Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Play is Noisy

Apparently my kids make too much noise when they play outside.  All summer we have had our neighbor behind us complain that our kids are too noisy when they play.  A major complaint is that his dog hears them and starts barking.

My husband and I went back and forth about it.  Every time the kids got too loud he had them go inside.  I was more for reminding them to quiet down and continue playing.  So much for using outside voices outside.  We had to stop sending them outside to run off steam.  It got frustrating.  Finally my husband agreed to just telling them to quiet down when we felt they were being too loud.  We never let them play outside before 10 am and they are usually in by dark.

Apparently our efforts were not enough.  By the end of summer he took to telling them through the fence that he was going to call the police.  We chose to ignore that.  I figured that if my kids bothered him enough that he could go ahead and call the police and we would let them determine if our kids playing was a problem.

Today I was at dance with Larissa and Anthony when Sarah called me at 4 pm very upset.  Emma and Michelle were out jumping on the trampoline when the neighbor told them that if they didn't stop making noise and making his dog bark that he would shoot them!  I told her to keep the girls inside until I got home and I would deal with it.

When Anthony and Larissa got out of class I asked them if the neighbor had said anything concerning lately.  Larissa told me that one day she and Michelle were playing hide and seek and he told them  "if you don't stop making that noise and making my dog bark I am going to shoot you."  I wanted some type of confirmation before I made accusations because in my house that is necessary.  Apparently he has threatened them in this way several times!

My husband and I decided that we would file a report with the police.  A police officer came to the house and we discussed the problem with him.  He asked if we wanted to file charges and we said no, but we did want it reported.  He told us that kids playing and making noise was not illegal but an adult threatening children is.  He also said that he had 5 kids himself.

I hated calling the police but our kids needed to know that it is not appropriate for someone to talk to them in that manner.  Their safe space in our backyard seems to be not so safe. I hope that he find some way to quiet his dog and leave my kids alone. 

A few points.......
When this problem first started I was concerned that the neighbor worked nights, actually he does not work at all.

Our lots are 3/4 acre so we are not right on top of each other. 

Their dog is a little yappy barking dog, I can't help that.

We do not live in a retirement community.

The only thing that we are doing to lesson the noise in the back of the yard is moving the trampoline.  We are getting rid of one of our swing sets next to our house and moving the trampoline to that spot.

At this moment if we could sell the house and move to a place with no neighbors I would.  We have neighbors complain about our yard (we hired someone to pull weeds).  My husband mows regularly but the islands got away from me.  I have a hard time getting out to do yard work since I got this baby.  Actually, I struggle to do anything these days because Little Man hates to sleep!

We had one neighbor complain about our purple door. He actually told my husband that he needed to make me paint it white.  He said that purple represented homosexuality (it represents many things).  My husband told him that if he wanted the door painted that he would have to buy the house from us and paint it himself. I think that he got upset when he realized that I was painting the side gate purple to match!  It is a very pretty color of purple.

We had another neighbor complain about our junk car.  I asked what junk car, we don't have any junk cars.  All of our cars run and have license plates.  Apparently he thought that Sarah's Beetle was a junk car.  I simply moved it to the other side of the driveway.  Now it doesn't matter anyways, friends totaled it.

We never let our children play out front unsupervised.  I don't trust them!  I don't want the neighbors to have something else to complain about.  So they play in the backyard with that neighbor threatening them.  Ack.

I would love to put a flock of plastic flamingos out in the front yard but my husband won't let me.  Instead we put my moms ramp out the front door and down the entire side of the house.  Actually it was the only place that they could put it.  Interestingly no one complained about that.

I guess that I now have a bad attitude and need to work on that.

Anyone want to buy a pretty good sized house with a grouchy neighbor out back? 

Anyone out there with neighbor problems?

(Sorry about the long neighbor rant!)


  1. That's crazy! I'm glad you reported it, in case it escalates. Noise in your private fenced yard in reasonable daytime hours is totally allowable.

    We live in a city with a little yappy dog who barks when people go by. And YES it is annoying. If the neighbor can be reasoned with (which doesn't seem to be a given) and the dog is friendly, you could see if he/she is willing to bring yappy-dog over to play when the kids are out -for our dog, once he's actually observed a situation a few times, he stops barking. I think he thinks he's alerting us to a potential threat, and once it's clear no threat exists, he's all good.

  2. I agree: It's good that you reported your neighbor's threats. I'm so glad that you have not decided to cave to his crazy demands. Children need space to run, scream and grow. Your yard is the place that you have rightfully provided for that. As for the neighbor who demanded that your husband have you paint your door white...he should mind his own business. Even if you HAD painted your door purple to show GLBT solidarity, you wouldn't be doing anything illegal/against code so it would still not be any of his business. I'm sorry that you and your family are dealing with all of this.

  3. Your poor kids! Kids are allowed to be kids. After dark, or super early in the morning is one thing, but that's not the case. That neighbor would hate living in our neighborhood. We have a ton of kids out all the time. They are loud, but generally well behaved. We have older neighbors on the street as well, and so far, have not gotten any complaints. I would make sure to have the kids tell you if he threatens them again, and if it happens again, do press charges.

  4. We have grouchy neighbors all around us. We are the only house with kids on our cul-de-sac street of houses that have 1-5 acres each. My husband says when they start paying our mortgage that they can have a say! Sadly, people think everything is their business anymore and have no filter. We are a world missing compassion and kindness. We should be neighbors! We have been told we gave too many outside toys for our kids. Apparently 2 swingsets and bikes for all 7 kids is just too much!

  5. What a bummer! I'm glad you reported it and that the cop has 5 kids! People are so bold, aren't they? Who cares what color your door is or your "junk car." I'm sorry you're going through this :(