Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Parents of the Year

The people that live up the street from me have to be the worst parents I've ever encountered. They are not abusive or neglectful. It's kind of hard to explain exactly what the problem is. Let me recount for you some of the things we've seen from them since they went forth and multiplied.

The first time I saw them was at a neighborhood association picnic several years ago. The little darling was maybe two, and running hither and yon with his sippy cup. At some point, Dad asked the little tyke if he wanted more beer in his sippy cup. There wasn't any beer in the cup--this was just Dad being cute and letting the little darling feel like they were kindred spirits. Start em young I say.

Several weeks later, they had junior out while they were working in the yard. It was fall clean-up time and they were stuffing leaves down a chipper shredder. Junior was playing in the outflow like it was falling snow.

Starting to get the picture?

A year or two later, Mom and Junior would ride their bicycles to the bottom of the street. As Junior was not really able to ride back up the hill to the house, Dad would follow along in the family auto. Once they reached the bottom of the hill, Junior would put his bike in the car and hop in Dad's lap for the ride back home. Like that's not enough, they would race Mom, with Junior hanging out the driver's side window yelling that he was going to win. Yup. Real winners. This was a daily occurrence for weeks on end.

I came home from work several weeks ago and found Mom and Junior camped out in my next door neighbor's yard. They were sitting under a tree on a blanket, and Mom was reading a book to him. How sweet!

A few weeks later, I came home and found Mom, Junior, and a herd of little children tromping through my garden. Not my lawn, my garden. So being the Crotchety Old Man that I am, I went out to see what was going on. Mom-of-the-Year informed me that they were just collecting caterpillars from the parsley plants in my garden. Interestingly, the parsley plants are not visible from the road. But what really chapped my ass was when she told me that she'd given them permission to collect caterpillars from the parsley plants in my yard. I was shocked speechless--which isn't something that happens to me very often.

That kid is in for a rude awakening. He's going to grow up believing the world is his oyster, and any pearls he finds are his for the taking. They have a dog now, and of course, they don't pick up after it. I guess they're entitled to leave dog poop wherever they like, too. It's people like them that keep this blog alive...

The Crotchety Old Man

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