Tonight at dinner my family sat together eating taco salad and watching the neighbor kids climb the magnolia tree six feet from our kitchen window. The kids looked in and waved to my kids, who were much too amused to eat their taco salad. I don't mind the neighbors climbing the trees, it seems our yard belongs to the whole neighborhood, but I was tempted to draw the blinds on them at dinner time.
"I really do like the neighbor kids," I explained to Matt after the three girls had run out to join them. Toby stood on a chair at the kitchen window and sulked at having been kept inside. "They are nice to our kids. They take the time to include them in their games. They look out for their safety. It's just that sometimes they can be pretty rude to each other, and they use language that, while not necessarily foul, isn't something I want my kids picking up. Like when they were playing baseball and they told Hannah to kick the boys' butt."
"Kick boys' butt!" Toby chirped up from his window seat. "Kick boys' butt! Kick boys' butt!"
By the time I got the courage to look Matt in the eye he was nearly in tears from laughter. "You don't want the neighbor kids to teach them that language?" he asked, "I guess you don't need them too. Oh," he sighed, "the irony."