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by Abigail Van Buren

Child's Crying Is Driving Neighbor to Distraction

DEAR ABBY: I live in a beautiful apartment in the perfect location and have been here for three years. This past year my neighbors had a second baby. This child cries constantly during all hours of the night and most of the day. I hear the wailing and the parents yelling and slamming doors when they are frustrated.

I thought as the child got a little older it would get better, but it hasn't. He's now 1 1/2 and still crying constantly. I'm stressed out and losing sleep because of the constant commotion.

In the beginning, the parents were tolerant of their child, and I didn't complain because I didn't want to stress them out. Now I feel stuck. Should I complain directly to them, contact the building manager or just make arrangements to move?

I feel like a terrible person to complain. We must give young children and parents some leeway, but this isn't their first child, and I worry that something more is going on. I love this place, but I cannot continue like this! Please help me. I'm losing my sanity and goodwill toward children. -- LOSING MY SANITY

DEAR LOSING: It's possible that something is wrong with the child. Talk to the building manager, explain the problem, and say that a year and a half of the racket is enough. You may learn that you are not the only tenant bothered by the constant crying and door-slamming.

If the problem can't be corrected, contact a lawyer and check to see if you have grounds to break your lease and get out of there. You have a right to the quiet enjoyment of your home. You have my sympathy.

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