Get Clucky!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Parenting Techniques from the Hippies Among Us

From my little wee third-story porchlette, I have a lovely view. I can see not only what most of my co-residents are doing on their wee porchlettes, I can also see into the neighbor's back yard, and into the back yard beyond that (and beyond that into the very windows of another building, which is also entertaining but another story entirely).

Anyway, this last back yard belongs to a lovely six-flat, occupied entirely by couples with young children. All of the people who live in the building work as pilates instructors and massage therapists and (I"m not even kidding) all work in the neighborhood--they all seem to have idyllic existences that involve walking to work and an abundance of ready and willing childcare. Plus did I mention the backyard? It's fenced in, and no one not three-stories up could see in. They are out there all the time, calling peacably to their happy and well-actuallized children: "Olivia! Johann!"

(Again, I'm not even kidding.)

I love to spy on them, and am secretly hoping that when/if I acquire un bebe that they adopt me into their happy idyllic fold, and that if they do they won't hate me for being a curmudgeony meat-eater.


Today the spying was very good. Two of the moms were out with the usual passel of children. One of the moms had a sprinkler hose, and all of the kids were in various stages of swim-suited undress. They kids were running and joyfully squealing and the mom was spraying and laughing a low-toned earth mother laugh, and all was well. It was very pastoral. And I thought: that looks fun.

And really, I found it all the more pleasing when I discovered that the manichean will of childhood had entered even into that well-actualized environment. Because, kids will be kids, even hippy ones, and they (seem to) like to know who the bad guy is. This is why even the hippy ones play copys and robbers, cowboys and indians, etc.

So what do you play if you are a well-actuallized hippy parent, armed with a WATER HOSE?

Ah. "Cops and Protesters." Of course!!

Since I am aspiring, as I mentioned, to spend as much time in a bikini as possible these days, I was tempted to wander over myself. But I was worried they wouldn't be happy about my beer.


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