Although, this one really isn't a stray. She lives next door. She's barely 21, has a 1 yr old, and is about 4 months into her second pregnancy. Her husband is currently deployed in Iraq. She's started hanging out at our place nearly every night. She's a really sweet kid, lively, and full of fun. She gives Pup a hard time, but it's good-natured. I imagine she's pretty lonely, since all of her family is at least as far away as mine, being so young, and so much on her plate already.
It's not that I mind that she comes over a lot, because I really don't. I know I shouldn't be a hermit, shutting myself up in my apartment, only making excursions for groceries or appointments. That would just be a recipe for unhappiness, because I would be completely dependent on B for my social growth and interaction. But, we are hermit-like people. We like our silence and our solitude. Well, not just like - we need it to stay sociable. We get irritable if we can't have some down time alone. I get a lot of quiet alone time, though maybe not down time, since he's gone regularly at least in the mornings. But, our moods have been telling on us lately. We've been shorter tempered. I find myself getting snappish. I've caught myself creeping in my own yard and going outside less, because I'm feeling anti-social and don't want to say something mean without thinking. I've not been known for my tact.
How does one tell a person nicely that they need to give us some space? With Pup, it's really easy. I don't know, maybe it's because he's a guy, and I've always been better able to read guys and get along with them. Maybe it's just because he's really an intelligent, understanding, good-hearted kid underneath all that silliness and sass. If I were to say, "Hey, Pup - door." He'd say "Ok, bye mom! I'll see ya in a few days." And I know for a certainty that there'd be no hurt feelings. But, I think Fin might possibly be hurt, and that's not my goal. And I feel strangely responsible for her. Don't ask me why. She's a grown woman, married, about to have two kids, and she chose this lifestyle, but I think sometimes people run off with a military person without realizing how much time they're likely to spend alone. I think that there are worse people she could latch on to, which could result in her getting into trouble one way or another. Hanging out in my back yard talking and playing with her daughter is a hell of a lot better than clubbing, or whatever it is kids do these days. (Geez, don't I sound old? I'm only 31 myself... )
Suggestions? Thoughts? I know there's a possibility she might stumble onto this. She's friends with me on Facebook, but I'm hoping not until I've had a chance to get some sage input from somewhere and talked to her myself.
To be fair, she hasn't been over much at all this week. Her husband is home on R&R, so they've been spending time together and visiting. She came over once to show me a chair she refinished, which turned out really awesome. It looks professional. And this morning because it rained for a brief moment. We've both been craving rain. It hasn't rained since at least the end of June. Not here on us, though the surrounding areas have all been getting rain off an on. So, she knew I'd be excited, and I was! I think a few times a week would be doable. Because, when it rained, I actually almost sent her a text, but I wasn't sure if she was up or if her phone was on. I know when B was on his R&R, I left mine off the whole time, except once a day I'd check my messages, then turn it right back off. And I probably wouldn't have been very receptive to a neighbor coming over knocking on my door at 0845, either, lol. So, I was glad when I heard her tapping on the back door. I didn't want her to miss the rain. I've kinda missed her a bit this week. I've kinda missed her munchkin, too, which is totally abnormal for me. I normally don't want kids around, but hers is adorable, minds, and is generally quiet (especially for a 1 yr old).
Maybe one of my more socially savvy friends can help me out here? I don't know precisely how to broach the subject, or how to tactfully say that I'm a hermit crab that starts to turn into a harpy if I don't get to curl up inside my shell now and then.