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... to think that if you can't stop your kids from damaging my garden

(11 Posts)
purplepidjin Tue 28-Jun-11 12:28:12

you shouldn't let them play out there?

Next door-but-one have 3 under three. The two toddlers have laid waste to my strawberries (open plan patio type garden) over the last couple of months. If they were eating ripe ones, I wouldn't be so bothered but they're simply picking off the leaves and green fruit for the fun of it. Parents have had to resort to physically dragging them off today after DP and I stormed out there (DP works from home, I work shifts). Parents' attitude is that it's only a few strawberries. My attitude the first time was ok, it's an accident. Now, the 7 or 8th time, I want them to control their children. And their stroppy self-justifying mouths!

There is also a steep concrete staircase leading almost directly to the main road - my cat went under the wheels of a car there 4 months ago when a driver didn't see him. What chance does a 1yo have?

The children are regularly outside without an adult. I often here one or other parent shouting from the house, with the children paying no attention. I have ushered (no physical contact) them in on more than one occasion.

There's a perfectly good play park across the road. There is an elderly and possibly mentally ill older lady in the block, who has been known to be verbally abusive to noisy children outside her flat. The parents know this.

In my defence (because this all sounds like I'm a child-hater when I'm really not) next door are expecting the third of a similar age group, they are lovely kids who play nicely and have beautiful manners. Their DC2 broke my teracotta gnome today and Mum approached me to apologise when really there was no real need - kids like to explore and sometimes have accidents.

AIBU to be absolutely fuming at the first set of parents, though?

ChaoticAngelinLimbo Tue 28-Jun-11 12:35:11

YANBU The fact that it's only a few strawberries is irrelevant, it's the principle. The parents should be keeping a closer eye on their children, for their own safety, and teaching them not to touch other people's property.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Tue 28-Jun-11 12:38:18

Can't you put a fence up?

strandedbear Tue 28-Jun-11 12:42:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TickTockPillow Tue 28-Jun-11 12:43:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZacharyQuack Tue 28-Jun-11 12:46:57

Electric fence.

purplepidjin Tue 28-Jun-11 13:03:50

Phew, I half expected to get a right old roasting!!

Technically it's not a garden it's a flat roof. So kids shouldn't really be playing out there anyway and I probably shouldn't have plants on it. However, as long as "reasonable care" is taken it's not a problem, and my flowers brighten the place up. I'm just glad I didn't do tomatoes this year <eek>

It's more Dad that's a problem. Mum is lovely but isn't coping, Dad is a self-important dickhead who thinks he knows best. DP has been a devoted uncle for 18 years, I work in childcare. This guy still thinks he knows best (at the age of 22)

Luckily, the council lady popped in and witnessed all the palaver today then stopped in to chat to us. I've asked her to get Sure Start and the HV involved as Mum is struggling. Don't know what else I can do except quietly fume and try to keep DP from knocking cocky wankers block off

miniwedge Tue 28-Jun-11 13:12:40

What has the guys age got to do with it? He is a parent, he is just as qualified to have an opinion as you are.

YABU, putting out flowers etc in a communal space is at your own risk really.

Did you speak to the mum before asking other agencies to get involveed? How do you know she is not coping?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 28-Jun-11 13:29:18

Recommend you plant chilli-peppers in with your strawberries next year. Lovely, shiny, colourful things they are. Very appealing to toddlers wink

RunAwayWife Tue 28-Jun-11 13:33:13

LOL cog grin

purplepidjin Tue 28-Jun-11 13:55:44

The guy's age is relevant in that he has the cocky know-it-all attitude of someone much younger. He has a snotty comeback to every polilte remark - nothing is his fault. When I apologised for ushering the toddler back in, because I didn't like to interfere, he took the opportunity to blame the Mum for being too soft on them so he was unable to effectively discipline them... His version of discipline seems to involve shouting and swearing at them until he gets so frustrated that he marches over and picks them up by one arm shock

Yes, Mum has told me she's struggling. Until today, I had no idea how to do something useful to help sad It's really hard to get a chance to chat to her without the bloke around but I'm going to try.

It's only communal in that it's open plan; the area in front of each flat has a small fence, more of a visual guide than an actual barrier, is designated to that flat. They each have a washing line, mine has plants in pots (as have others in the past) and the flats with families in have lots of toys etc.

I really don't have a problem with kids playing out there, or going in "my" bit. Previous families have been welcome to spread their games of football onto "my bit". I only when they are put in danger by parents who don't supervise them properly.

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