Friends, I think my neighbor is going to call Child Protective Services on me. I live next door to an old woman who has purple hair and nothing better to do with her time than stare out the window and pass judgment on my parenting. She’s never had any children of her own, mind you, but that hasn’t dissuaded her from giving me parenting advice every time I run into her. In the beginning, I didn’t let it bother me. Heck, I was so sleep deprived and half-crazed that someone could’ve told me that the sky was falling and I would’ve simply nodded in agreement and gone on my bleary-eyed way. Now that I am better rested and capable once again of rational thought, her judgmental looks and blatant window spying are beginning to grate on me.
If you’re a faithful reader of the ol’ blog (as you should be), you know that the Muffin Man is currently going through a truly horrifying stage of refusing to nap. Whereas I was once the parent of a child who napped easily and with clockwork regularity, I am now the owner of a small human who prefers to stand in his crib and emit a death keen for an hour instead of resting. It’s even less pleasant than it sounds, I can assure you. I can handle the crying; I don’t like it, but I’m a strong and somewhat cold-hearted woman, so ignoring a screeching banshee child is certainly in my wheelhouse. Unfortunately, Noah has made it his daily mission to scream loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear that he is not, under any circumstances, going to take a nap. While I don’t particularly relish the entirety of Koreatown-adjacent being a party to my child’s stubbornness, it would be less of a problem if Noah’s bedroom window weren’t 50 feet from the window seat of my nosy neighbor.
Without fail, the minute I put Noah down for his afternoon nap/crying session, Nosy Nelly parks herself in her window seat, opens her window so as to better hear my screaming child, and dials up her stopwatch to time how long I’m letting Noah cry it out. That’s right, folks, she is timing how long my son cries. Now, it’s important to know that I am a proponent of the cry it out method. It worked for us. But I never, never, leave my crying child alone for longer than a prescribed amount of time (one hour), mainly because even my nerves can’t take it, but also because after that length of time it’s pretty much guaranteed that your little sh*t is not gonna sleep no matter how much you may need to take a shower/eat some lunch/like a few posts on Instagram. Well, my neighbor does not approve. She sits there with her stopwatch, cracking pistachio nuts with what’s left of her teeth while timing how long I “torture” my son. Oh, and I’m almost positive that she takes notes every day so that she has a record of the child abuse happening over at Casa Lane.
Yesterday when I ran into Nosy Nelly on the front sidewalk she made a point of coming over to ask me what was wrong with Noah and to accuse me of damaging him psychologically and physically. Thankfully I managed to hold myself back from damaging her psychologically and physically, and I patiently explained that Noah’s “rise of will” is completely developmentally appropriate. I still expect a representative from DCFS to show up at my door any day now, so I’ve been wrapping Noah in bubble wrap every day in an attempt to avoid his getting any unexplained bruises.