I have mentioned how cool and kid friendly our neighborhood is before, and once again, it is great having so many kids living so close together. This year has been even better because the kids now play together and us poor, exhausted parents can hang around and chat instead of chase, moderate, and remove. It's fascinating to see the changes in the kids behavior as they grow and as younger ones join it.
Often, when the kids are out in a group, one parent will heard the kids while the rest of us relax and keep an eye out in case assistance is needed. (Watching Andy with the 20 month olds is very dangerous to my hormones.) We all take our turns, so no one parent ends up doing all the work.
Well, we have a new kid in town. One of our neighbors has wanted a Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever for a long time. After much research he finally fulfilled his dreams and brought home Sota, an adorable little puppy with white feet.
Yes, I'm calling his dog a kid. Trust me on this one. Sota is clearly his first child and is being treated as such. His daddy brings him out frequently for house training, ball throwing, swimming; you name it, they do it. (Yes, he has a baby pool for the puppy. And yes, Michael did end up in the dog's pool, but to his credit he managed to resist for a good 15 minutes.)
Of course, if you bring a puppy around kids, the kids are going to flock to the puppy, and that's just what our kids are doing. Like typical kids, the first time they go over they giggle and run around, but the newness of the situation limits their staying power. However, after the 10th visit, the kids will push Sota and his daddy for all they can get out of them.
Last week J, M and Michael were out playing when Sota came out. The kids ran over and started to play with him. We all sat down on the curb and started to chat. And Chat. And Chat. In fact, we were having a good old time. The kids played, but Sota needed to take a potty break, so all three kids climbed up into the camp chair that Sota's daddy had set out for himself and made themselves right at home. When Sota came back, the kids took turns sitting in the poor dad's seat and throwing the ball for Sota.
After at least a half hour of this, J's mom finally called over to Sota's dad and said that since he had everything under control, we were going to take off and that our husbands would be over to get the kids at some point. After laughing, we did check to make sure he didn't mind our children swarming his yard and taking over his seat. He smiled and assured us it was OK. I think he's happy that so many people are enjoying what a nice dog Sota is.
I'll bet he never expected to end up as one of the neighborhood parents when he brought Sota home, but he seems to be enjoying it, even if his child is a little on the furry side.