…I am really in quite a good mood this Saturday (writes Dot), despite the fact that:
1. after a sunny start it has become extremely windy, rainy and cold, meaning that our trip to Powerscourt Gardens never got further than the shop;
2. Hugh’s cold is now quite bad, and as a result he
2a. (aren’t I being orderly, by the way) woke up at 3.50am this morning;
2b. didn’t make it back into his cot and a sound sleep until about half-past-five;
2c. is very bad tempered, strenuously resisting such assaults on his person as putting his shoes on, changing his nappy, applying clothes, or placing him in a buggy, often by jerking violently backwards so that he falls on the floor, hits his head, and really gives himself something to cry about;
3. our neighbour from downstairs came up at 8am to complain about the noise again.
The thing is, she might have a point if it were the infant bad temper she were complaining about, but the problem apparently is that she can hear us WALKING AROUND and DROPPING THINGS from as early as 7 IN THE MORNING. And she needs her lie-in at the weekend.
In fact, today’s complaint was something of a break-through, because I think we have established that the problem is not us being noisy – though doubtless there would be less to hear if we didn’t have a fourteen-month-old – but very poor sound-proofing between the flats. Also, she hadn’t realised we don’t own the flat and are therefore unable to do much about the fact that there’s no carpet in the bedroom. (We put mats down, but it’s evidently not enough.) So I think neighbourly relations have been somewhat improved. However, it does spoil one’s enjoyment of a day at home thinking that every dropped piece of lego takes us one step closer to the next reproachful 8am visit. And I worry that if, as the neighbour has suggested, we take this to the management and/or the letting agent who is our route of communication to the owner, they will automatically assume that the problem must be us. After all, we are so scummy we don’t even own our own house.
Which is all rather gloomy. But it’s nice being warm inside when it’s cold outside, especially when you made extremely successful drop-scones for breakfast. I therefore retain a little defiant glow.
P.S. I should mention, in fairness to the neighbour, that I think it was mostly the point about the sound-proofing she was trying to make all along, and I was hearing it as a complaint about our behaviour. I still don’t think 7am is that early, but I guess that’s a symptom of how parenthood changes you.