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Childrearing

Jerk Neighbor Shames Parents For Living In An Apartment, Because Not Having A Swing Set And A Back Yard Is Child Abuse

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(Oh no, won’t somebody think of the children? Photo: Facebook/Kelly N Mike Bruning)

I hope you’re ready for your two-minute hate today, because a California busybody has really earned this week it by sending a horrible anonymous letter to shame some local parents for, of all things, living in an apartment.

The San Diego Union Tribune writes that Kelly and Michael Brüning are a stay-at-home mother and a civil engineer who live in a two-bedroom apartment on Mission Beach in San Diego, right near the water, with their 2-year-old and 4-year-old boys. But last week they received an anonymous note from a neighbor calling them “the most selfish parents areound.”

“Because you like the beach, your boys ar etrapped in a tiny, one bedroom upstairs apartment,” the letter-writer scolds. “Kids need a yard to play in. A swing set, or trike to ride when they want to, not just when it’s convenient for you. I don’t know this but I doubt that either of you had to grow up under these conditions.”

I can’t decide what is the most bewildering thing about this wildly inappropriate and judgmental letter. This would be an awful thing for someone to send to parents who really were living with their kids in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment, but the letter writer sent this after some kids living in a two-bedroom apartment near the water in San Diego? With both the beach and a playground right by the house? This sounds like the type of person who yells at parents at the ice cream shop because “letting kids eat sugar is child abuse,” but could not give a rats ass about doing anything to help stop actual child abuse.

Call me crazy, but living next to the beach seems like a pretty good perk for a child as much as it is for a parent.

I don’t think the Brünings should listen to this person, but if they did think their kids needed a backyard, I have a backyard in Indiana and they can have the whole damn house and I will go take their 2-bedroom California apartment in the beach. I don’t even need to see it. You had me at “two bedroom apartment near the water in San Diego.” I’d even take it knowing that it came with an anonymous asshole neighbor.

There’s also an astounding degree of privilege wafting around this letter. Kids need a swingset and a yard? Huh. Somehow my pediatrician never informed me of that. Do kids need two dogs, a stay-at-home mom, and a … fuck, I don’t know, what did the kid from Leave it to Beaver have again? I never watched that show.

Millions and millions of children grow up in cities and live in apartments all over the world, and those people are doing just great.

H/T Scary Mommy

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