Waleed had a rough morning. By which I mean, I had a rough morning as he woke up at 6am screaming and wailing as babies sometimes tend to do. Teething, hunger, its hard to know, but when I went to check on him he was beyond exhausted, so I got him a bottle and settled him in the crib. Ten minutes later and an empty bottle flung across the room, the wails resumed at gusts of ninety miles per hour. Each time I picked him up he immediately passed out in my arms and each time I lay him back down- screams. Finally, I resorted to plan C and set him down in his crib and let him be- usually 5-10 minutes is all it takes and he’s usually asleep. As this was not a usual morning, ten minutes later, resigned to a grumpy toddler, I went to get him only to hear:
It was loud but in my groggy state I couldn’t decipher where it came from. Living in a space inhabited by many I attributed it to a door slamming in the distance or someone closing the outdoor trashcan a bit too enthusiastically.
Out this evening, I ran into Bob.
Me: Hi Bob!
Bob: Hi. Did you hear me this morning?
Me: No, I don’t think so. We might have been out.
Bob: No, you were definitely home.
Me: Then, no. I didn’t hear it.
Bob: Oh good. I’m glad you didn’t.
Me: Why, what happened?
Bob: I was banging the ceiling because, well, your son, he was crying pretty loud.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, Bob is a nice guy. He really and honestly is. It’s just that in the seven years he’s lived in his downstairs condo, we’re the first folks with a kid to move in. Certainly having the comparison of quieter times of long ago is a valid one to make. But. What can I do?
Bob assured me he’s not disturbed on a daily basis, only when its loud noises or when he sometimes refuses bedtime. The crying was only an issue of ceiling-thumping-consequence because his daughter was there and sleeps in the room directly below Waleed’s. Bob gave me his daughter’s visitation schedule and we exchanged contact information to prevent further communication-via-bangs. But- and Bob understood this during our conversation- while he can let me know its happening- it’s not like the TV is on too loud, or our riverdance revival group got a bit too boisterous- this is a baby. It’s not like I enjoy hearing my son crying- the goal always is to get him to stop crying.
I minimize our sounds to the best of my ability. I wear slippers. I’ve bought softer toys. In the mornings we play in his room or the family room leaving the bedroom above where Bob sleeps alone to minimize noise. I take him to the playground for hours each day and we often have errands to run leaving the house vacant plus his naps and sleep total about 13-14 hours a day.
I talked to the landlord and she just laughed saying well that’s just par for the course, when I lived there his baby girl cried at all hours of the night driving me absolutely crazy. It happens.
I love the walkability of my new place. I adore the amazing people and the feeling of community. I love not having the burden of home ownership in a place I did not want to live anymore. I love K coming home earlier from work. I love the culture, the eats, and well pretty much everything about where I now live. But sometimes, on days like today, I really miss my house.
And I’ll be baking cookies for tender ears tomorrow.
Any advice? While obviously I won’t do cry it out anymore [as rare as that was to begin with], I’m trying to figure out how to live here without literally walking on tiptoes and asking my baby to do the same. Most mornings he squeals and plays quite loudly in his crib with his stuffed animals before calling for us to get him. Do I stop this now? How much is one expected to live with? Any advice much appreciated.