I like kids. I really do. Someday, I hope to have one or two of my own. But, as I have discovered, one of the down sides of apartment living are other people’s children.
I thought I understood terrible children from all my years in retail. I thought I knew how to deal with them, to be the bigger person. I thought I knew how to be an adult.
I was wrong.
There is a tendency I have to – how do I say this? I argue with children. What happens is this: in my head, the minute a little demon child tries to start up some shit, I immediately revert back to age 8 when I could argue until my face was purple. Ask my mom, she knows. That was more or less appropriate back then, but now at age 24, not so appropriate. It’s creepy. Now, I’m just the adult arguing with a kid when automatically I win because I have a car. I can literally drive away from the argument. They can pedal their little bikes as fast as they can, but they won’t catch up with me. This very post itself is a testament to my crazed mind. Look at all the inflammatory language I am using to describe children! I would call them even meaner names if I didn’t feel like it would be crossing a line! See how terrible I am?
It gets worse.
Before I tell this story, I want to say that our maintenance guy, Mike, agrees with me on these kids. He hates them more than I do because they throw teeny, tiny, little rocks at the bottom of the pool and he has to fish them out. They move all the landscaping rocks, presumably to look for worms, and they play in the dumpster. By the way, he recently had to pull them away from the dumpster because, get ready, someone had a case of mothereffingbedbugs in their apartment and had to throw out all the furniture.
These are the assholes we’re dealing with, OK? These are kids who play with bed bugs. Scary motherfuckers don’t give a shit. Get it?
The kid gang consists of somewhere between 5 and 10 juveniles. The number fluctuates based on groundings or after school detentions. I only know one of their names, and you won’t believe me when I tell you, but here it is: Angel.
Run-ins I’ve had with the kid gang thus far:
Bike Incident – in which they all got bikes for Christmas and decided to leave them at the bottom of the stairs, stacked on top of each other, blocking my path, being annoying. Not so bad.
Bike Incident Part Deux – in which one of them ran over my foot with a bike, laughed like a rapist (sorry), and sped off into a dark recess somewhere.
THE STAIRS – in which they play on the stairs for 3 to 4 hours at a time, screaming at each other, beating the living crapdamn out of each other, shaking the railing, running up and down said stairs. This kerfuffle they create shakes the whole apartment and makes a whole hell of a lot of noise. What they have also become a fan of is playing right outside our front door. And sometimes, when they feel particularly ballsy, they will play on the front door. Throw a ball at it. Kick it. Yell into it. Hump it. I don’t know. But they fuck with it. That’s the point. By the way, our apartment is upstairs, so they have to go up a floor just to be even bigger assholes.
Last weekend, I’d had enough. They were playing tackle football or some variation thereof on the steps, and I lost it. Keep in mind, it’s the end of the semester, I have about 50 pages of research paper to write in the next four weeks. I’m a little stressed.
Let me paint another picture for you: I looked crazy. I was wearing an old tank top Jeff gave me that’s thread bare, and has oil and sweat stains on it. It is white, so you can kinda see my boobs a little bit, too. Not in a pervy, I want to show kids my boobs kinda way. Just adding to the crazy bitch-don’t-care persona. Dig?
No make-up. I’m oily and red faced as can be.
No deodorant ’cause I like to go natural when I’m doing homework in the mornings. I take a shower when I need a break. It refreshes me.
Bed hair. You’ve seen my hair. Short. Gets crazy when I sleep on it. I also didn’t wash it the night before, so it still had some gunk in it.
Basically, I looked like a crazy, semi-homeless person.
But then I thought, this could work. If I look batshit crazy, maybe the little dicks will finally get off my goddamn stoop.
I throw open the front door, and I start yelling. Something like this:
Hey! Someone is trying to sleep in here. Go play somewhere else because I am sick of hearing all your damn noise. You are playing on my front porch and it pisses me off. I’ve already talked to you about this before, and I won’t do it again.
This is the most boring thing I could say to them ever.
So one of them smiles at me, right? Like a shit-eating grin that is more of a warning than anything else. So I smile back, like BRING IT. Later that weekend, I go to descend the stairs and they have left a water-bottle, toys, books of Satan, all over the stairs. I found the jerks, you guessed it, by the dumpster.
Without going into the exact dialogue, I demanded to know, like a boring grown-up, who left the shit on the stairs. Immediately, they all start ratting each other out. Then, like a true Californian – and I’m not proud of this – I threatened to sue. Then I called them all LITTLE SHITS. Then I left.
Here’s a picture of the bastards:
That’s about it. I’m waiting for them to slash the tires on my car.
I know of another woman out there who gets in arguments with kids like I do, and her name is Amy Sedaris. She has two books that I am quite fond of as they are all about fun! Which is what I need after a day of listening to children being “happy.”
Amy’s first book was I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence and her second book about crafting on a budget is appropriately named Simple Times: Crafts For Poor People. If you like crafts, poor people, cooking and weed, you will like these books. You don’t have to like all of those things all at the same time though. You could have liked all of them at one time together, or one thing last week and another thing this week, or none at all. The books would still be funny. You might also know Amy from her show “Strangers With Candy” and all kinds of awesome things.
Wish me luck with the Kid Gang. If you don’t hear from me by next week, I guarantee it was one of the kids.
I would have gathered up all of their crap and thrown it in the dumpster. Well, I actually wouldn’t because I am a wuss, but I would have thought about it.
That’s exactly what goes on in my mind every single time.
First: Now I’m starting to save up for Amy Sedaris’ book. Such is your power.
Second: I’m with you on arguing with kids. I have two nephews (and a step-niece), who are perfectly fine and adorable. But I’ve dealt with kids like the ones you have dealt with, due to the fact that I live in a condo. And let me tell you – I’m the type who gets into kicking fights with fat little Persian boys. They deserve it, dammit.
Ohmigod. Can you please write about kick fights with fat little Persian boys? I feel like that would be an amazing short story!!
I probably will in May (so much writing needs to be done this month and I’m way behind), but yeah…I think I WILL do a flash piece on fat little Persian boy kick fights. XD
PS: Logging on to Amazon to check prices. o7
And by the way – the purchase of an Amy Sedaris book is a purchase you will never regret. Get it on Amazon for cheap!!
Those bikes would have ended up behind a very big truck before it started backing up. That’s enough to put you off kids. I love mine, love him like breath, but I’m not fond of children that didn’t come from me. Have little patience with them.
I suggest you mention to them that the stairs are haunted by a child who died there after tripping on a roller-skate in 1983…something like, “You kids sure are brave to play here. Haven’t you seen the ghost of Todd (or another 1980’s name)…he died here and sometimes I can hear him at night. I think he wants to play with you.” Then leave a roller-skate somewhere they can find it.
Wait, are you going to do this or what? Can I please, please read it when you’re done?!