Re: Kid Stories
From: Dahako (
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 18:30:27 -0700 (MST)
Hi - 

I don't know if stories from cohousing communities in development count or
not?  At Eno Commons, half our households have kids (bringing us to a total of
about 16 kids, almost all of whom are seven years old or younger). We have
business meetings every weekend, plus some socializing during the week, so the
kids are all pretty good buddies with each other and with the grownups.

One of our grownups, Robert (hi!) is a vegan, but he started this running joke
with my son, Harry, who was then two years old.   Robert would come into our
house and ask Harry for the mustard, so Robert could eat him up.  At first,
Harry was a bit intimidated by this stranger, but after he got used to Robert,
one day Harry went to the fridge and got the mustard, gave it to Robert, then
pointed out one of the other kids for Robert to eat.  Over time, this joke has
been adopted by all the kids.  They now call Robert, "Robertburgers!"  To
continue the joke, Robert is planning on painting his house the following
colors: mustard (body), ketchup (door) and mayonnaise (trim).  The kids love
Robert's silly jokes, and Robert, who used to say he didn't know what to do
around kids, really enjoys his time with them and has been known to trade
babysitting for food.

Our youngest current member, a little girl under a year old, regularly gets
passed around our pancake breakfasts and business meetings.  One of the people
that is best at soothing her (except when she's hungry) is an experienced
parent with older kids (and she also happens to teach at a Quaker preschool).
So the child gets an extra grownup to bond with a bit and the parents get to
enjoy more of the meeting and social time.

The older kids have decided they are in charge of designing the playground and
have already gone through a couple of rounds of planning.  A little while back
they came to us and asked for help facilitating their meetings (we're still
working on that - here's one for the list: how do you facilitate a meeting
when the participants have 15 minute attention spans?).  Then they told us
they would be fundraising so they could have more control over what went into
the playground.  This from a group of kids whose median age is about 5.

One of our 5-year-olds told her mother one day that Eno Commons was better.
"Better than what?" her mom asked.  "Better than anything!" her daughter

Jessie Handforth Kome
Eno Commons Cohousing
Durham, NC
Where El Nino has finally relented enough to allow the first house foundation
(mine) to go up - with home completion expected in late May. The builder has
many more permits in hand, ready to move very soon.  The construction drawings
for the commons house are almost ready. We have 16 of 22 lots sold, with a
17th under option.  Just looking for a few more good neighbors so we can
experience community without marketing! 

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