Pain in the Neck.

I went to the chiropractor today to deal with this nasty residual neck pain I sustained when a bike slammed into me while I was standing downtown. I haven’t written about the bike accident, because I feared I’d fall into a diatribe about the noxious, obnoxious bikers in Seattle who think they own the bloody roads and who slam into innocent pedestrians, sending them flying. I hadn’t written about it because I’d already been carting around a rather large bone to pick with the bikers who drive in the middle of the road and slow me down while I’m driving along the lake – especially the ones with wide, saggy butts. Seriously, if I have to wait behind a biker, that biker better have a rather remarkable ass.

It was my first chiropractic appointment in weeks, and the doctor mentioned that my back was rather tense — “notice anything?” he asked. Well, I hadn’t but it didn’t surprise me. This week alone one child TP-ed my room (toilet paper everywhere) AND locked the piano with a paper clip. He talked another child into throwing half a watermelon onto the neighbor’s roof. A third child has melted down at breakfast every day this week, ignited by a conversation that goes something like this:

Me: What do you want for breakfast?

Child: Oatmeal.

(Minutes later) Me: Here’s your oatmeal, you sweet little cherub.

Child: Oatmeal? I never said I wanted oatmeal! I hate oatmeal.

Feel free to sub in toast, cereal, veggie burger for oatmeal and you get the drift of things. A fourth child has had a similar daily meltdown, but over what she wears to school. Oh, the fifth has been having nightmares.

All of this would amount to nothing if this week didn’t mark the first break I’ve had from the kids in three months. So, yeah, I may have a reason or two to be tense.

I do like the chiropractor but he failed to mention that I had chocolate smeared all over the back of my pants. Honestly, the guy let me walk out of his office unaware that it looked like I’d just sat in a puddle of crap.

As for the watermelon incident, these neighbors hate us already. I’m sure of it. They cut through our yard all the time and never even say hello, even if we’re sitting right there. Funnily enough, another neighbor came over this week. He was clutching a bunch of dahlias, which he grows bountifully in his garden. “You’re returned!” he said.

We were taken aback. “Uh, yes,” said M. “We are.”

The man, who is in his fifties, live with wife/partner/girlfriend right next to us, and has no kids. The only sound that comes out of his house is the gentle strumming of a guitar he plays on the patio late in the day. All sorts of awful sounds come out of our house, and many of them are made by me.

“It’s been so quiet!” he said, grinning.

“Well, it won’t be quiet anymore,” I said, not really sure where was going. I’d always assumed that this neighbor hated us as well, had DCFS on speed dial, and had made little voodoo dolls of the boys, who throw all sorts of detritus into his yard.

“That’s good,” he said. “It’ll sound more like a neighborhood now.” And he handed me the flowers.

Really, I still can’t quite get over the whole interaction. None of our immediate neighbors have kids, and the only other young kids on the block are a smattering of well-behaved girls. I’d assumed they’d all gotten together and thrown a block party when we left town for a month. Maybe they had, but they also missed us and all of our noise.

Go figure.

4 Comments

Filed under children, parenting, school, Seattle, Summer, travel, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Pain in the Neck.

  1. tina marie

    a charming story….one must never underestimate the effect the sound of children has on those with contented hearts…(no matter how bad it may sound to you!), and this is your proof.

  2. Anonymous

    As someone who was run over by a biker and had to get 9 stitches on my leg (not to mention totally derailed my modeling career) I am SO WITH you on the bikers. I don’t even know why LA is spending all this money we don’t have marking off more bike lines. It’s not like bikers stay in their lane… sweet ending!

  3. Molly

    I just found your blog and am enjoying it. I am a college classmate of your husband. Inspired by this mother of 6: http://bikeportland.org/2012/06/28/with-six-kids-and-no-car-this-mom-does-it-all-by-bike-73731 I got a large bicycle to move my children around (and get exercise and eat more chocolate). We bike downtown and all around, but have been a bit too intimidated by Lake Washington Boulevard. Now I know that my excellent derriere is all I need to calm motorists, you will see us there!

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