Friday, February 6, 2015

Neighbours versus Kids

I have two children.  One is three; the other is five.  My three year old is a shrieker and he's stubborn.  As in he won't wear his boots even though it's -12 C outside (10F) and covered in snow.  He has about three sweat shirts that we rotate frequently because he's super picky about his upper garments.  He screams when you change his diaper in the morning.  And he screams if his father tries to do anything for him.  Basically it's momma or nobody.

My five year old is very intelligent.  But God bless him, he's got the emotional regulation of a three year old.  His watch is too loose commence loud whinnying/crying.  He can't find something.  This leads to him tipping over a chair in the dinning area.  He does NOT want to wear his grey snow pants therefore he refuses to go home.  I have to carry him out of his classroom while his teacher clucks at him.  I imagine today something else will have set him off (because emotionally speaking three year olds don't like transitions) and I will once again have to dig him out of his classroom and drag him home.  His teacher thinks I am an awesome mom.  It's just I don't know any different.  Not really.

But my neighbors (neighbours) I think act worse.

About three weeks ago, sometime in the morning we heard banging on the wall.  We have an end unit and we share one wall with one other family.  I told my husband that he should go over and figure out what was going on.  We didn't assume it was violence, but we figured we should inquire.  Turns out the grandpa was probably passively-aggressively banging on the wall because our children were up at about 6ish on a week end and were as usual protesting loudly.  My husband spoke to the daughter, who is an adult, who said that yes we are very loud.  And yes, we do bother her dad.  He apologized and said we would try our best and work on it.  He told her if there was a problem to come on over and let us know.

Fast forward to Jan 29 (I know this date because it's HB's birthday), we get a knock on the door.  It's a school day mind you so we're busily trying to get everyone dressed and out the door.  She's fuming.  Says we've woken up her children for the past couple of days and says this is her final warning.  If we don't pipe down, she's calling the police.

I haven't really seen them home since.

A few things:  if you have noise issues with your neighbors, it's best to talk to them about it.  Banging on the wall doesn't mean anything.  You could be putting up pictures for all anyone knows.

We live in front of a college.  Our complex is made up of families, retirees, and college students.  Usually it's fairly quiet here, but if the college cranks up then the sound carries over here.  It's annoying.  Trust me.  But I also understand that it's par for the course this close to a college.  This isn't a situation of college students throwing a party though.  We can't simply turn down the volume of the stereo or ask obnoxious people to leave.

If you live next to a family with small children, you should acknowledge their children are not always quiet.  They play loudly.  They get hurt and cry.  They argue and scream over seemingly mundane things.  What's really amazing to me is that not only are my neighbors a grandfather and daughter, but a four year old girl and an infant.  Sometimes I hear them too.  The four year old was especially whinny talking to over the fence this past summer.  We've invited her over to play multiple times.  Her mother won't let her so commence whinnying and begging for toys and "freezies" (what frozen ice pops are called in Canada).  But I'm a mom and I understand.  She's four.  I'm not going to mistreat her mother because her daughter doesn't get the word "no."

What's really bad is they've been here for almost a year.  They've let it get to them without saying a word to us.  We took the initiative ourselves.  And instead of acknowledging this we've been given a "final warning."  We never even had a first warning until the "final" one.  That's not very grown-up or neighborly.  That's going to the extreme and allowing your emotions to over-ride your reason.  I get that it's annoying.  Babies make you sleep deprived.  And it sucks when your neighbors have a dj come to your pool party (believe me I know this).  But you bust out some cool white noise machines and make do.  And if your neighbors are really loud, then you ask them to pipe it down without resorting to threats (which resulted in them inviting us over for later and turning it down to a reasonable volume in the meantime).  I think they are empty ones anyway because the police are probably going to be sympathetic to both parties. 

I'm sorry that 6-7 in the morning isn't when they normally get up.  The girl, to my knowledge, doesn't attend school.  Her mother, I'm assuming, is still on maternity leave.  But this is when we get up.  And unfortunately I can't predict when my children are going to loose it over what socks they are going to wear.  I can only try my best to calm them down, which sometimes back fires.

We did warn the Condo people about the possibility of a police call.  His response was to tell our children to just play and not to worry about it.

BTW if the police knock on the door, we are so playing the "autism" card.  Not because it's an excuse, but because it's a reason.  He has a legit disability.  We can only be so accommodating as long as they are willing to be flexible.       


1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah, if the police are called I would totally play that card for all it's worth (which tends to be a lot... as it should be!). And how frustrating. That's one reason that I've been kind of scared to move to an apartment, even though it would mean living somewhere nicer. I just know Maggie's screams would get us kicked out. Even where we are now I'm afraid someone is going to call the police because they hear her squealing all the time. I relate so much to this post and how stressful it can be to try to keep them quite and calm when it just isn't happening!


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