GREENSBORO, N.C. – Jessica and Karl Ronnevik say all babies cry. Their 1-year-old, Peter, is no exception.
However, the Ronnevik’s say Peter doesn’t cry excessively or constantly. When he does cry, the parents calm him down.
The Ronnevik’s says their next door neighbor is complaining about Peter's crying. That neighbor has been vocal with his concerns.
"I don't feel comfortable living here, knowing that our neighbor is so intolerant,” Jessica said. “It makes me feel like we have been bullied in our own home. And I don't like to have to be the mother who is constantly shushing my baby from his happy toddler noises.
This week—the parents found a note outside of the door at their downtown Greensboro condominium complex.
The note reads as follows:
"Please consider buying a parenting book or consult with a child care expert. Your baby should not be crying that loudly and for that long. Try more calming techniques, music, turn on a vacuum, rocking chair, go for a walk…anything! Also, you might consider switching bedrooms. I have lived in The Mill for 15 years and never had neighbors as loud or disruptive. If you don’t makes changes immediately, you risk being fined by the association.”
The upset neighbor, who we are not identifying, signed his name. He gave us this statement in response when we contacted him:
"It is unfortunate when parents are unable to calm their children. The impact of a baby who continually cries or a toddler who continually screams can be stressful not just for the parents, but also for the community near them. This is true in restaurants, in churches, and even in neighboring homes with adjacent bedrooms.
After being awakened each morning and each night for the last several months (despite wearing earplugs), I was simply reminding the young couple of this and encouraging them to take the matter more seriously.
There are many different strategies that parents can use to minimize the negative effects of a child's meltdown.
The note was also a reminder that any excessively loud noise that interferes with the rights of neighbors is subject to possible fines, as indicated in section 4 of the HOA Rules & Regulations.
I stand by the note and it's contents. I rang the doorbell several times before leaving it. Since no one came to the door, I signed it in case the young couple wanted to discuss the matter in person.
They obviously made a different and less mature choice, as they have been doing for months now with their young child."
The Ronnevik’s, who are expecting another child, say this has been stressful. Jessica said she got a warning from the Home Owner’s Association for a noise violation back in December because of her neighbor's complaints of a crying baby. The family is expecting another child in the coming months. Because of the stress, they've decided to move.
The parents say their neighbor's note was offensive.
“It's incredibly rude and presumptuous," Karl said. “There’s only one baby that needs to stop crying and it’s not our son.”