Much easier said than done.
After the Armenian gangster (and his family) moved out earlier this year, we had a blissful almost-six months without anyone living above us. For anyone who's ever lived in an apartment with people above, you'll appreciate how great this was. No stomping around, no loud television or music blaring at 2am, no midnight vacuuming, no drunken yelling, no doors slamming.
Our bedroom is directly beneath the living area of the apartment upstairs, so if the neighbours are being less than considerate, we know all about it.
I also understand that noise travels, and there are times when it's hard not to make noise. I'm pretty sure that when I was in my early twenties, I may not have been the most selfless of neighbours... so I'm not against the odd night of loud music.
When our new neighbours moved in, we peeked out our windows and tried to guess whether they'd be trouble or not. We - or rather I - decided that they appeared to be a young professional couple, so Party Central during the week was unlikely. Phew.
Less than a week after they moved in, there was loud hammering above the Faery's and Miss Pie's room. Loud, repeated hammering - like the sound of furniture being assembled. It was 11pm, and a Tuesday night.
Given that our apartment complex has a clause in our lease about not using the dishwasher or washing machine etc after 10pm - out of courtesy to other neighbours - I thought that hammering furniture together could fall under the same category for noise pollution.
I decided a friendly introduction and chat might help, so I went and rang their doorbell.
I rang again, and waited.
I took a step back, to see through the window above their door - there is a staircase which leads straight up to their living area.
What did I see?
The back of the guy, creeping away from the door and up the stairs to the living area.
Oh no, he didn't!
He'd come down, peered out the peep hole, and decided not to deal with me. Clearly, he had no idea that I could see all the way up their stairs.
Anyhow, the hammering miraculously stopped, and that was that. Whatever. I was happy to avoid any confrontation, and he must have realised he was making too much noise.
About a month later, on a weeknight (I'm less likely to complain about noise on a weekend - I was young once, believe it or not), they had their television up way too loud - it sounded like it was maximum volume, and some kind of console game was being played. Again, it was about 11pm, and preventing J and I from sleeping.
I figured they probably just didn't realise how loud it was - it happens - and threw on some decent clothing so I could have a friendly chat.
I rang their doorbell, and waited.
Took a step back, peered up through the little window, and saw a sheet-wrapped figure tip-toeing up the stairs, then their lights went out.
Okay... it's going to be like that, is it?
But the noise stopped. Result.
As much as I hate confrontation, something about this bothered me. It's not like we're never going to run into one another - why not keep things pleasant enough? Instead of ignoring me, why don't they just own the fact that they were being a bit too noisy, acknowledge it, say sorry, and move on?
Overall, the noise they make hasn't been too bad. Often, we'll go for weeks without hearing any sign of life up there. Then there are other nights - usually weeknights - where they'll be loud, but it usually stops by 11.30, so we haven't bothered saying anything.
Then last night (actually, this morning) - after being up several times already, tending to sick kids - I couldn't get back to sleep. Their effing television was up loud, and it was 1.30am. I really didn't want to go through the whole charade with their doorbell. It's winter now, and bloody cold outside at that time. Eventually, I gave in because I wanted sleep, dammit.
I went outside, rang the doorbell, and waited.
I took a step back, and saw their lights on... but couldn't be bothered hanging around to watch the back of somebody skulking guiltily away from their door, so I went back inside.
And it was quiet. Result.
I think it's safe to say we have a system in place now, yes? They make noise late at night. I ring their doorbell. No words are exchanged. Noise stops. Result.
I just wish the whole thing didn't make me feel icky.