In the Case of Loud Music v. Sleep Deprived Mother, the Crazy Lady Wins

Last night our delightful upstairs neighbor decided to work on his DJ skills. He turned up the bass, and for three hours we listened to our rattling windows and pounding ceiling as he dropped his sick beats: Bom shcht, bom shcht, bom shcht.

Around 11 p.m., the baby was reaching the stage known as “losing it” which is briefly entertaining because she snorts like a piglet when she’s desperately trying to get the air back into her lungs. I laugh every time. But “losing it” comes with a lengthy recovery process and Priscilla was dangerously close to the edge herself, so she marched upstairs with Valentina on her hip, knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. No answer. Bom shcht, bom shcht, bom shcht. She went around to an open-air walkway that gave her a view of the apartment patio. Through the open sliding door she could see a college-age kid sitting behind an array of soundboards and turntables, completely unaware of the unhinged mother looming outside.

Through my bedroom window I heard her voice reverberate around the apartment courtyard as she yelled from the walkway; “Excuse me, I live directly below you. I’ve been trying to get this baby to sleep for three hours now. Could you please turn it down?” I was stunned and amused, trying to imagine the look on the oblivious boy’s face. The party girl who loves music and would stay out dancing until the sun came up just yelled at the neighbors like a cranky, old lady. She came back downstairs and said, “Jo! I did it!” I jumped out of bed enthusiastically and said, “I know! The whole building heard you! Good for you!” And we high-fived.

Somewhere around 2 a.m., the downstairs neighbors decided the balcony was a great place to enjoy their weed and a very loud conversation about their “crazy bitches.” Then at 4am the fire alarm went off . . . four times. The next day, Priscilla starting looking up houses for rent and while I focused on getting through the day at work without killing anyone. We are so moving out of this frat house.

I wonder if there comes a time when you feel as old as you actually are? Priscilla and I are not mentally old enough to be yelling at the kids to turn down their rock and roll. It wasn’t that long ago that Hotel Security in Vegas did the same thing to us, was it? But we are certainly physically old enough to need peace and quiet and a good night’s sleep, and authoritative enough to make that happen. So it’s kind of a shock when the young person you imagine yourself to be starts a celebratory dance in the living room because you won the battle with a college kid who was disturbing the peace. Motherhood (and overly involved aunthood) changes things in strange little ways. Emboldened by our victory, we’ve set our sights on the slob who leaves his garbage in the hall. Two crazy women jumping out of a hallway, yelling at him to pick up his trash. I’ll bet he won’t see that coming.

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