Having neighbors can be a really wonderful experience, but for neighbors who are living different lifestyles, it can be hard to find a middle ground.
Whether a single person is frustrated because of a baby crying next door, or a quiet person couldn’t stand the party noises anymore, the differences in noise levels can cause serious issues.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the police or other authorities need to be involved to correct the issue, stated the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor osoimpot decided to quiet the mother and toddler upstairs by calling the police and Child Protective Services.
But when they were confronted by their own girlfriend and the mother upstairs, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were being petty.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for calling CPS and cops on the family that lives above me?”
The OP met their upstairs neighbor and toddler a few months ago.
“I live in an apartment, and 3 months ago a new family moved into the apartment above me. They have a child that looks to be about 2 years old.”
“The first weekend that they moved in, the woman came to my door, and I’m assuming to a few other peoples’ doors as well, and introduced herself and her toddler.”
“She also gave me a goodie bag of candies, which I thought was odd but kind.”
“She explained that her toddler has a hard time adjusting to change and him getting used to his new room could cause some crying, and also mentioned he’s quite clingy and will cry if she sets him down.”
“She gave me her WhatsApp to contact her if he’s being too loud.”
“I thought this was considerate and thanked her.”
The nighttime arrangement improved, but the daytime worsened.
“I heard some crying the first couple weeks and didn’t mention it because of the adjustment period, but at a month in, it was still happening.”
“Her kid doesn’t really cry at night anymore, but during the day, I can hear his tantrums, and I work from home, so it is bothersome.”
“I ended up sending her messages that the crying was disturbing me on 4 different occasions, and each time she took him out for a couple of hours but then returned, and he would end up throwing more tantrums.”
“I then made a complaint to the apartment manager and was told that they could only bring it to their attention that there was a complaint, but they couldn’t evict based on a child throwing tantrums during the day.”
The OP took their complaint further.
“In my opinion, it seems that a parent should be able to have these tantrums under better control, so it doesn’t make sense for this to be happening 3-4 times a day.”
“I started to wonder if she neglects him during the day, so I made a report to DCS (CPS) and another to the sheriff’s office.”
“Officers responded the same day and looked like they left somewhat quickly after arriving (5 mins).”
“Then about a week and a half later, I guess a social worker had come by, because the kid’s mom came to my door and asked if I reported her.”
“I told her I did and explained why, and she was angry and told me I have no clue what it’s like having a toddler and that my actions were ‘low and malicious.'”
“My boyfriend was over at the time and overheard.”
“He said he couldn’t believe I would put her through that, called me heartless, and then left.”
“He then texted me later that night and broke up with me, saying he wanted nothing to do with someone who would try getting someone’s child taken away over the noise.”
“I don’t think he’s understanding that it’s 3-4 tantrums A DAY!”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were angry with the OP for further stressing out a mother and her child.
“YTA. And if this is true, I hope someday you understand the level of low, malicious f**kery you put on that poor stressed-out mother and her child.” – TriZARAtops
“I so hope this post is fake. But I also sort of hope it’s real because I love the idea of this clueless busybody getting dumped when their boyfriend realized she was a cruel, clueless busybody.”
“It’s not complete justice for the stress she caused this poor woman, but it’s a start and I love it.” – The_Krudler
“A 2-year-old having tantrums ONLY 3-4 times a day? That’s a freaking miracle! Toddlers tantrum. It’s literally part of their development.”
“And while it’s exhausting and a lot to deal with, it’s not unusual. Without additional evidence to show any abuse or neglect, all you did was stress out this mother and her child and waste community resources. YTA.” – Idkhowtouse_reddit
“The mother should complain to the landlords that OP working from home is interfering with her ability to rear her child & therefore should be evicted.” – jingleofadogscollar
“Omg. You put that poor family at risk… don’t you understand that? They could have taken that poor baby and placed it in a horrible foster house.”
“And YES! Babies cry and babies have tantrums 3-5 times a day. Sometimes as much at 10 if it’s a salty day.”
