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Jumping Through Hoops To Protect Her Kids

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 16, 2021

I’ve been suspicious for a while but a neighbour finally clued me in; some of the other neighbours’ kids have been using my back garden for the basketball hoop I set up.

I have mixed feelings; I don’t mind them using it, but every now and then something little gets broken or knocked over and hidden, or at least nothing said or apology given.

I decide to do the right thing and let their parents know, and let them know that it’s okay but that anything broken will have to be paid for.

I explain my thoughts to the kids’ mother.

Woman: “My kids wouldn’t do that.”

Me: “Look, it’s been happening for a while; other people have seen them. I’m not mad, but the breakages have to stop.”

Woman: “And I’m telling you it’s not my kids.”

Me: “Really? Okay, fine. If it’s these stranger kids — by the way, there are no other boys in the neighbourhood — who are using my garden, I will lock it, then.”

Woman: “Fine.”

Me: “Fine.”

I lock the gate and let the other neighbour know the kids shouldn’t be there.

Me: “Please let me know if you see them in my garden.”

Neighbour: “I’ll have camera footage if they do.”

Me: “I don’t think that will be necessary.”

Not a week later, I find another broken knickknack, and my neighbour lets me know the kids have been round and shows me a picture. Yep, it’s them. I take the picture round to their house.

Woman: “Oh, it’s him again. Here to make more accusations?”

Me: “No, same ones as last time.”

I hand her the picture.

Woman: “Well, that could be anyone.”

Me: “It’s not and you know it.”

Son: “Who’s that, Mum?”

Woman: “Some tosser from over the road.”

Me: “I was telling your mum that I don’t mind you using the basketball hoop, but you need to pay for the breakages.”

Son: “Oh, I, err—”

Woman: “I told him! I told him it couldn’t be you.”

Me: “And I’ve just given her a photo of you climbing my gate.”

Son: “Listen, Mum, I—”

The woman just rants and raves.

Me: “You know where I live.”

To their credit, the lads came round, apologised, and offered to pay for what they broke, as long as I didn’t tell their mum. I offered for them to come back and use the hoop, but only when I left the gate unlocked.