I live in a town home community and there are two little girls in the block next to mine who are always getting into mischief. One has lanky brown hair and the other is a skinny little blond. They are at least six years old because they have mentioned being in school. I would estimate that they are in the six - eight range.
They have asked if Muffin can play with them in the past and I have refused. I did it in a nice way, but I really don't want Muffin hanging out with these girls. As I mentioned, they always appear to be up to some kind of trouble - be it chasing cats (mean), hiding in trash bins (gross!) or standing on top of cars. For real. I don't want my daughter to pick up any of these habits and I'm not entirely sure she would be safe with those girls anyway - I've also seen them playing in the road.
Recently the lanky brown haired girl has begun a different game. The "ring-the-door-bell-and-run" game. She has also enlisted the aid of my new neighbors (who I had secret hopes of becoming potential babysitters. Alas.) They will scamper up, ring the bell and tear off in a fit of giggles to hide behind the neighbor's car. Yesterday, the two neighbor kids did it by themselves - and one of them (the now not-so-potential babysitter) is definitely old enough to know better.
I have yet to answer the door after one of these pranks. I rarely answer the doorbell anyway. We have WAY too many door-to-door sales people in these parts. Unless I'm expecting company or a package I'll just ignore the bell. Regardless, the incessant ringing is about to drive me mad. In my psychology classes they advised that we ignore any behavior that we did not want reinforced. I'm not sure how long I can manage to ignore this crap - yesterday they were doing it during Muffin's nap! Also, I don't want to give them further satisfaction by appearing upset by their behavior.
I should also note that I've never spoken to any of the parents involved - outside a friendly greeting at the mailbox, I mean. I guess I would hate to have my first real conversation with my neighbors to be a complaint against their kids.
So, what do I do? I've considered opening the door and acknowledging their prank but asking that they cease and desist for the sake of my napping child. I've also considered rigging a battery up to the bell so that they get a nasty shock. But I'm sure that their parents wouldn't like that option too much. Maybe I should just wait them out and hope that a new game sparks their interest soon. Or, maybe when they come around to my house on Halloween I should say that I don't have candy for random door-bell-ringers. That might invite a few eggs though.
Still, right now I'm leaning towards electrocution and candy denial. I'm a grumpy old bitch that way. Damn kids.