and play?" I thought it was endearing. I smiled and thought, "How sweet."
Then it became a daily event.
Not only did it become a daily event, but multiple times a day. And not only that, but I have become trapped in my own house, looking out through the peep hole to make sure my porch is not kid-laden before I embark on the task of getting an attention/concentration challenged puppy to go potty, much less with 3 small children vying for her attention and affections. Its not just the three of them, either. Kids come with friends, you know. They bring every other kid from the neighborhood with them to knock on my door, ask if Sally can play, ask if they can play in my house, and if they can watch my TV...I don't even watch my TV during the day.
After trying, unsuccessfully, to explain to children (who are too young to get anywhere near the concept of an at home office) that I have work to do during the daytime, and that when I am finished with my work I will be happy to bring Sally and Sunny outside to play, The Wifester suggested buying a toy box full of little goodies for them to pick from.
Her idea, which sounded so good in theory, was to tell them that they could choose a toy from the box as long as they promised to let me finish up my work and not ring the doorbell any more. Bribery. It always worked on me at that age.
We ordered this from Oriental Trading Co.


I thought it would do the trick...I mean, it's not a Wii or anything like that, but come on...I'm just that fat lady next door with the big yellow dogs. I don't have to hand out top quality toys, right?
I was wrong.
After the children began the incessant ringing of the doorbell yesterday, I went to the door and told them that I really needed them to stop ringing it like that. I don't mean it was a ring and 5 minutes later another ring.
Oh, no, no, no! This was
ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!

accompanied by

knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock! knock!knock!knock!
Again, I explained that I was working...and as I tried to explain that I was working, one of the little monsters angels said to me, "What kind of work can you do from your house, anyways?"
I tried to put it in terms children of this age range can understand, so I simply said, "Well, I write letters for doctors, and I also have my own business baking dog treats like the ones I gave you for your dog."
To which this child replied, "You don't get free government money? I thought people who stay at home get free government money."

Ahhhh...out of the mouths of babes!

So after a good little chuckle, I told the kids they could pick out a toy from the box, but they needed to let me finish my work. Everyone agreed to these terms. Toys were selected. I was deemed the coolest neighbor on the street. Peace and quiet was returned to my abode...for a full 20 minutes and then

ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!ding-dong! ding-dong!




I returned to the door to find the gang of pip-squeaks there, as though it could be anyone else.

"My toy broke. Can I pick out another one?"

With a sigh, I agreed and brought out the treasure chest, with another lecture on doorbell etiquette and another stern warning about my need to work...
Digging through the toy box, the boy seemed indecisive and keept hesitating. The girl told her brother, "Just pick anything, it doesn't matter. They're all cheap anyways, so they're gonna break."
Then looking to me, she says, "Hey, why are they so cheap, anyways?"

Maybe if I had some of that free government money, I could afford to buy better bribery-toys for the little monsters darlings.

3 cookies cracked:

Reb said...

Of course, you could have the parents explain that the lady next door has work to do and they can't bother her. You could also explain to the parents that you are not self employed to be a free babysitter.

Maybe a flag or poster in the window when it is okay for the brats to come and visit. After all, your house, your rules.

Camlin said...

or you could disable the doorbell and buy earplugs....

Kathy T. said...

You really are the BEST neighbor ever! Except for the cheap toys that easily break! LOL!!!