Friday, October 26, 2007

"Tatie"

My new neighbor needed a babysitter for her 3-year-old son so that she could attend a much-needed "mommies night out" with friends from her former Mom's Group, so she called me.

Since all I had on my plate for this particular Friday night was dog-sitting for my parents, I agreed. Plus, I figured that it would open the door for further sitter-exchanges in the future, you know, the "can you watch the kids while I run to the grocery store?" kind of exchanges.

Since we moved into this neighborhood almost 4 years ago, we've been sorely lacking in this type of neighbor. The kind of neighbor that has kids who run into your yard the moment they see you pull in the driveway. The kind of neighbor that doesn't mind if they see you taking the trash out in your jammies at midnight. The kind of neighbor that you can count on for help, any kind of help, when you need it.

Not that our neighbors have anything wrong with them, they don't. In fact, we're really quite lucky in the neighbor department. We have childless, awesome neighbors across the street that keep their lawn mowed on an insanely perfect schedule and always rake up the leaves and pick their weeds. They are super. We have a single woman and her dogs on one side of us who puts up with my kids and their hollering from their Big Toy in the backyard. She's a gem, and if it weren't for her love of "low maintenance" rockery, she would be perfect. On the other side of us resides a police officer, the city council president and their two perfect sons who never party when they're out of town and I'm sure would mow my lawn if I asked them to.

But it's never felt "homey" here, like it did in our old neighborhood.

Most of this is due to the fact that my kids aren't diapered toddlers anymore, running from house to house. It's also due to the fact that not only did we move, but so did our awesome neighbors. Some got divorced. Some moved to Texas! The neighborhood DNA changed dramatically and there is no way to get those carefree days of us moms standing our in the front yards (cocktails cleverly disguised as kool-ade in our hands) gossiping and wrangling our kids in the summer sunshine.

But with this first move, this gesture of "hey, I'll watch your kid tonight," things are starting to look up.

I found out that not only is my neighbor a cool chick, she is a fairly laid-back mom and to top it all off . . . she trusted me with her baby. So she obviously doesn't think I'm nuts or anything for letting my kids play outside like my former neighbor did!

But the best thing ever?

Her son is a doll. He and Katie are about 7 months apart and he has been putting up with her bossiness all night. But lo and behold, she had a meltdown over sharing the train blocks and I had to take her aside and explain that he is our guest and we need to share.

Zachary came over and, very gently, put both of his hands on her shoulders and said, "Tatie, wook at me - you need to mind yo mom, Tatie."

She said okay, and off they went to "pway uptairs".

I heard her ask him if he wanted to play with her kitchen stuff, and he answered, "O-tay."

Finally, normal neighbors.

21 comments:

JaniceNW said...

What an adorable story! I'm glad you found a neighbor you can be simpatico with. It makes the 'hood more fun! :)

Ann(ie) said...

OMG. That is so freakin cute!!!

I need cool neighbors.

Stephanie said...

SO cute!

Left Coast Sister said...

Sounds lovely! I'd love hey-can-you-watch-my-kids-for 15-minutes kind of neighbors!!

alice c said...

You can always tell if the parents are nice by the language that a child uses at moments of stress. (I'm glad nobody judges me that way now!)

Family Adventure said...

How adorable is that. I'd say he's a keeper.

Hope this is the beginning of many more exchanges, like you said :)

- Heidi

flutter said...

How adowabew.

Kellan said...

Such a great story and those last several lines were adorable! So glad things might be turning for you all in the neighbor department. It does help, to have neighbors you can depend on and if they become friends - even better. Have a great weekend. See ya.

Kellan said...

"O-tay" - I forget to say "tank-u" for the nice comment on my blog. I has been my pleasure getting to know you! And I look forward to visiting you everyday and many more to come. See ya now.

jen said...

we've been trying to find the same thing here and are getting closer..it's amazing how happy it's making me feel.

so good for you!

Kyla said...

That is so adorable. So so adorable.

Tabba said...

priceless.
how freaking adorable?!?!
sounds like a perfect match.

The Daring One said...

Oh, I'm so happy for you guys. We're loving our neighbors too. That kid sounds completely sweet to be telling "tatie" to mind her mama. I'd keep him.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I know exactly what you mean. And that kid is too cute. So is yours!

Not The Mama said...

Oh so adorable! And I'm so glad that you are bonding with a neighbor. We recently moved and have met quite a few nice people (along with some really annoying old biddies, but that's another subject!) but no one we've really clicked with. I can't wait meet someone who will be a true friend.

Mrs Pushy said...

Neighbors- funny how something so seemingly innocuous can become so important when you start to have a family. We just moved into a new neighborhood last year, and with a new baby on the way, I am finding myself becoming way to interested in the goings on of our new neighbors.
Glad to hear that things are looking up for you~

Becky said...

awww i'm glad that worked out for you. i've always wanted neighbors like that....like on wisteria lane!

Kellan said...

Hi Carrie - come by my site - I have a treat for you. See ya.

Holly said...

I came over from Kellan's blog. Good neighbors make the biggest difference don't they?

Kellan said...

Hey - you are very welcome. I know you've gotten awards before, but who can't use another one - it's my pleasure. See ya soon.

painted maypole said...

oh... good neighbors rock. we are so lucky to have the kind of neighbors you described. I'm in heaven. The whole neighborhood isn't like that, although friendly enough, but the people next to us? awesome!