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A one-year-old stomping over our heads 24/7.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Caitlin Faw

“Dear PoPville,

I need advice. I live in a beautiful, relatively new condo building. The developers kept the historic facade intact but gutted and rebuilt the interior of the building. High-end hardwood floors, great appliances… They even sound-proofed the place to a great extent, which is a luxury in DC. But they forgot to account for one thing: A one-year-old stomping over our heads 24/7. I love kids and want kids myself one day.

However, our upstairs neighbors’ kid stomps around the apartment – especially early in the mornings. Our sleep quality is almost non-existent at this point. Who needs a 7 am alarm when a kid stomps around over your head starting at 6 am, right? You want to sleep in on a Sunday? Too bad, the kid will wake you up around 7-7:30am. We emailed our neighbors directly but they either don’t seem to care or are not really cut out for parenting and don’t actually know how to regulate their kid’s behavior. They don’t say no to their kid or tell him to stop because he “throws a temper tantrum.”

[Ed. Note: Now hold on a second. It’s not necessarily fair to judge parenting through walls. As the parent of two little kids myself, one who wakes up very early, I can tell you first hand that there is zero way to “regulate that behavior”. I have tried alarm clocks, the stick to the carrot, tears to begging, prayers to all major deities and my kid wakes up when she wakes up.

If my kid woke at 7:30am I can’t tell you the joy I would feel. Having said that, before I had kids – 7:30am would be a god awful weekend wake up hour. I do feel that pain. But I absolutely don’t think it’s fair to blame the parents here. Blame poor construction. Blame Obama/Trump but kids are kids. I mean I do think it’s fair to ask the parents to make sure the kid isn’t wearing shoes, or maybe ask about putting a carpet down. But the wake up time is not really negotiable. The one good thing is that very little kids grow out of being very little kids. And then they do they sleep. Until that time comes, to ease the pain I can prescribe consuming copious amounts of gin and high ABV beers. So it is written, so it is so.]

The neighbors recommended we get white noise machines, which don’t help much when the whole apartment shakes to the point of the fire alarms falling off the ceiling. Has anyone encountered a similar situation? Can we start filing noise complaints about them (yes, we’re at the point of filing nose complaints against a kid to get a few more minutes of sleep before work/on the weekends)? Where? How?”

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