I need advice. Stat!
Spring has arrived and that means lots of time running around the backyard and heading out of our fence gate to the park behind us. Sounds great but it's NOT!
You see, everytime I venture outside with Cole, "they appear"
"They" being my nosy neighbors 5 houses down.
Some background on my situation..
We purchased the house 3 years ago in May, it did NOT have a fence. The house has a lovely bike path next to it which leads to a soccer field and park, right behind the house. Finances were tight that summer and we decided to hold off on the fence. I remember playing with Cole in the backyard and people staring at us as they walked by on their way to the park. The previous owners "loved" the open feel (I personally think they were just too cheap, why else do you not put up a fence in 20 years with 3 kids in the house??).
The worst came when the nosy neighbor came by with her 7 year old daughter. She wanted her to play with my then 2 year old. Seemed a bit odd, but what the heck, I was new to this area! The next night a knock on my door from the mom bearing muffins (nice, thank you) and also a request for Cole to come out and play? The mom was asking me this?? I noted the 8pm time and that my 2 year old was headed to bed.
Night 3, Cole and I are hanging in the house, and a knock at the door. I look to see the neighbor AT MY PATIO DOOR! She was looking into my family room at the back of the house, creepy!!! Her daughter also told me that we have a nice house as her and her mom look in our windows when we are not home (ahhh kids say the greatest things don't they!) I then started to close the drapes in my house.
So it was starting to feel like I was a prisoner in my own home. Not fun.
Last summer we built the fence, a nice tall one, no big spaces in between boards to ensure some privacy. You would think this would keep the neighbor out........wrong again!!! She simply let herself and her daughter into the backyard by unlatching the lock..... The blowout came last summer when a good friend was in from out of town with her 2 kids. It was 8pm, the kids were playing nicely and we were sharing a bottle of wine, catching up. Next thing we know the neighbor and her daughter are in the yard playing with the kids. I admit it, I was rude, I went into the house and called the kids in for bed. I am not one for confrontation. If I am made, I tend to just ignore you.
She's been hibernating all winter. So have we. Last night was beautiful and we were outside after dinner. The voice appeared from over the fence, not directed towards Tim or myself, but towards Cole. " Hi Cole, do you want to come play with Jamie?" She is asking my 4 year old to come play with her 9 year old.
I need help, how do I manage this situation. I cannot go through another summer of dealing with her. Is it wrong that a nine year old should have some friends her own age? Is it wrong of me to feel that a fence in your yard should ensure some level of privacy, unless you are invited in?
Am I the one being a bad neighbor or has she crossed the boundary of acceptable neighborly behaviour?