Saturday, January 12, 2008

Needing Advice.....

Most of you know we live in a condominium. Before we purchased our condo, we made a point of asking the realtor (who happens to live in the complex as well as work here daily) if there were issues with noise in the homes...meaning, can you hear your neighbors?! She quickly assured us that the insulation was excellent and that there were NEVER any complaints from the home owners. SO....we proceeded with our purchase of an upstairs home.

Shortly after we moved in, we received a complaint from the family who lives downstairs that the noise was bothering them. Shep and Rauly had been running around like crazy that day and I agreed that the noise was unreasonable so I quickly apologized and told the kids to calm down. Ever since that complaint, I have been hyper-sensitive to ANY noise the kids make...anytime they hop, skip or jump - I tell them to stop. Anytime they run - they are reprimanded. Since they are 3 and 2 years old...as you can imagine...I'm on them ALL DAY LONG! It is exhausting to say the least. They (the people under us) have banged on their ceiling (our floor) twice due to the noise which is SOOOOOO irritating to me! Well, today - I spent all morning at the park with them. We came home and I fed them lunch (they were seated the entire time). I immediately put them down for a 2.5 hour nap. After waking, we cuddled on the couch and watched cartoons for another hour. After I turned the t.v. off - I told them they could play in the playroom. After a few minutes of playing, Rauly and Shep started running around a little. I IMMEDIATELY told them to stop, which they did. Rauly however ran again and to discipline her, I sent her to her room. No sooner had she gotten in bed, I heard a knock on my door. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrr....... At this point I was royally peeved! I feel SO guilty telling my kids to behave like grown-ups in their own home all the friggin' time! We paid good money for this condo and gosh-darn't - I want us to feel comfortable in our own home! Whelp, the man downstairs politely asked if we could keep it down to which I responded "Sir...you do realize that they are 3 and 2 years old, right?". He just looked at me. I then explained that I was getting on to my children all day long....literally and that I didn't know what else I could do. I mean....there is "unreasonable noise" and there is "reasonable noise"....my kids are making "reasonable noises". That's pretty much how we left it. Later on this evening, they proceeded to bang on their ceiling again and Chad got really aggravated...but what can you do? We're trying to be examples of Christ so we don't want to respond in anger, but we also feel like they're being TOTALLY irrational! I honestly don't know what to do! I feel as if it's a lose-lose situation right now. If we allow our kids to behave like normal children in their own home, we will drive the people under us crazy which makes me feel horrible. BUT, if we appease the people who live under us and force our kids to sit still when they're at home - I'll feel like the world's worst mom (and btw: I feel like that is just totally unacceptable to expect two little toddlers to not make any noise at all)! WHAT SHOULD WE DO?!

We are actually considering at this point renting our condo out (in order to keep our investment) and renting another home in this area for us to live in...I realize that might sound outrageous but that is how badly it's bothering us. It's 1am and I'm up thinking about this!!!! Our origonal goal was to live here for 5 years (it's been 1 year since we moved in!)...my nerves are not going to be able to handle 4 more years of "shushing" the kids! Any advice at this point would be appreciated... Both my parents suggested we go to the Condominium Manager and ask her to intervene,...however, Chad doesn't think that will do any good. At this point, I'm thinking that might be better then doing nothing though.

And yes....I opened our blog back up to the world. I have been discovering so many old friends and acquantainces over the past few days only because their blog wasn't private, so I decided it might be better to keep our's open unless we have any problems.

23 comments:

Wes said...

You should invest in some Riverdance lessons and practice all day.

That way, when your kids are running around it will be quiet compared to your dancing.

Problem solved - you're welcome.

Lindsey said...

Thanks Wes...I needed a good laugh! :)

The Dawkins said...

I would politely tell the gentlemen next time he comes knocking on your door you will be happy to keep your kids quiet the same month he pays your mortgage payment then stomp three times and shut the door.

Sarah and Nolan said...

We think that you should tell them to live with it. This situation comes with living in a condo. Your neighbors will just have to deal with it. Oh, and I would also tell them that if there is any damnage caused to your condo from them banging on your floor, that you will take action.
That can all be done is a positive, loving way. Good luck....and buy those kids a pogo stick!

