By the way, I delivered that response to my neighbors. I wrote them a letter that was pretty much as I’d written it out here. I signed our names (instead of just putting “Apt 4G”) in hopes of putting a more personal, friendly touch to it.
My general feeling about the whole thing is a kind of apologetic “them’s the breaks” shrug of the shoulders. There’s honestly not that much I can do about the noise level coming from our apartment, short of muzzling my kid (although that does have its own appeal, I admit) and putting him in a cage suspended from the ceiling (also kind of appealing!).
(Could you put these faces in a cage? I think not.)
Still, I try to be really conscious of not being one of those stereotypical, loathsome Brooklyn parents who never say no to their kids and let little Chervil and little Tarragon run wild in every shop and restaurant, and think that just because they chose to procreate the entire world should appease them and cater to them. I spent more than a decade living in this city as a very happily child-free person, so I absolutely understand that it’s annoying as hell to get woken up at 7am every Saturday morning by some noisy kid upstairs throwing all his stupid wooden Montessori toys around. Being of the “catch more flies with honey” school, the next afternoon I left a bottle of wine on their doorstep with a note taped to it that read “Just a token of our appreciation for your continued patience while we tame our wild toddler.” We got a thank you note from them the next morning, thanking us for our kind note and the wine. They put several horse stickers on the card (whimsical!), so I assume that we’ve reached a kind of detente.
And then the next night, we had ten people over for dinner and drinks til about 1:30am. Maybe I should’ve gotten our neighbors a bottle of something much stronger than wine.