The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Jonas’s Mom Has Also Failed at ‘Stranger Danger’


Me (to my sister on the phone): The doorbell just rang, hold on a sec. It’s probably just one of those neighborhood kids. They’re so annoying. They ring the bell like 10 times a day.

Guy at the door who is totally not a neighborhood kid: Hi… I think I have the right house… Do you have two little boys?

Me: Three actually, but yes. Oh god, what did they do?

Guy: Oh, well, nothing really… I mean, I just wanted to come introduce myself because we live around the corner and your youngest sometimes comes to our house and rings the bell and asks to play in our backyard.

Me: HE WHAT? Like by himself???

Guy: Yeah. And it’s fine with us and everything. We have a two year old, so we have a play structure in the yard you can see above the fence line and he likes it. But I didn’t want your husband to be driving home from work and see your son in our yard or something and think we had kidnapped him. Plus, I thought I could get your number so that when he’s over I could call and tell you so you didn’t wonder where he is.

Me: Oh my god, I had no idea that was happening. I’m so sorry. I will have a talk with him. As soon as I figure out where he is right now…

Guy: No, it’s really OK. He always asks before he goes back there. I just thought we should be introduced so you know your kid is safe.

Me: Well I really appreciate it. Although we don’t worry that much about kidnappers with Jonas because we’re pretty sure they’d eventually regret the choice and bring him back.


20 minutes later when Gray and Jonas wander back in the house from wherever they were –

Me: Guys, we need to have a talk. One the neighbors came over and said Jonas has been knocking on his door and asking to play in his backyard on his kid’s play structure. First of all, if you guys are outside, you are to be outside together. Jonas you need to stay with Gray. Secondly, it is NOT OK to knock on random neighbors’ doors. If you have a friend who lives at the house, you can knock a reasonable amount of times a day and politely ask to play with him but if you don’t know anyone DO NOT APPROACH THE HOUSE.

Jonas: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t go in anyone’s backyard.

Gray: He doesn’t. And we always stay together.

Me: That’s a nice show of solidarity there, boys, but the guy came to our house and told me this has been going on. What motivation could he possibly have to lie?

Gray: Sometimes Jo knocks on this lady’s door because she has a weiner dog named Gretchen he likes to play with, but I don’t even think she has kids, so it couldn’t have been her you’re talking about.

Jonas: *Nods*

Me: WHAT? You guys cannot do that! I don’t care how cute people’s weiner dogs are, there are like a million reasons you can’t knock on random doors!!

Jonas: Like why?

Me: Because the people who live there could be murderers or they could have a baby sleeping or I might have to see them at neighborhood events as some point and they could think of me as that terrible mother with the annoying kids who ring their doorbell all the time! Just don’t do it anymore. It’s not OK.

Jonas: Alright, but I still don’t even know which house you’re talking about. I didn’t go in anyone’s backyard.

Me: OK, we’re going to walk over there and talk to the guy.


10 minutes later after we’ve walked around the block and the kids have pointed out where Gretchen, the weiner dog lives –

Me: It’s that house right there. With the grey truck where you can see the play thing over the fence.

Jonas: Oh yeah. I’ve played there. Their kid wanted me to play with him.

Me: THEIR KID IS TWO. I’m pretty certain he didn’t invite you over. QUIT DOING THAT.

Jonas: OK.

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