It's going to be a long summer.

Warm weather finally arrived, leading me to actually open windows and storm windows both.

Big mistake.

We have a new family moved in across the street late last fall. A nice couple, look to be in their late 20s, with a 4 year old son, 3 year old daughter, and a third child of unknown sex only 4 months old. A couple weeks back the father put up a really nice swingset/jungle gym/slide/‘fort’ type thingy in their side yard. This immediately became a child magnet as you can imagine – every morning about ten a.m. at least three cars arrive, decanting handfuls of children to the playset while their moms head inside, presumably to coffeeklatsch.

I thought this was fine. Great, actually. Nice to see children playing outside instead of staring at television. Nice to see children playing made up games of their own devising instead of being regimented into some pre-pre-pre-school soccer league or whatever.

And then, Saturday morning I opened the windows that had been closed since last November…

Migod. How can beings so small possibly produce sounds of that magnitude??? How loud, you ask? Well, there’s a military airfield roughly 1 1/2 miles from here. This band of kids utterly drown out the sound of even jumbo cargo planes taking off! We haven’t had any fighters using their afterburners lately, but I’ll bet we wouldn’t be able to make those out, either.

And I’m not talking about random bursts of noises. Like, one of the kids scores at whatever their game is and celebrates and the others boo or join in, and then it gets relatively quiet until the next outburst. Nope. It’s more or less continuous noise-making-for-the-sake-of-being-noisy.

In several flavors, too. There’s one little blond boy I call “The Roarer,” because that’s what he does. Mouth wide open, a continuing shout of ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! ARRRRRRRRRRGH! Two of the little girls are shriekers. You know, that single-noted ‘EEEEEEEEEEEEE’ that goes on forever, at exactly the pitch to make every filling in your head vibrate until they and the rest of your teeth shatter into dust? Yes, like that. The rest of the usual gang are change-up noise makers – shoutings, screamings, wailing, animal noises…
I really, really don’t want to complain to the parents. As I said, I think it’s marvy that they have active children who play outside. I just wish the children came with a volume control. :frowning:

I wish children had volume control as well. And everyone but the parents get to hold the remote!

There’s an after-school day care behind my house. When I go home for lunch and come home in the afternoon, there they are, screaming at the tops of their little lungs. I don’t want to complain because kids should be allowed to be loud outside. That’s why there’s such a thing as “inside voices” and “outside voices.”

Just try to make the best of it by doing what you’re doing: giving them little nicknames and being amused at some of the silly things you’ll overhear. Recently, I came home to hear all 20 or so kids playing outside, singing the theme song to “Cops.” It was hysterical.

“Bad boys, bad boys
Whatcha gonna do…
Whatcha gonna do
When they come for you…”

Too funny.

(I’ll get lucky: once school is out, the day care closes and I can hear the birds again. My sympathies for your loss of peace and quiet. Just try to enjoy it and reminisce about your own playground shenanigans.)

I was awoken this morning at 6:20 by the screaming children across the street, and their grandparents (who are raising them). For the love of all things, teach children to be quiet! Yes, I do have a kid. Yes, my kid knows not to scream at the top of his lungs while playing outside early in the morning. For that matter, why the heck are they playing outside at that hour? You never, ever see them after work/playschool/whatever - only in the mornings.

We have a very narrow (one and a half lane) street lined with typical Baltimore rowhouses, close to the street. There is not a lot of separation between us and the people across the street to begin with - but it becomes a lot less when the windows are open and the children are screeching.

I wanted to get up and scream out the window at them, but I didn’t. We’ll see how long it continues.

Reminds me of this thread: For cripes sake, exercise some control! I feel sorry for you, StarvingButStrong. Hearing those screams and squeals must be like fingernails on a chalkboard! Talk about noise pollution!

We happened to buy a house next to the lady in the neighborhood that watches all of the other neighborhood kids after school until their parents get home from work. When school is out, she has them all day. The gate to their backyard is on the side of the house that is between our houses, and the kids are in and out all day. This means that every morning, I wake up to 3 or 4 kids screaming, yelling, crying, whatever. This is without the windows open. I don’t want to go outside and tell them to keep it down, because they don’t do it too early, and if I were already awake, it probably wouldn’t really bother me. I just try to go back to sleep and hope that they don’t wake my daughter.

