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To have threatened to pop his balls

(53 Posts)
SupercalifragilisticexpialAtro Sun 10-May-15 15:18:56

The little boy next door (he's about 10) keeps lobbing balls into our garden.

Our garden is about 4m by 5m so when we are out there a heavy leather football lobbing in unexpectedly is quite intrusive. I've got a toddler and will have a new baby next month too. I don't want them getting hit. The fence is about 8/9 ft so they're coming from a fair height. To be honest he must be lobbing them pretty hard to get a, say, 10 foot trajectory in such a small garden.

Last year we were quite tolerant and just threw them back with a smile, his garden is a similar size so I get that it's a bit crap for him too. I tried to be patient. But it just went on and on, he never seems to learn to be careful, and it's always our garden, despite there being two others bordering his garden, suggesting he aims them over here because we are often home and have generally been quite agreeable. I started gently last year and this year asking him to be careful and try not to do it.

So anyway I've got fed up, so I just decided to ignore them this time. In two days we've collected six balls. He just came round to knock for them back and I told him to be more careful because of the toddler and soon to be new baby and said the odd one was understandable and we'd chuck it back, but if we collected six in two days again I'd put them in the bin. As an afterthought I said I'd pop them too.

DH says that was a bit harsh. I'm in a massive pregnancy grump today so I'm finding it hard to look at it objectively.


Icimoi Sun 10-May-15 15:20:42

For a moment there I thought you'd come up with a new and imaginative way of signifying displeasure with a misbehaving male partner ...

306235388 Sun 10-May-15 15:20:44

Yep too harsh I think. Have you tried talking to his parents? I know at 10 he seems all grown up when you only have a toddler but really he's not.

abigamarone Sun 10-May-15 15:22:29

Bit harsh to threaten to pop them, but understandable. Maybe tell him you'll return them once a week.

DartmoorDoughnut Sun 10-May-15 15:24:01

Meh seems fair to me

WhoNickedMyName Sun 10-May-15 15:24:06

tell him he'll need to send his parents round to ask for them whenever he wants his balls back. and then have a word with them if they do - chances are they won't.

Andrewofgg Sun 10-May-15 15:24:46

icimoi I join you in the Dirty Mind Club.

OP Return them on the last day of the month. Not once a week. But unpopped!

Golferman Sun 10-May-15 15:28:22

The girl next door is always getting the ball over the fence. She used to ring the bell to ask to get it back but I told her to just pop round when it goes over. No big deal.

Icimoi Sun 10-May-15 15:31:03

Golferman, I assume the issue isn't the nuisance of giving them back but the problem of having heavy balls coming over the fence when small children are in the garden.

I don't think it's too harsh if he's ignoring reasonable requests to be more careful, it might make him try a bit harder.

LillyBugg Sun 10-May-15 15:31:19

I definitely thought this was about a whole different kind of ball...

Fatmomma99 Sun 10-May-15 15:38:54

I also thought it was about a different kind of ball.

Sorry, OP, because I totally understand where you're coming from and think you are BR to worry about your young ones, but I do agree with abigamarone and also those who are recommending you talk to the parents. My DD is a teenager, and if someone said what you said to her it would really upset her. (there would be tears)

I do genuinely get where you're coming from, though. I'd suggest talking to parents in a nice way. Can you make it social? Suggest they pop round for a cuppa before new baby comes? And maybe see if they've got any suggestions for ways to keep the ball in their garden a bit more? How far are you from nearest park? My DD and her pals started going independently at about 11, but our park is close and this is quite a quiet area.

All the best to you with your birth.

ThingummyJigg Sun 10-May-15 15:43:03

I was expecting an amusing thread about an inept dh.

I think returning them once a week is a good idea. Might teach the boy not to be so careless. Or, better still, take up fucking croquet and learn to control a ball.

SupercalifragilisticexpialAtro Sun 10-May-15 15:43:18

I like the idea of agreeing to return them once a week or so. That might work well.

I don't think talking to the parents would help to be honest, I always hear them shouting and swearing at him so I doubt they'd be reasonable, or at least even if they were reasonable with us face to face, it'd get him in trouble, which I don't want as he's generally a decent enough kid.

I just want him to get it that it's not ok and please try harder not to do it. It's fine every now and then but not constantly. I will tell him return is once a week next time!

Sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking for something a bit spicier! grin

SupercalifragilisticexpialAtro Sun 10-May-15 15:45:48

Our nearest park (and we are lucky to live in an area where there are loads) is about 3 mins walk. smile

Only1scoop Sun 10-May-15 15:46:23

It could have been worse Op

You could have threatened to bake them in the oven.

SevenAteNine Sun 10-May-15 15:47:06

YABU. If his parents shout or swear at him, it might be a welcome relief to talk to an adult who is nice to him.

Be kind, but tell him the once a week thing stands.

kewtogetin Sun 10-May-15 15:56:21

Yabu: in a few years he'll be too old to be playing football in the garden, meanwhile you will have two who'll be perfect footballing age and your petty attitude will come back to bite you in the arse......

SupercalifragilisticexpialAtro Sun 10-May-15 15:58:15

I will concede to popular opinion and accept I may have been harsh.

I didn't shout or say it nastily though so I hope he's not upset, just explained that it was because I was worried about the toddler being hit, reiterated I'd been patient for ages, and was getting fed up that it kept happening. I do try and be nice to him usually as I feel a bit sorry for him getting sworn at. I just feel like a bit of a mug!

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sun 10-May-15 16:00:48

Joining the dirty mind club.

Yanbu, I can understand the accidental 1, but 6 seems deliberate.

Bodyinpyjamas10 Sun 10-May-15 16:06:27

Maybe he's trying up attract your attention in some way op? Maybe he's doing it on purpose to spend time with a nicer mummy than the parents who swear and shout at him.

AnnaFiveTowns Sun 10-May-15 16:09:59

Yabu. Poor kid. It sounds like his parents give him a hard time and then you threaten to pop his balls.

He's 10; he's probably not that good at football - I'm sure he's not doing it deliberately. His parents might not let him go to the park alone so he has nowhere else to play.

I get that it's a worry if you have a toddler - but I think you were very harsh.

Idefix Sun 10-May-15 16:26:52

Yanbu op, in a few weeks time if one of those balls lands on you and new baby or toddler it could do some serious damage.

At 10yrs he probably has a good idea of what he is doing and I would say that now you have made it clear with firm words that it will hopefully stop.
We have a five foot high fence and neither of our football mad ndn children have to ask for their balls on a regular basis 11 yrs and 7 yrs old.

Once or twice is an accident but this doesn't sound like an accident.

Sparklingbrook Sun 10-May-15 16:31:34

Just remember all this when your two are doing the same in a few years time as Kew says. The boy next door will be a teenager by then.

Bodyinpyjamas10 Sun 10-May-15 16:49:42

And it's far more worrying his parents shout and swear at him than balls in any garden.

That sounds so worrying op.

SupercalifragilisticexpialAtrocious Sun 10-May-15 17:01:35

Sparklingbrook and others - my two may get the ball into the neighbours on occasion in the future, that's very likely.

However if they'd tossed six in in a matter of days I'd be having words, apologising to the neighbours, and confiscating the balls til they'd learnt to be a bit more careful.

I understand perfectly that in such a small garden it's something that will happen from time to time. But not constantly.

I also didn't mean to suggest I think he does it on purpose - I certainly hope he doesn't. I do however think think he may play with the attitude that it doesn't matter if it goes in our garden whereas the other neighbours are less forgiving/aren't in a lot, so he's more careful about kicking them in that direction IYSWIM.

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