Sunday, 4 January 2009

Happy freaking new year to you too!

I predicted this! I said to David just a week ago that we would probably get a complaint from our neighbour downstairs soon. He's just come back from staying with his children and it was the same time last year that things really came to a head. He hasn't been up to have a whinge for months (not since we put together an Ikea bookcase at 930pm one night.)

But last night, Jasper put on a show at 3am that lasted 2 hours. Then we had the encore at 9am (in which he chucked a tantrum for half an hour because I refused to get out of bed and serve his breakfast when he had a perfectly good father already IN the kitchen ready to serve it for him). It was obviously the last straw as we had the neighbor up here at 11am.

Fortunately, I'd already had my second coffee so I was awake enough to defend myself - which is what it always seems like with him. I listen for half an hour or so to all the ways I am a bad parent/person (I let my children run around, I use the bathroom tap during the night, I sometimes do 3 loads of washing a day, I have a child that doesn't like to sleep and so on). In fact, luckily David was there as he calms the situation. If it was just the neighbour and I, it would get very nasty. He came up to ask us if we plan on moving anytime soon and said that as he hasn't slept well since we moved in (he can't get back to sleep after Jasper wakes him up, which happens every night) they are thinking of selling their apartment. Apart from him suggesting I let Jasper cry it out (which I told him I would not do on the advice of the pediatrician - always better to have medical back-up for my parenting decisions!), he really just wanted to whinge. And after an hour or so, David calmed him down enough that he was able to wish us a happy new year when he left.

But as usual, the whole thing leaves me feeling like crap and wanting to move, which isn't going to happen. I feel bad for him that he can't sleep. I know how that feels - I haven't slept more than 6 hours straight for 5 1/2 years. And that 6 hours was a one-off. Most nights, its more like 3 hours. But that's ok, I've got used to it. I wish he could just get used to it too. Here's hoping for a better night's sleep tonight for all...

11 comments:

The Telfers In France said...

Oh dear.
It is bad enough when we have to stay in a hotel for one or two nights with neighbours through the wall. Normally we have plenty of space, like at home on the farm there are no neighbours for several kilometres, so the kids can make as much noise as possible.
Of course kids have to make noise! Especially when Mummy won't make breakfast, or the toast is cut into triangles instead of squares, or they have the wrong spoon in their cerals...
But I feel sorry for you in such a situation.
Happy New Year!

Jennie said...

Sorry about your grumpy neighbor!

Rosebank Magic said...

Maybe next time he asks if you are thinking of moving soon because he is thinking of selling his apartment you should agree with him that it would be a good idea. Even if you did move the next tenants could be much noisier than you are so the sooner he sells the better.
It also sounds as though he is being encouraged by these children he holidays with.
I'm glad it is not as hot here as it is at Cue, we thought Brisbane for new year was bad enough, but its lovely and cool now.
Still clearing up storm damage, should be finished this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Tell the git to move!! Hopefully his next neighbours will be insomniac ravers!! By the way all your snow pics are fantastic!! Looked so lovely and Christmassy there, Alice

writerjo said...

Dear Pen

Steph's Bradley has terrible issues with sleeping when the children have a bad night. So he...

wears earplugs.

There is something a bit odd about all this - most people don't wake up for other people's children. I would say there is an anxiety disorder or a something similar at the root of his behavior.

Don't let him make you anxious...the children will become tense etc and there will be more tantrums.

Love Jo

Rochelle said...

Do you have rugs in the rooms? This might help stifle the noise a bit? Just an idea, no idea if it would really work though...

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Patricia said...

Happy New Year Penny and family! I am amazed at your time in Annecy. It has been a while since I have read your blog (mostly because I have a job now...). I love reading about your adventures. Sorry to hear you are still battling with your neighbor. What a drag as we say in the States. Big hugs from former expat neighbor.

Hugs from foggy Berkeley,CA,
Patricia McCarthy

Anonymous said...

Hi Penny, my name is Leigh - we met once at the ice rink with Emily. I am going to have a baby shower for Emily and I wanted to invite you. Could you send me your email address if you are interested please?
leigh@chezfullagar.com
Thanks

Karen said...

oh you poor thing - tell him to go and jump in the lake! Children make noise - thats what they do. I agree - tell him to move. The last thing you want is pressure from neighbours in raising children or when you can do your washing. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job being a parent! Remind yourself lots and often!!! - he has the problem - not you.
Ps your option for sleep does come back eventually - hang in there and I hope you get the chance to have plenty of weekend afternoon snoozes in the meantime.
Bon chance!

fountaingirl said...

Oh wah! What a whiny baby he is. Children make noise. If you want perfect quiet you live in a separate house or a monastery. He can play soft music at night, wear earplugs, get a white noise machine, or learn not to be such a hothouse orchid about it all. For heaven's sake. Maybe he needs to move to an 'adults only retirement villa' kind of place.