June 27, 2001
I'm not sure when it happened, but I think I've become the leader of this part of my village. That would be the village it takes to raise a child. This afternoon I wound up instructing two little boys that it was not all right for them to tie up little boy #3.
If little boy #3 had not been screaming in what sounded like pain, I might not have known this little game was taking place out on my front porch. But upon hearing the screams, I looked out a window to see the other two boys with what I believe was a length of plastic-coated wire, attempting to tie the third to the porch support. I yelled, "No!" but that didn't stop the game. That got two little imps to look over at me, grin their little faces off, and start trying another knot (apparently knot #1 was insecure). Of course, little boy #3 started screaming again, as soon as their attention returned to him.
In turn, that sent me out the front door, to tell them in no uncertain terms that it was not okay to tie someone up. And probably based on the fact that I'm quite a bit taller and otherwise bigger than they are, my intervention in person caused the two doing the deed to stop. I stood there a few seconds, letting my seriousness sink in. When I was fairly sure they were going to find another game, I came back inside my apartment.
It felt a little weird to be telling children what to do without being expressly told it was all right by their parents for me to do so. But I'll do it again, if need be. I don't know if little boy #3 was really in pain fron the antics, or if it was his dignity that was suffering. In either case, it was not appropriate for then to be making him scream.
I sort of waited around for an angry parent to show up at my door, but then I thought about it and realized that the kids probably were not stupid enough to complain to their parents about me. They must have known I'd tell the parents what it was I had made the children stop doing. But if the parents ever do show up, I'll be happy to defend myself on this one.