“YTA. The mother was leaving the house to make it quieter for you… she was so kind about that. And you called into questioning her parenting?” – Pheobeh1
Others thought the OP should have appreciated the mother’s efforts more.
“I’m a teacher. We have one student with special needs who frequently screams and cries in the hallway. It happened just this morning.”
“I heard crying, approached, and saw the kindergarten teacher just sitting outside the door with her while she laid on the floor and screamed.”
“‘She’ll stop in a minute,’ she told another teacher who came out to check. Tantrums happen, and 3-4 a day is not unusual.”
“I think my ‘favorite’ part of this is how OP says they told the mom it was too loud, so she took the child out for a few hours ‘but then returned.’ Like… yes? They live there?”
“The mom was so kind in addressing the problems right off the bat, giving OP a way to let her know when it was a problem, and taking her child out of the house when it is. She sounds like she’s working incredibly hard to make it work.” – SplashingDragon
“The kid is two. Two-year-olds have tantrums. They’re kinda famous for it. OP’s sheer cluelessness and inconsideration is mind-blowing to me. I’d be horrified of what she thought of my threenager’s behavior.”
“I just can’t imagine being oblivious enough to call the cops and CPS for a toddler having tantrums. I read this expecting something way worse, like a toddler screaming in terror kinda thing.”
“Just in case, OP, YTA.” – theresidentpanda
“The best tantrum my kid ever threw was at 3 when he was full-on wailing because ‘the butter is GONE!'”
“I had buttered his waffle. The butter melted. Cue meltdown.”
“I swear I had to butter that d**n waffle two more times just to get through breakfast. Buttering it the second time calmed him down a bit.”
“Buttering it the third freaking time gave him a chance to actually watch it melt a bit, and the waffle had gotten a little cold and it didn’t melt completely, and we talked about how what something is hot, some things melt.”
“He never threw another butter tantrum.”
“There are plenty of parents who would call me ‘too soft,’ criticize me for catering to the tantrum. I think there’s a difference between tantrums that are because of confusion, and tantrums that are about not getting their way.”
“I absolutely put my foot down and didn’t give in to tantrums that erupt because I said no to something. But the ones that are from, ‘the world is confusing and I don’t understand where the f**k the butter keeps going but I’m mad about it’ are a teaching opportunity.” – resilientspirit
“Ummmm, only 3-4 tantrums a day is a mom doing a great job with a 2-year-old!”
“I have a really easy, happy kid, and we have that many before lunch.”
“Taking him out is a great distraction, but if OP’s neighbor’s kid is anything like mine, he doesn’t like to come home because he wants to keep playing outside no matter how cold or hungry he is. So bringing him in causes another tantrum.”
“It’s developmentally normal! Kids that age have strong opinions but have no sense of being able to delay gratification and they don’t have all the words they need to express all their feelings so they scream.”
“It sounds like this mom is doing a great job if there are only 3 or 4 a day! She doesn’t deserve to be harassed by an a**hole who has never been around kids.”
“Also, I’ve been home from work for an hour and a half and we have had six tantrums so far.”
“Luckily, none of my neighbors are a**holes, so I don’t have to worry about cops or social workers showing up while I’m in the middle of explaining to my toddler that he has had enough juice and he needs to choose milk or water. I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I’m abusing him.” – LizaRhea
“I knew this was gonna be bad the moment she thought that the mother and toddler bringing her a gift was ‘odd.’ Like, just accept the gift and be understanding of the situation.”
“You would think you understand that children cry multiple times a day. The mom even went above and beyond by taking the child out every time OP complained about the noise.”
“What else could she do? Guarantee if the mom would have disciplined the kid OP still would have thought it was abuse and had CPS called again.” – JKaldran
While the subReddit could understand that the living situation might be a little loud right now, they otherwise were against the extremity of what the OP had done.
They potentially put that family at risk and inevitably caused even more stress for a mother who was obviously trying her best to make the living situation as calm as possible.