Early play­time leaves re­tired neigh­bor toss­ing and turn­ing


DEAR ABBY: We have owned our house for 31 years and raised our kids here.

Sev­eral fam­i­lies across the street have come and gone. The most re­cent own­ers have two kids, one in kin­der­garten and an­other in first grade. Ev­ery morn­ing be­fore school, the mom lets her kids run wild, scream­ing, yelling, rid­ing their bikes and scoot­ers un­su­per­vised in the street from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. My hus­band has a back in­jury and two hip re­place­ments, so he doesn’t sleep well and isn’t an early riser.

To­day he fi­nally went over and asked her not to let them do this ev­ery morn­ing. She, of course, be­came de­fen­sive and said she likes to let them play be­fore school and thought 8 a.m. wasn’t un­rea­son­able. Not only are the kids loud, but cars of­ten race up the road and it’s dan­ger­ous. We were al­ways out there watch­ing our kids on this road, es­pe­cially when they were that age.

Are we a cou­ple of old fo­gies, or do you agree she is an ir­re­spon­si­ble par­ent? — UP­SET IN WASH­ING­TON

DEAR UP­SET: Play­time at 8 a.m. may not seem un­rea­son­able, but it is to some­one who has health and sleep prob­lems. How­ever, your neigh­bor has a right to let her chil­dren out to play be­fore school. I wouldn’t call you a cou­ple of old fo­gies, but I would point out that af­ter peo­ple reach a cer­tain age, their needs can change. Try earplugs or dou­blepaned be­d­room win­dows. But if that doesn’t help, it may be time to con­sider mov­ing to a com­mu­nity for peo­ple over 55.

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band and I have been mar­ried for five years. He’s al­ways been a jokester, which is OK, ex­cept for the way he does it. He knows what pushes my but­tons, so his jokes are geared to­ward that. At first, I ig­nore it, but when he per­sists, I get mad. Then he ac­cuses me of over­re­act­ing and calls me un­rea­son­able for get­ting mad be­cause he’s “only jok­ing.”

If a hus­band knows what pushes your but­tons and makes you yell at him (which I never did be­fore I met him), isn’t that play­ing with your emo­tions for his own en­ter­tain­ment? I’m not the only one he does this to. I have asked him to stop, but he doesn’t. It’s af­fect­ing our re­la­tion­ship. I al­most feel like he’s gaslight­ing me. What say you, Abby? — PUSH­ING MY BUT­TONS

DEAR PUSH­ING: I say you are ab­so­lutely right. Your hus­band’s be­hav­ior is emo­tion­ally abu­sive, not funny. Be­cause you haven’t been able to get through to him, per­haps you should en­list the as­sis­tance of a li­censed mar­riage coun­selor. If he re­fuses to go with you, you should go by your­self. And if noth­ing changes, ask your­self if this is how you are pre­pared to spend the rest of your life.

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