Wow, I’m kind of amazed at this thread. We’ve had all the threads about kids sitting in front of tvs computers etc. and ending up fat and lazy (which I agree is a bad thing). Then the threads about kids and acting up in resturants and on airplanes or in malls (which I also agree can be stressful to others, but it’s usually more a parental problem IMHO) But come on; now the kids aren’t supposed to be wild and crazy outside in their own back yard either??? Yeah, you know kids are loud, they’re messy but for christ’s sake what are we supposed to do with them. Don’t keep them in the house, don’t take them out and heaven forbid don’t let them play at the playground or in the back yard.

On the other hand, 6:30 am is way too early for loud kids. In the way back machine where I grew up we were not allowed to be noisy until 8:00 am. And were made well aware of the neighbors who worked nights and slept days. We tried to avoid those houses/areas, but being kids frequently forgot, and got chewed out for it. I guess my question is; do we really value kids so little?

[rant off]

Aw man, I just ranted in the wrong thread!

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I just moved into a new apartment complex a few weeks ago. In not one of the many times I visited the place prior to moving in did I witness the little demons of the complex. I’m beginning to think the apartment manager bribed them to be somewhere else when I was visiting, the sneaky bitch.

Apparently, the big grassy area right in back of my back gate (the one I thought would be so nice to go read on or study, prior to my introduction to the demons) is the unofficial playground for all of the little monsters.

The only way I can describe how loud they are, is by hoping none of them ever have to scream for help, because no one in our complex would do a damn thing. Not because we wouldn’t care, but because we wouldn’t realize they needed help. They scream like they’re being murdered regularly. It’s like they’re being loud for the sake of being loud.

And it looks as if a few of them live in the apartment kiticorner to mine, because with all of the big open space on the lawn, they always stay right up against my gate. The balls they play with regularly hit my gate.

Fortunately I’m only home for an hour or so after work before going to school at night, so I don’t have to listen to them that much. And I LIKE kids! But cheee-rist! When I was attempting to study for midterms last week I was about 5 minutes away from running outside with a spoon to gouge out each and every one of their little voiceboxes! Thank god I live really close to the library.

And like someone else said, you don’t want to complain because children should be allowed to play outside during the day. I won’t say anything because I don’t want to be that neighbor. It rained a couple days last week and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. All that blessed, blessed quiet.

It’s going to be a long summer indeed… :frowning:

Only yesterday I started a thread which incorporates this very problem. It’s not the only problem I have with my neighbours but it is one of the most annoying. I know it’s nice for kids to play outside but why do they all have to constantly scream at full volume while outside…and at first light. It’s very hard to complain about that noise too, makes you appear to be a kid hater. Still if it continues I would explain to your neighbour that the noise is bothering you and you would appreciate it if they could tone it down a bit.

I’ve had a couple of kids myself so I know it is possible for a group of them to play together without constant yelling, screaming and crying.


Did you miss the part where posters are saying they don’t complain because kids should be able to be loud in their own backyards?

Point is, when they’re not your kids, and you’ve still got to listen to them screaming for hours on end, it gets irritating. Just because something isn’t bad and shouldn’t be stopped doesn’t mean it’s not annoying.

If we’ve got to listen to your little darlings screaming their little banshee heads off, we can at least vent about it here. Christ, it’s not like we’re complaining to the kids, or to you, or to the apartment manager or to whomever. We’re not demanding the kids stop.

We’re just venting. It appears as if you’re the one who’s asking too much. Go ahead and expect your neighbors to listen to your little screetching bundles of joy day in and day out and keep a grin plastered on their faces, never once breathing a word of discontent to anyone. Not even venting on an annonymous message board. See how long it takes before they head to the nearest belltower.


I feel your pain. We have loud neighbor children as well, and sometimes it can be a bit much, especially when you’re laying in the hammock, thinking about how you’re never going to have kids. :slight_smile:

I’m really glad you aren’t going to complain about the noise, though. As much as it can drive me crazy, I would never complain about our neighbor kids yelling and screaming as they play. Kids spend way way too much time being told to stifle their exuberance in order to keep from bothering people. They need some time to just revel in their childhood without having to worry about bothering people.