Justin & Shauri Phillips said...

I have no idea what advice to give you!! The only time I ever lived with someone above me or below me was at Harding. It sure sounds like these people are SUPER sensitive! It's not like you guys let your kids run wild. I mean, how hard can 2 kids under 40 pounds run? No way, I'm not buying it. It sounds like these people are just waiting on something to complain about. I think maybe your parents are right. Go talk to the condo manager and see where that takes you. They may not be able to do anything, but you can at least say you've tried. Stand firm, don't let those people push you out of your own home. You paid GOOD money for your home and it's YOURS! Sorry, that irritates me too!

tleaf10 said...

Yeah, you can't let them make you move. ...but I would complain to the condo people so they know that ya'll are doing your part to keep it quiet and the people downstairs are being UNREASONABLE ... that way, they have it on record if the guy downstairs ever complains to them. - and really they shouldn't hear that much since you have carpet. - and it's not in the middle of the night. It might just be some bitter old man that is just mad because he doesn't have cute little kids.

jkbaber said...

Does this guy stay home all day?? I would go talk to the condo people and let them know how y'all have been trying to appease this man. I would tell him that you have tried to be considerate of the noise level, but that this is your home and you cannot keep your children from running in their own home. He is going to have to deal with it. I like what was said above. It's not like it is in the middle of the night. You could send him some ear plugs. ;o)

Kathryn said...

This is a tough one - on one hand, your neighbors are entitled to quiet. But on the other, your kids need to be kids, and you can't drive yourself crazy monitoring them! Do you think the neighbors would be up for sitting down and discussing it with you? Maybe you could set some guidelines as to when you'll make sure your kids are quieter (meal times and evenings), and maybe they'd comprise that it's normal for 2 and 3 year olds to run around during the day? Another suggestion - next time you and Chad are both home and they bang on the floor (how tacky is this?), maybe one of you could go down and actually witness for yourself the noise level. This is also something you might want to invite your condo manager to do. Does your condo association have any guidelines on noise? Sorry for the long comment - just a few thoughts!

Hicks Family said...

I like Audrey's comment...I was totally thinking the same thing. I would start beating the floor with the broom or something. Sorry, probably not the best advice. I am not the best person to come to I guess...

Lindsey said...

To answer many of your questions....we paid a LOT to move to an EXTREMELY nice area with the best schools,... the people who live under us wanted to give their daughter the same thing but only the wife works - the husband does not. There's a lot more I could say....but I won't. Neways, thank you for all of your comments - some made me laugh, some made me think! SO, Chad is going to go talk to the Condo Manager today and inform them of what is going on....Terri....I completely agree with what you said about the importance of them hearing from us FIRST. We spent about an hour yesterday looking at what our options are as far as rental homes go and although that is something we could do,....we completely agree with Shauri and feel like it's just absurd that we're even considering letting these people bully us out of our own home! SO - we'll let you know what happens after our meeting today.....

By the way....can any of you really see us going out and riverdancing, pogo sticking or stomping our feet on the floor?!?! I laughed SO hard at those comments and truly wish I had a little more gusto in me to actually do something like that....Audrea, Melissa, Wes and Sarah - maybe ya'll could all come pay me a visit?! lol!!!

tleaf10 said...

Okay ... I have your solution. Bring over some rowdy kids and have them be extra rowdy. Play hopscotch in the living room and drop baseballs on the kitchen floor. Then, when they come to complain, say ... oh those aren't my kids but if you keep complaining, we will adopt them. It will make your kids' sounds so much more bearable when they see what it COULD be like.

Angela said...

Okay, my comment is a little late, but I will give it anyway. I still work occasionally at an apartment complex (different than a condo, I know, but still same problems) I always let people know that because it is not a single family detached home, you will hear some noise. If people don't want to hear the noise, they need to be on the top floor. Also, like someone else said, the middle of the night is different - during the day is your neighbors problem to deal with. I sure hope you can get it solved, b/c it does sound horrible that you are even thinking of moving!

Page said...

