This assertiveness training is really paying off!
Wally has been trying to nap for the past 45 minutes, but every time he fell asleep a loud drill or sawing or banging from the upstairs apartment would wake him up and he'd start crying. Not that infuriating full-body scream, just a gentle--I'm really tired, I really want to sleep--little cry to himself.
I sat here and wrote this passive letter about not wanting to be a pain but wondering how much longer the construction was going to go on as it's been several months now and I really should change our schedule if it's going to last for a while longer...then I stopped typing...went in and picked up Wally and carried him upstairs and rang the doorbell. Just before my finger hit it I thought, what if this guy (not to assume it's a guy) going to do? He can't stop working because Wally can't sleep. That's not his problem. I dreamed up all kinds of vitriol he could throw back and maybe it would get to the point of the owners trying to get us kicked out because they've put up with a crying baby for two years. What happened was this: I explained that I had a baby trying to sleep and asked if there was anything quieter he (the work-person was, after all, a guy) could do for the next hour. He said, "I'm so sorry. I'll finish this part in five minutes. I'm so sorry." I went away feeling amazing. Sometimes you just have to ask. Of course maybe he would have been done in five minutes regardless but it just felt so non-neurotic. There's a problem, someone might be able to help. Ask. The workman seemed to, in that tiny interaction, in a language he was not overly familiar with, communicate a sense that a baby not being able to sleep was his problem, that he'd be more than happy to help.