Playing In the Street

About a dozen 2-to-6-year-olds suddenly emerged from their basements. It's a blessing turned rotten. Friends are good. Playing in the street is bad.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

It started two years ago, when the people down the way let their 2-year-old twins play in the street. The mom decided the best way to protect her kids was to spray paint SLOW DOWN!!! with dotted lines on the pavement. The city cleaned up the mess by adding black paint.


Classy.

messy-street-400x300

Then there was a lull, where it seemed that my kids were the only ones outside. They play in our cul-de-sac and scurry to the sidewalk when we yell "Car!"

And then September happened. About a dozen 2-to-6-year-olds suddenly emerged from their basements. It's a blessing turned rotten. Friends are good. Playing in the street is bad.

little-biker

Daily, the kids congregate in the street while the moms loosely keep watch. Or the moms go inside and suddenly I'm left with all the kids. One problem is that most of these kids don't budge when a car comes, and also don't listen when someone yells for them to move. They're in the street with cars rounding a blind corner into them. I can't make a supervision schedule to share the load because my 2-year-old wanders away and I can't trust the chatty-Cathys to watch him, and also I don't want to be responsible for kids who aren't car savvy.

It's frustrating because my kids want to play, too. But I don't want my kids thinking that playing in the street is ok. Also, I do not have time to stand watch from 3-7pm. I have no idea what the other moms do or don't do that they can stand around chatting for almost four hours, but I can't do it.

No really, I mentally can't do it. Even without work and dinner, it drives me insane.

So what do I do? Say "no you can't play outside," or "yes you can play outside but you need to stay 200 feet away from those kids and play where I tell you," or just suck it up and join the fray with an eagle eye on my kids.

Because for now, that's where I am. Standing on the curb with my head bouncing from one kid to another to oncoming traffic. Yay for friends. Playing in the street is so fun.

How would you handle this situation? What is your neighborhood frustration?

More reading...

Oh my gosh, don't say that

9 Ways Humor Heals 

Learning to Deal With Frustration, Disappointment 

Related

Summer Water Play

Summer Outdoor Water Play

Throwing the sprinkler out in the yard will only entertain for so long. Here are some outdoor water activities that look fun (and easy)!

23431241234moving-in-with-the-parents

When Parents Move In

When the question of renting came up, my husband offered to let them live with us. So we sat down to talk about what this would look like. Our most important concerns came out first.

LunchInCar

Hike A Little, Eat A Lot

Taking young children and Mother Nature into consideration, "go with the flow" is always a good attitude to keep in your back pocket. Hiking with a 3yo who dawdles and wants to turn every stick into a fire thrower takes patience...and planning.

SandingHelper

How-To Redo :: I Hate HGTV

Inspired by HGTV and their instant room makeovers, Erica decided to turn an old credenza into a stylish toy cabinet. A month and $150 later she realizes a trip to IKEA would've been easier but not nearly as much fun.