Living in a college town, I was always the one complaining of loud music (oh, make the bass stop!) in the middle of the night. BUT, two children occasionally running around is to be expected! Your neighbors knew good and well that living in a condo on the bottom floor that some noises would be heard. And, during the day that is perfectly normal....expected even! Don't let them run you out of your house since you've only lived there for a short while and you own it!! I know these things can be stressful, though, and I wish you the best! Oh, and good for you for staying so calm and reasonable with this man...I think I would have said I few other things that wouldn't be considered very Christian and then looked back and regretted it!

Courtney said...

When Micah and I lived in Searcy in an apartment, the people underneath played some kind of Mexican heavy metal all day and all night. It was just something we learned to live with. Now, we are in a house (in a nice neighborhood) and our neighbors play their music so loud that it shakes our bedroom. That's just life. Not everyone can be happy all the time. We all have to make adjustments. I think that you are handling the situation very well. Kids will be kids. And I'm sure that your kids are more well behaved than most! I hope that all of you can work out a solution that doesn't require you to move.
Courtney

Michael and Hannah said...

Linds, you have children. The more you apologize for that, the more your neighbors will misunderstand you. Stop apologizing. Just live your life. Ignore them when they bang and hopefully they will stop banging. I have no doubt you are shining Christ's light with or without noise, and living your life does not make you a bad Christian example. If they can't handle the noise, they shouldn't live in a condo. It comes with the territory. Any of us that have lived in apartments, condos, dorms, etc. can attest to that. I would politely tell you neighbor that banging on the ceiling is completely inappropriate and henceforth will reap no change in noise levels upstairs.

Sara said...

Okay Lindsey, yesterday I left this long comment only for it not to publish it and then I lost it, so I will just tell you part of it!... One time my mom and dad were in an apartment when my brother was a baby. Every time he would start crying, the neighbor would bang on the wall. So eventually...my mom started banging back. IT stopped...you never know what may work!!! Good luck!

kate said...

Hey, Linds! I'm sorry you are having to deal with this!! I think you are doing the right thing by going to the manager and standing your ground. I'll also add that you should, as my mother always said, "kill them with kindness." Have the kids draw a picture for them and put it in their mailbox with an encouraging card. Complement them on something, like their lawn or their car or outfits. Bake cookies and send over a batch. Ignore the banging and continue being nice if they comment. Over time, maybe they'll start to like you and if they like you, maybe they'll stop getting mad. Don't let them walk all over you, so stay in your condo and let the kids run free. But, be extra nice to them and see what happens. It's just a suggestion.

Sarah said...

Oh Lindsey I am so sorry! I am so impressed though with how you are handling it and are trying to do the right thing. I'm thinking these people never lived in a dorm, otherwise they would know to always go for the top floor! Keep us posted on how it's going.

Alan Gable said...

The good people at Bose Sound make these over the ear, ear-phones that supposedly block out all sound. Perhaps an anonymous present left on your neighbor's door step would effectively communicate your point. Make sure to put a pretty bow on top.

Also, you might want to talk with your tax person before making a real estate decision. Just a heads up.

Jamie said...

Well I'm in favor of the riverdance idea personally! Didnt you post recently about wanting to get fit?? Kill two birds with one stone!! Hey maybe I could join you riverdancing while my big boys run around with your kiddos and my baby boy breaks the sound barrier with his colicky screaming! Yeah, wanna invite the Graston boys over?? By the way, loved the verses under Shep and Rauly's pics. I think we should add a pic of Jacob swinging his sword and scowling captioned, "from the days of John the Baptist till now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force! " (one of my fave scriptures!!) okay--good luck with the neighbors.

Ezell Family said...

Sorry that I am so late on this one... but I'm with the people that said kill them with kindness. Have the kids draw them some pictures and let them deliver to you neighbors. I hope that the talk with the manager helped!

Kimberly said...

I think you have been more than accomidating on their behalf. If they were having a problem being disturbed during night time hours then there is an issue but come on, it is in the middle of the day! Noise is to be expected during awake hours! I hope the problem is resolved for you soon! If not I can send my loud barking dog, Elvis over to make them realize how good they really have it!

Nathan & Lindsey said...

Lindsey, I can't believe that man came up to your house during the day, I mean, really it's not like he is trying to sleep and i am sure that your kids are asleep by the time he goes to bed. So what does it even matter. If I were you I would just bang back!