There are many things that I love about complex living. At the top of the list though is that for the most part, they’re kid friendly. Seeing a bunch of kids running around playing outside just gives me this sense of homeliness (is there such a word?!) and of course, it means that my kids (kids, two! I still can’t believe I’m a mum of two!!) have lots of company and can play with the other children in the safety of our complex.
Now, I didn’t always feel this way! In fact, when we moved into our previous complex, in our “pre-kid” days, the children pretty much drove me up the wall!! This was largely due to the fact that we had communal gardens with no boundary walls and that our neighbours had two children, ages six and two (in a two bedroom flat with a live-in nanny and another baby on the way may I just add !!) which not only led to every tom, dick and harry playing right outside our window with said kids, but also led to countless hours of them staring at us googley-eyed through our sliding door trying to strike up conversation often leading to us closing the door shutting off fresh air in a trade off for peace and quiet 😉 Needless to say, it was the same kids who – once Ethan was at sitting and crawling age – would come very much in handy eagerly helping to push his pram around on our afternoon strolls around the complex and watching him on the odd occasion that mummy needed to run inside for something as simple as a two minute relief of the bladder!!
When we moved into our current complex, Ethan was nearing a year. At the time, there were no children his age but that didn’t phase me much as he wasn’t at the age where he needed someone to play with anyway. Afternoon pram strolls constantly attracted littlies much to his delight and it wasn’t even a few weeks after we’d moved in that children were calling Ethan’s name and waving at him.
Roll a year forward and brat 1 and 2 moved in across the driveway. Brother and sister (with another older brother), three and five years old. Ethan had friends and boy did he love them! At the time, he could barely string a sentence together, and so playtime meant that mum was always hanging around watching the three of them playing in our garden. A few weeks after they moved in, brat 3 moved in two units up. Brat 3 has a quieter nature and although he was going through a crying for everything phase at the time which
was hi ghly annoying tested my patience on the best of days, Ethan and brat 1 and 3 have become the closest of friends and I often refer to them as the three musketeers 🙂
Over the Christmas holidays, both brats 1 and 3 went away, and this is when Ethan met brat 4 and his entourage (his older brother and another older boy in the complex – the three of them always moved in a pack, never without each other) who live on the other side of the complex at the entrance. Now to get there, there’s a long gently downward sloping driveway from our unit, the perfect place for super fun bicycle races. Ethan literally spent just about every day of the holiday either racing bikes with them, or they were at our house playing with Ethan’s toys which resulted in Ethan and brat 4 forming a really good friendship.
With Ethan being only a year younger than brat 1 and 3 and the same age as brat 4, this friendship really does work out all ways and benefits mum to no end especially in the afternoons when I’m mostly busy with Riley or trying to finish up dinner or a few last minute odds and ends before the hubster gets home! Because we live in a complex, I can happily leave Ethan to play with the brats knowing that for the most part, he’s safe and that he can enjoy himself with his friends.
Where this starts getting tricky ito when to get rid of the brats is when everybody and his cousin want to play in our yard with Ethan’s toys. Some time over the holidays, Ethan seemed to have acquired the coolest and the most toys (thanks Santa) in all of Buccleuch! Now (in the tune of Kelis’s milkshake…) our toys bring all the boys to the yard, and damn right, they’re better than yours!!! This brings a whole new set of “issues” with it. Making sure that nobody takes toys with them, nobody’s trying to break them (what is it with kids and breaking toys!!!) and keeping apart fight after fight listening to “but I had it first, he doesn’t want to share“…oh, the problems of a threenager are endless!!!
So here I sit with this dilemna…having the brats play at our house means entertainment for Ethan (who btw sulks now when there aren’t any kids around crying boredom from the rooftops as if mum and dad cannot come close to entertaining him like the cool kids do!!), but can be seriously compromising on my sanity!!! Aahh…yet another one of the joys of this thing called motherhood ❤ 🙂