Bad Neighbor (Open Letter)


Dear Neighbors,

Let me begin by saying that I do not envy you. If I lived above us, I would curse us often (not that you do or thankfully we don’t hear you do it because I totally understand if you need to). I really am sorry.

As you are well aware, I have two beautiful daughters. Love them. For the most part, they are great, but between the hours of 8pm and 6am and having nothing to do with whether there is a full moon or not, they intermittently turn into screeching, hollering, crying devices of torture. Now, let me get specific. Really, it is my eldest that morphs into this sensory affront to a good night’s sleep. The thing is that she sets off the youngest and her parents as well.

You may be thinking: that sucks for you, but do something about it because they are not my kids and as responsible parents you are in charge of making them behave. I agree. The problem is that between the hours of 8pm and 6am we have no parental powers. We are rendered useless. I know it sounds like an excuse, but it’s true.

I wish I could tell you that the situation would change soon. I’m hoping it will, but obviously I don’t know what I’m doing between 8pm and 6am. We’ll keep trying because I know we all desperately need some sleep.

You may think I’m jesting in this letter, but I am truly mortified that you are affected by our inabilities as parents.

I’m very tired and I’m very sorry,
Unknown Mami

P.S. Earplugs are on us, if you think they will help.


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  • Zlopezf

    I have the same issue! I am glad that the person below me has a crying child too! My youngest daughter cries so much sometimes she makes herself throw up! I don’t know what to do with her. I have tried everything! She won’t stay put in her bed and if she does she wakes up like 4 or 5 times!

    • unknownmami

      It is absolutely exhausting.

  • Eva Gallant

    So glad those days are gone!

  • LL Cool Joe

    Oh dear, mine are 14 and 18 and we still get the screaming and shouting. And that’s just me! 😀

  • Angel Shrout

    Aww I hate when they get days and nights mixed up. Is it possible the older is having night terrors? That is about the age my boys developed them and it was horrific. Heart wrenching screams eyes wide open and yet they were still sound asleep and I was a basket case trying to get them calmed and awake to realize it was only a dream. Hopefully your neighbors realize and are parents themselves.

    • unknownmami

      The last time it happened, I really thought it might be night terrors.

      • Angel Shrout

         That truly does sound like what is happening. Has she been doing a lot of growing steps lately, Changes in school, learning more things that seem to just be happening so fast. It seems that when they have a growth spurt  in their life be it physically or emotionally or however and a lot of things open up suddenly those night terrors are the result. Physically they may be ready, mentally they may not be and their brain reminds them of that in their sleep. We had to invest in melatonin to help my son fall into a deeper pattern of sleep, which is where dreams stop. It seems night terrors tend to occur just as the child is in the light stage of sleep headed to deep sleep. The time when dreams occur. Because they are so close to deep sleep it is hard for them to awaken from the nightmare. One night my son screamed for me for 10 minutes, tears rolling down his face arms outstretched and I was right there, patting him talking to him, trying to wake him up. Talk about ripping my heart out. The medication was a miracle and it is something the body makes naturally so it’s not like a drug. It seemed that while he was growing up his body wasn’t keeping up with enough production of this to help him get to deep sleep. Maybe that will help. It sure can’t hurt.

        • unknownmami

          She is going through lots of changes (i.e. started preschool a few months ago, got a language assessment test for kindergarten, her sister is about to start preschool as well). Thank you for the insight. It’s crazy because last night she did great. Slept all night no problem, but many other nights she is a mess. It’s like she is a totally different person than who she is in the day.
          Her sister has a doctor’s appointment next week (they have the same doctor), I’ll ask the doctor about night terrors and melatonin. I’ve taken melatonin myself before.

  • Tree a.k.a Mother of Pearl

    I remember those days very well! And I don’t miss them either. Hopefully, you can figure out what’s causing it, and get them to sleep.

  • Bee

    I’m the upstairs neighbor, but the problem isn’t that the downstairs neighbors — who are very nice — have babies. It’s that their ceiling/our floor is so thin we can hear when the husband sneezes! We can practically hear their conversations, and we can definitely hear when their tween decides to practice singing by doing karaoke. Sigh. Also, I love dogs, but not dogs who bark all day while they’re out of the house. I suggested that maybe the dog has separation anxiety, but they weren’t that committed to him, so they gave him away.

    Oddly enough, we can only hear our upstairs neighbors when they’re wearing heels, and she said that our TV is never too loud. My husband and I think that the garden apartment below ours was probably not meant to be used as a unit originally.

    Sorry for the rant, but I had to get this off my chest.

  • The Bipolar Diva

    Oh how I remember those days, long and tiring. But it doesn’t last forever and is really a relatively short time (I know that’s easy for me to say on this side of motherhood) in the scheme of things. Just hang on and try to stay in control….ha, another easy thing for me to say.

  • lisleman

    It all has a bad cycle to it.  Lack of good restful sleep makes for crabby next day I suspect.  I hope you get her sleep peacefully soon.

  • kelly thompson

    oops….oh well….maybe to feel better about it you can give him/her a small gift and an apology and you may find out that they are deaf and cant even hear or something!

  • From Tracie

    I remember those years so well. We lived in a duplex and the nice man who lived next door to us was kind enough to lie to our faces, and say that he didn’t hear the screams all night long…..we knew this was a lie because the loudest thing he ever did was use his microwave and we could hear it beep every time it was finished cooking. 

  • deborahpucci

    I’ve never lived very long in an apt. setting but people would have had a hard time listening to mine also when they were young.

  • Vidya Sury

    :-) Ha ha ha! I always pray for my neighbors’ happiness – if they’re happy, they have no time to think about us! We do have nice neighbors.

    Although, even when Vidur was a little ‘un, it was our wild laughter that must have bugged the ‘eck outta the neighbors! 

    There’s good(?) news Claudya….they grow up. Too soon, I feel. :-)

  • Myya Says…

    Ahhh what a tough situation.  I feel for you :(

  • Profwaynewsmith

    Children are the antithesis of sleep…