I want to share something, but I realize you need info about 'other' people in the neighborhood first. We've lived here since Curly was 6 months, so 12 years. There's been some drama. Honestly, it's the non-existent kind, the perceived, created-by-crazy-people variety. Allow me to summarize.
Ms. Moody - I wrote a post about this YEARS ago, but I am too lazy to dig it out, and I suspect that it's crazy long. No one has time for that. She lives about 4 houses away - at the far end of the cul de sac, whereas we live at the cul de sac entrance.
Her 3 boys are the same ages as Tank, Mini, and Reg. When we moved in, that seemed ideal. Fun. We moved from across town in a section of an older neighborhood ripe with original owners. Geriatric central.
I often walked over with my gang. Ms. Moody and I chatted while the kids played. She insisted this made more sense than coming to our house, closer to traffic (it was just the light neighborhood variety).
I noticed that Moody was IN FACT moody as shit. Grouchy. She's what we call an ANGRY ELF. Seriously, she'd take photos of neighbors to report them to the school. People she felt claimed to live in district but registered with a relative's address to use our district/tax dollars.
Everything made her mad. It was unsettling. Mental note: NEVER upset her.
Gradually my kids wandered into the cul de sac while I stayed at the house: Curly napping, starting dinner, etc. It made me uncomfortable. I didn't want Moody to think she was 'watching' my kids, but she had a toxic aura and I had stuff to do. I urged my kids to stay at our house and sometimes I allowed them down by Moody's, telling them I'd head down a few minutes later. My kids were really well behaved, loud maybe - but behaved. Besides, if one of them acted naughty, their siblings would rat them out. I could see Moody's home out the side living room window (across from the off-the-grid-chair). I'd peek to check on them between switching laundry loads, etc.
Fast-forward four years: Moody's kids showed up to play in our yard FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. I think Reg was about 5 or 6. They were on the swing set. I ran down to the basement to turn on the music for Mini to practice Irish dancing. By this time we knew that Moody's middle son, Will, (Mini's age) was a real challenge. He has ODD. (oppositional defiance disorder) Our kids hung out together less often, because Will was a handful and the older brother was no picnic. Reg was buddies with the youngest, Timmy, but when Timmy sneered at him one time too many Reg stopped begging to hang out with him. Hardly Timmy's fault - being mean was in their genes.
By the time I came up the basement stairs - like 2 minutes later, Will had beaten the crap out of Reggie, two years his junior. Tank was shook up, sobbing. He felt guilty for not stopping it sooner. Everything happened so fast.
Will and brothers had showed up with plastic toy handcuffs. Will accused Reg of breaking the cuffs as they played cops and robbers. Later he realized they snapped back together. Will had pinned Reg to the ground and Reg was covered in red, hand-shaped welts, aka '5-stars'. Reg was hysterical.
Will's older brother, Chuck, ran home and told Moody. I saw her barreling towards my house. She confronted a retreating Will in the street. He raced back to my house, popped up on the deck, and called in my sliding door in a cheerful voice: "I want to apologize to Reg."
Me: (livid) That isn't enough, Will. Hear me now. DON'T YOU EVER LAY A FINGER ON ONE OF MY KIDS AGAIN. CLEAR?
Moody never called me to apologize or to check on Reg. Not sure if she didn't grasp the magnitude of things? I knew better than to confront her. I made a point to not discuss the incident with any other mom. I told my kids it was unfortunate, but it was over.
Weeks later: Tank had a friend over. The kid: "Let's go play with Chuck."
Tank: We aren't playing with the Moody kids right now. Chuck's brother has anger management. (not a typo, that's how Tank described it).
The mom was lingering as she dropped off her kid. She looked at me, eyebrows raised. I side-stepped a bit, but said something like, "Well, we're just hanging at our house today." I may have expanded a bit more to the mom. I don't remember. Looking back, I believe she's one to social climb (despite her attempts, she hasn't gotten up that ridiculous ladder any higher, so sad). I suspect she reported back to Moody.
Moody called me. Bitched me out. Claimed she'd heard from 3 'sources' that I was telling EVERYONE that her kids had anger management issues. I was flabbergasted, knowing I had INTENTIONALLY kept my mouth shut to avoid her wrath.
It got uglier. She called me multiple times, saying horrible things to me. Claimed I never did anything for anyone. (Even though I had just made dinner for the social climbing mom when she had knee surgery and I drove her daughter to school for 3 weeks). She brought up things to rub in my face that I had confided in her like how my sister, Ann, didn't talk to me for a year when I named Reg because she already had a Reg.
Moody: Now I know why your sister doesn't talk to you.
Coach listened into one of the phone calls and just shook his head. He was like, "There isn't much you can do. She's clearly crazy."
This is easy to write about ALL THESE YEARS LATER, but this crazy person made me uneasy as hell. I knew she was capable of being horrible. When her next-door neighbor's house went on the market (years later), school families who were shopping for a house all took a pass. No one wanted to live near her.
When I called her to say we were changing schools from Catholic to public a year after we moved in, she literally said: "Well, you always acted like you were too good for our public school." Huh? Not at all true. We liked our Catholic school community, but that didn't mean we thought we were too good for public. Guessing she was envious of our school choice and this hit a nerve.
The next chapter follows. Hope you will tune in even though this was a longer 'recap' than I thought it would be. Next part a bit shorter.
I lived for 3 years in Davenport, Iowa as a tyke and the kids in the hood ran around like a pack. No issues. Anyone else grow up that way?