Hey, y’all. I’m alive out here in blog land, but as you may have gathered, not terribly motivated to update. I’m not sure what the slump is all about–maybe this blog is going the way of the dodo. But I have a few things to say yet, so this is not the end!
First of all, congratulations to K and her husband R, from Did You Have Juice?, on the birth of their adorable baby boy! She was forty-one weeks and several extra days pregnant, and I am telling you, that woman was downright placid about it. I was practically shitting kittens at 41 weeks, which is when Junior Vox finally started clawing her way down the birth canal. Congratulations to the new parents!
So I called the Sheriff’s Department today to turn my neighbors in for their six year-old running a small dune buggy down the sidewalks, over the subdivision green space, and out in the farmer’s field behind our house. The kid had been doing the same thing the day before, and then took up with it again this morning. Mr. Vox was getting pretty agitated (it is so, so against the law for unlicensed drivers to operate motor vehicles anywhere but on public lands or on private property with the landowner’s express permission in Idaho), but as one of two law enforcement officers who live in our subdivision, he really does not like actively being a cop where we live. I don’t blame him, so I said I’d had enough too and I went down and politely knocked on the parents’ door. Mind you, the parents were inside the house the whole time the kid was riding around. If he’d been flattened by a car or tipped the dune buggy into one of the canals in the field, they’d have had no idea. The dad (I think I’ll call him Bluto) came to the door and I led with a plea that the farmer’s road that runs behind our house is extremely dusty right now, so any traffic that goes by (*cough*illegally*cough*) makes our lives miserable. Bluto said he’d get them to ride up the sidewalk that accesses the nearby middle school before going off-road to the farmer’s field. Then I asked if maybe he was unaware that the boy wasn’t legal to be operating the vehicle at all, and that’s when Bluto got defensive. He said, “There’s nothing in our covenants that say that he can’t ride on the green space! I even bought ‘turf tires’ that riding lawnmowers use so he could ride out there without hurting anything.” I said, “Well, but it isn’t your property–it’s owned by the subdivision.” He said, “There’s nothing that says he can’t do it.” I said I’d appreciate it if they could stop riding behind the house, and said my goodbyes.
Then I came home and called law enforcement. Seriously, dude. I tried to treat you like a grown-up and have a reasonable discourse because I know those laws are there for a reason. That reason is so that the unwitting by-product of your loins doesn’t get killed in a very avoidable accident.
About 20 minutes later, I got a call from a deputy that was driving by our house. He considerately did not stop at our place, but got some details from me and said he’d just see if he could find the boy out operating the buggy and follow him back home. That kept me out of it. (Not like I much cared; I was more than ready for Bluto to come down and complain about me calling the cops on him.) I sent Mr. Vox out to pretend to get something out of his truck 20 minutes later, and he said that the garage door at Bluto’s house was now closed, and Bluto Junior was sitting forlornly on the sidewalk out front. Sorry, Bluto Junior, that I am a total buzz-kill. We left to go to Lowe’s and saw the deputy parked in front of the nearby fire station, took a minute to talk to him, and he said he’d informed the dad of the laws for juveniles and motor vehicles, and that Dad wasn’t happy but stopped the kid.
This is far from the first time that Bluto’s kids have been unsupervised under circumstances that cause most normal parents to at least cringe, if not swoon. There’s a shallow (12-18″) creek that runs through our subdivision, and about 4 years ago I saw his then-4 year old and 2 year old out playing in it one day and not a parent to be seen. Add to it that they were within less than a stone’s throw of a very busy street, and I couldn’t quite believe it. I mean, I try to be realistic about the odds of Junior Vox actually getting abducted, but the thought doesn’t ever fully leave my brain. I try to let her take smart risks. But I sure as hell never let her out to play alone in the middle of a waterway near a street where most cars are going 40 mph. And time after time, the kids are doing questionable things with no one but the neighbors watching, like riding the girl’s Barbie mini-Jeep down the middle of our street.
Anyhoodle. Enough of my ranting for tonight. Clearly this was something I needed to get off my chest. I suspect that I won’t hear much more from Bluto, but I am sure that subdivision picnics will be a bit frostier from here on out.