A mother is facing a large fine for not being able to keep her 19-month-old quiet
Toddlers are little jerks. Everyone who’s ever had to actually raise one knows this. They never want to sleep, feeding them is a nightmare, and they scream and cry for nothing. There’s a reason why the “terrible twos” are a thing. And if you happen to be going through them right now, you can be thankful you’re not this mom — who’s being threatened with a $550 fine if she can’t keep her toddler quiet.
An Australian mother took to Facebook this week to vent about a letter she received from her “strata.” A strata is basically just a multilevel apartment building. 33-year-old mother Janin Mayer says she feels “bullied” by her strata company that’s threatening to take her to court and fine her unless she can control her 19-month-old son. The letter informed her that several neighbors had complained about “shouting and screaming” coming from her apartment.
“It has been brought to our attention that excessive noise, in the form of your child shouting and screaming, is emanating from your apartment from early in the morning to very late at night on a regular basis. This is disturbing other residents and as such you are in breach of the strata scheme by-laws,” the letter reads.
“Please refrain from allowing your child to create excessive noise immediately and into the future. You must be mindful of other residents and keep noise levels to a minimum at all times.”
LOL, forever. Silence a 19-month-old “immediately and into the future?” If Mayer could patent to way to make that happen, she’d be a zillionaire who lived on her own plot of land, away from the sensitive ears of neighbors who actually believe you can immediately silence a child without muzzling them.
Kids don’t come with an off switch. If they did, this parenting thing would be so much easier.
Mayer is expecting her second child in just over a month. Many of us know the unique hell that is pregnancy while caring for a toddler. Can you imagine adding harassment from your apartment complex to that mess? “We try, obviously we’re aware of the fact that we’re in a city and there are neighbours. We keep the windows shut. I don’t know what else we can do,” the frustrated mom told News.AU. “We’re not partying, we’re not outside in the common area. He’s a toddler, that’s what toddlers do. There are other kids in the building but they are a bit older.”
Are noisy toddlers annoying? Hell yes they are. So is that 80-year-old neighbor who listens to The Price Is Right so loud every morning you want to bang your head against a wall. And that barking dog who lives down the hall. And the person who’s taken up at-home Zumba and makes your ceiling vibrate in the mid-afternoon every day. City living sucks because you are not guaranteed quiet, ever.
Stressing out a woman who’s nine months pregnant because her 19-month-old is loud is a bit much. There’s a time when you can expect discipline to actually work. But not being able to silence a 19-month-old does not make this woman a bad mother — and it certainly shouldn’t be grounds to be fined or taken to court.