My neighbors are all at least ten to fifteen years older than Kenny and I. They try to make this apparent as often as possible. Since we moved in, they jokes about us looking like high schoolers or the nanny are endless. The thing is. Kenny and I find it funny. We know it is because we make them insecure. And being Kenny and I, instead of acknowledging that and letting it go, we play up their insecurities. Often. In as many ways as possible.
We got home from Bastrop around lunchtime Sunday. I wanted to get at least an hour of work in before I took the kids swimming. I managed to get in almost two before they asked. I sent the girls up to change into their swimsuits. I am standing at the bottom of the staircase, when I see the neighbor's daughter walking up to our house. Shit. I don't want anyone over here. I was planning on a quick swim, then a quiet afternoon while I worked some more. I ran up the stairs, shutting the door to Jill's room, praying that Jill would not hear the doorbell ring. The dogs are barking like crazy. I watch Jill to see if she notices. Nothing. I take my time getting the girls into their swimsuits, guaranteeing the coast will be clear before we head downstairs.
Crisis averted, the girls and I settle in outside. I cover them in sunscreen. I set up towel on my lounger. I take a sip from my glass of ice water, and take the first magazine off of my pile. The girls have jumpd into the pool, my cell phone rings, and I check the caller ID. It is my neighbor. Seriously? Your kid just knocked. No one answered. That should give you your answer. I hit the ignore button, and go back to my magazine.
A few minutes pass. I hear a car out front. Then. I hear someone calling my name, and the latch at the gate rattling. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. I put down my magazine, and make the kids get out of the pool. I can't watch them and make my way through the dog run to the gate. The kids are mad. They just got in. I open the gate to find my neighbor standing on the other side, her daughter standing next to her...in her swimsuit, with a towel and a change of clothes.
"Hi," she says, smiling. "I figured you guys might be in the pool. We tried the front door, and I tried to call."
I stare at her. This is when most people give up. Not going barging into other people's backyards.
Her smile begins to falter, slightly. But she has a mission. "Anyway, we thought we would see if Jill wanted to play." Obviously by "play" she means, her daughter swim in our pool. Jill does not look game. The girls have not been getting along lately. But I don't know how to say no to the little girl who is standing three feet from my pool already clad in her bathing suit. Damn. Her mom is good.
"Uh sure," I reply. Jill gives me a look. I mouth "sorry" to Jill.
"Okay, well I am off to run some errands. Her dad is home if they get tired of playing. But she brought a change of clothes over, so she can stay for awhile." And with that, she is gone. And suddenly this no longer feels like a play date, and more like babysitting while her good-for-nothing husband sits at home on his ass.
After an hour of swimming, my children are ready to go inside. They swim everyday. It is nothing exciting. They don't need endless hours of it. The pool will still be there tomorrow. They wrap up in their towels, and sit on pool loungers to dry off in the sun. Devil Neighbor Child begs to swim longer. She attempts to talk Jill into asking me to swim longer. Ha! Jill is halfway in the backdoor. Good try. When it becomes obvious that she is not going to get anymore swimming out of us, she decides she wants to go home. Fine by me. I have work to do. You whine a lot.
As we approach her house, I find the "errand" her mother had to run was actually sitting outside with all of the other mom's in the neighborhood. The all have fruity cocktails, and none of the other children are around. I vaguely remember Jill mentioning some of the others being off with theirs dads and such for the day. This is why her child had to be dumped at my house. I, of course, am not invited, because, well then who would be babysitting her child. As I walk up, one of the moms offers me a chair.
Another mom makes a quip about how as I walked up they were trying to figure out who I was, because I looked like one of the kids...you know, "being small and dressing so young and all."
I smirk. They have made it way too easy. Someone really should warn the idiots. I cock my head to the side. "Hmmmm....well, how should I dress? Old? Like I am forty?" Then I feign embarrassment as I "realize" that is their age. Oops.