Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What do you do when your neighbor's a psycho?

My heart is still totally pounding from what just happened... So, I went out into our big, fenced back yard with my little guys, got them started playing on the swingset and digging in the dirt, etc. Then, I went inside to, you know, take care of business. A few minutes later, I hear the doorbell ringing. So, I do the super-fast wipe & flush that we moms get really, really good at doing, from the moment our kids reach the crawling stage, and I run to the front door. There stands my next door neighbor, with whom we share a fence. His face is red. He's breathing hard. He looks as if his head is going to explode. I say, "Hi Ray, what's wrong?" He yells, "YOUR GODDAMN KIDS WERE THROWING ROCKS OVER THE FENCE AND TEASING MY DOGS! I'M NOT GONNA TAKE THAT!!!" (Now, my boys' behavior was not OK at all, but I just want to point out that these are the very same dogs that have bitten two children in our neighborhood -- one of them being my 5 year old -- and, every time we're out in our backyard, they charge the fence, growling, barking, snarling, and basically making us all miserable. They've got my poor dogs tied into knots, because I won't let my dogs be loud and obnoxious, while their dogs are allowed to just go nuts.These are also the very same dogs that Ray and his wife like to let outside at 6am every morning, and then just allow them to bark nonstop, waking up the entire neighborhood.)

With that said, I really am a very consistent disciplinarian, and I want my kids to be well-behaved, polite little guys. In fact, last weekend, Spencer was practicing hitting balls, and he accidentally hit one over their fence. I made him write an apology note, saying he was sorry he'd hit the ball over the fence, and asking if they would they be willing to toss it back over, if they got the chance. (I've never seen that ball again, by the way.) Anyway, I say to Ray, "I'm very sorry about this. Please come out to the yard with me, and let's talk to the kids. I want them to see how serious you are and have them apologize directly to you, in person." So, he comes out to the yard with me, I call the boys over, and he starts to YELL at them. "WHAT WERE YOU DOING???" Spencer, of course, being completely freaked out by this red-faced, screaming man (and, hello, only 5 years old), says, "Nothing. We didn't do anything!" Ray then yells, "I SAW you! So, now you're a liar. Is that what you are? A little LIAR?" At this point, I step in and ask the boys to apologize for what they did, and to tell Ray that they won't do that anymore. Here's where things get psycho-scary. My boys mumble, "Sorry. We won't do it again." Then, Ray grabs the side of his belt and shouts, "I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR FOLKS THINK. IF YOU EVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT AGAIN, I'M COMING STRAIGHT THROUGH YOUR BACK GATE, AND I'M GOING TO BEAT YOU WITH THIS BELT!" That was enough for me, so I told him that, if he came into our back yard, my husband and I would be calling the police. "GO RIGHT AHEAD!" he yells.

Scary. Seriously. This guy is a bit nuts. I mean, it's not like these are teenagers, who know better and who are deliberately causing chaos and mayhem. They're only 4 and 5, just little boys, learning the ropes. And, this guy has grown sons. Does he not remember how little boys can be? He freaked me out.

Now, I'm waiting anxiously for hubby to get off work. I'm going to ask him to go over and have a "Man-to-Man" with our neighbor. Or, maybe we'll just hide inside our house gripping a baseball bat...

Anybody else ever had anything like this happen?


  1. Wow! Scary! I'd be freaked out too! Stories like this make me thankful we don't have neighbors that close!

  2. Oh.My.God, Beth! That neighbor sounds as viscious as his crazy dogs. I hope your husband was able to set him straight and that your boys are okay. I'm sure they were terrified.

  3. Super Shady, super shady. I would just stick to yourselves. I would talk with your boys and explain the situation as best as you can so that they sort of understand what happened and be sure to instruct them that if the neightbor ever approaches them to come immediately inside. I woudl aslo totally call the police if anything ever happened like that again (or even talk to your work's police officer if you have one)

  4. Holy shit, Beth. Your kids must have been absolutely terrified. YOU must have been absolutely terrified. Can you call the Humane Society or the ASPCA or someone about his dogs, just to show him that he cannot talk to children that way? Or get a lawyer friend to write him a letter? Or get an effing restraining order? I am so sorry. How infuriating. And scary. And psychotic.

  5. Thanks for the long-distance support, ladies. I saw him today, when I pulled into the driveway, and we just avoided all eye contact. Creepy!