Now, now. I specifically said I was not going to complain to the parents because I know it’s a good thing for the kids to be playing actively outside. I was just lamenting that their style of play means I won’t be doing much of that lazing around on hot summer days, enjoying peace and quiet thing that I was able to do previous years.
Perhaps when people become parents something happens to their ears – they become less sensitive to the high-pitched screaming of playing children, and so genuinely aren’t as annoyed. Hey, makes sense: you do a few nights of walking with a colicky baby screaming on your shoulder, those little hairs in your inner ear must willingly suicide. :wink:
My biggest hope is that having this playgroup assemble every day will turn out to be a temporary thing. The swing set is new and super attractive to the kids now. Surely after a few more weeks some of its luster will wear off, and then sometimes they will gather in other yards, or not gather every day, or start going to the local pond to swim and play, etc. Fingers crossed, anyway.

Especially if a certain neighbor were to sneak over in the middle of the night and urinate all over it. Nothing strips a toy of its luster like the smell of urine.

Anyone ever have neighbors where the parents are as bad, or worse, than the kids?
There was one batch where the kids yelled constantly, having learned it from their parents. They had one volume; ear-splitting, even when calm. Call it conversational yelling. When angry, the whole neighborhood was treated to matter-of-fact cussing that could peel paint off walls. “JASON! GET THE FUCK INTO THE HOUSE! I’M FUCKING NOT TELLING YOU AGAIN, SHIT FOR BRAINS!”

Then there was the mother of a true demon spawn kid. The little girl was genuinely destructive; totally out of control. The mother maintained a constant, piercing, high decibel whine that could etch tungsten steel. The kid totally ignored it, having become inured to it as background noise. Everybody else was barraged by her endless, dreary “AM-ber!” “AM-ber!” “AM-ber!” “AM-ber!”, ad nauseum. It wasn’t like dripping water; it was like dripping acid.
I actually like kids and don’t mind the sound of them playing loudly outside, though 6:30 am would be pushing it.

lezlers does have a point, though. We used to have the shriekers across the street, too. The thing here is that these kids sound like they’re being chased by Jason Voorhees every time they open their mouths. Og forbid that anyone actually try to kidnap, mutilate or kill them because there’s absolutely no way to tell that anything other than their usual playtime is happening. If I were a parent, I think I’d want my child to reserve the terror-filled, ear-splitting, glass-shattering shriek for when the nasty hockey-masked man with the machete actually starts after them, just on general principles of precaution.

Sorry as well, but this is the pit. :slight_smile: It just seems that kids and their parental units can’t win these days. And I don’t have a real personal interest because my kids are grown and living their own lives now. I just like kids and let them play in my yard, cause it’s big and flat and good for flying kites. And sometimes I have to put the pillow over my head because they’re loud early in the AM but I still think it’s worth it.

BTW, [hihjack] I grew up outside all the time, and my kids did too (22,24), and my neighbors’ kids now are outside all the time (rain, snow, cold, whatever). I personally think this is way better for kids then tv and computers (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with either in moderation). How did you grow up? And what are we supposed to do with kids these days? What is their place in the world? I truely hope we don’t go back to “seen, but not heard”[end hijack]

Heh! This makes me think about the kid who lives behind me. I have a privacy fence and they have a privacy fence so I never see him (well, all of him). They have a trampoline in the backyard. When the kid is on the trampoline he screams. One long loud continous AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I see his head, and not any of the rest of him bounce up over the fence. I see this disembodied head going AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. :eek:

Quality neighborhood entertainment I tell ya! :smiley:

Is your climate one that gets warm enough in the summer that the kids will do ANYTHING to avoid playing outside? Around here, kid noise decreases to virtually nothing during the summer because it’s way too hot to exert yourself outside, even if you’re a kid. If not, pray for frequent rain!

And to be honest, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask parents to keep kid noise, even outside, down until after 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. Even parents like a bit of peace to sleep in if they can. My kids always had to stay quiet until a reasonable hour, and woe betide them if they didn’t.