Timothy is in trouble.
The night before last, he scratched a car with a stick he was porting while riding his bike. After apologies (no bills, the neighbor is cool), the verdict was issued. No wheels for a week.
By the time he got to go out to play last night (after wrangling with homework and a super-dug-in tick), Moth-man had been reminded by me, alone, at least twice. "No bike. No scooter."
Then, Stinky comes in about 20 minutes after they go out. "Tim was riding Dylan's bike and he scratched another car." (yeah, yeah, he's a snitch).
Well, that was it. Tim was in for the night - no supper. Luckily, this was a rubber on paint thing. But boy, was tim crying. ("But I didn't ride my bike! I rode Dylan's bike!" believe me, he understands wheels is wheels now!)
As I was coming back from apologizing to the neighbor I'd never met before (nice intro, eh?), I see all these kids carrying these cushions and an old shelf. "These are Timmy's" they loudly proclaimed.
"Um, no, they're not." I denied.
"From his fort!" they demanded.
"He doesn't have a fort" OK now I'm worried. Did he steal these cushions? No, he rescued them from the garbage, they maintained.
"Well, he can't have them." Cool - one of the other kids will take them!! (Dylan, of bike fame!)
Later - back at the hall of justice - the phone rings. Another neighbor I've never met. "Is this Timothy's mother? My name is Ellen Sheffler. Your kid made a fort on my yard. I called the police."
"Ma'am, I'm sorry..."
"I can't be having this garbage on my yard. It needs to be cleaned up now!"
"Ma'am, I saw the kids bringing the cushions..."
"You will clean up this garbage now."
Crotchety old bat.
So, I drag Tim down, yelling at him the whole way about private property and never stepping foot on other people's property. We get there and... no cushions. No junk. I walked back her huge driveway (she's on the rich side of the hood). She came out and confirmed. "Well, they must have just taken them."
"Ma'am, my son has been on his bed for the last 2 hours for punishment. If you had listened to me, they took these cushions away when you asked."
"Well, I thought..."
"Ma'am, I'm going home. Have a nice day." Bitch.
Call the fuzz on my little boy? You old cow. I hope you end up in a nursing home with some person who got treated like you just treated my Timmy responsible for making sure your butt gets wiped. Cause it won't. Then you'll know what a pain in the butt really is.
(By the by, Ellen Sheffler is not her real name. I just picked a name that... seemed to fit.)
Kids. People talk about the worry... but they never talk about the embarrassment.