If I do not hear two children begging me to go and see if the neighbors are out at least four times daily (and that is a moderate estimation), then I somehow either switched children with someone else or I woke up in a life that looks just like mine but isn't. This afternoon when my children approached me with their familiar plea, I gave my usual response in which I say yes so long as they mind the boundary line. Two disappointed faces appeared at the back door moments later as they came back inside to tell me that they'd had no luck. I was in the midst of dinner preparations only ten minutes later when they came to ask again if they might go out to check on the neighbor status. After giving them permission to do so they were off like shots. A few moments later, Mads appeared in the kitchen asking if she and her brother might color for awhile using their little folding table. Pleased that they had found something to occupy themselves with and surprised that there was no bemoaning of the fact that no neighbors were available for play, I gave them the go-ahead and returned to fixing dinner. In my distracted flurry of activity (racing against the content-for-now baby time bomb), it suddenly dawned on me that the kids had taken their tables and chairs outside. I stepped out onto the back patio and saw.....
And then this.
They had posted themselves directly on their boundary line which is the wall that separates us from our neighbors.
This tree (or as we now unaffectionately call it, the Tree of Terror) used to be their boundary.
This is why the tree is no longer their boundary.
They sat drawing, talking loudly, and waiting at their table. I like to call this 'permissible loitering'. It sounds gentler than stalking.
Wouldn't you enjoy having this little face keep you company in the kitchen?
I have got to hand it to them, that was one slick stakeout.