June 17, 2009
I don't need the Neighborhood Watch with my daughters around. They notice every little detail and every small change. From our back room/dining area we can see the next street over. One of our neighbors drives a van and if it's gone in the morning I receive a running commentary. "Mommy, our neighbor's car is gone." As soon as he returns for lunch I'm informed. When he leaves again I'm put on notice and I know as soon as he comes home for the day. I also know when our other neighbor is outside and what he's doing (mowing the grass, feeding his dog, etc.)
I think my daughters could easily serve on our Home Owners Association board. When we take walks they are quick to point out who is violating the covenants. OK, so they don't really understand HOA by-laws, but maybe our neighborhood manager should take them along on her weekly inspections. "Mommy, they still have up their Christmas lights." "Mommy, look at all the trash in their yard." "Mommy, the garbage man came yesterday. Why do they still have their trash cans out?"
Their observations extend past home, too. When their preschool teacher added a new table to the classroom, my girls noticed it the minute they walked in the door. They talked about how "teacher got a table" for the rest of the day.
Hubby and I actually work to teach them to be observant. For their third birthday their aunt gave them each a small monster doll. At night the monsters would "hide" in our play room. It took the girls awhile to figure out the game, but once they did they would rush down each morning to see who could find the monsters. We mix it up. Sometimes it's the Fisher Price Little People who are hiding. We've stopped doing it every night, so they never know what's coming.
I'm confident that if something is out of place in my house I will have four "helpers" making sure I know what's wrong.