This morning, at 6:53 AM, I received a text from an unknown number:
Good morning to you too. Who needs an alarm when you kid is like clock work. 7am. Everyday.
I assumed it was mistakenly sent to me. Someone must of been replying to a friend making a loving joke about the joys of parenthood. Right? I replied with a question mark.
It was my downstairs neighbor, so said the relpy:
Sorry, this is your downstairs neighbor, Rick.
I had given Rick my phone number the last time he came upstairs to let me know my son’s noises were annoying him (Will was playing xbox at the time). I wanted him to be able to text me to let me know if it was too much to take. For my part, I am working with Will to bring about a true understanding about how his actions effect neighbors and how he can do them differently. I actually try to make them fun like “walk like Spiderman.”
But, nothing seems to stick. He tries to be quiet but then he forgets when he is following his natural urge to learn and explore the world around him. I totally understand this – its ingrained in the human child to do this – but, I believe that there must be a way to develop a routine that builds in an awareness of how we act.
I felt I ought to reply to Rick. I wanted to acknowledge him, give him a quick status update to show progress and intent (I also hoping to inspire compassion), and to add a note of positivity. So I texted back this:
Ah. Goodmorning, Andre. I stress about this constantly and am working to ease the noise. I hope you have a good day.
SOLUTIONS TO TRY OUT:
- Before 8am we walk with extra soft foot steps. — BUT HOW? Words alone have not had much effect. So, this morning I introduced a visual que to indicate times of extreem quite as well as one for times of “normal inside noises”. This still needs work. I could use some inspiration here! What has worked for other families?
- Streamline the morning: get as much of the morning routine prepared the night before so we have less to do. This way I can either get him out of the house sooner to play or, I can give him undivided attention to focus on play as well as guiding him into a routine of BEING EXTREMELY QUIET (we will see to what extent this is possible… again, he’s 3).
- Move. – Unfortunately, we can’t take this easy way out anytime soon.
Will is pretty great, and, I’m trying. I would appreciate it if you would have compassion and give me constructive feedback so I can do the best I possibly can without you being pissed at me and me being pissed at you. I was so frustrated that I took it out on Will. That only made matters worse.
But, I know it wouldn’t. That would just be another kind of pain.
I have used a different name for my downstairs neighbor out of respect for him. I’ll just call him Rick.