It didn't bother me in the slightest. Her parents often used to apologise profusely for the noise that she made, but since my nephews were born I developed the ability to allow the sound of a baby's cry to pass straight through me without so much as a nudge on my flinch-ometer. I'm not sure how that happened.
Then the couple next door moved out and for several months the house was empty. During that time I grew quite used to having no neighbours - the main benefit of which was a total lack of concern for the noise I wished to create at any time of the day or night. I no longer grabbed the TV remote every time the adverts blasted out their message at twice the normal volume of the program I was watching. If I wanted to dance like a mad thing at one in the morning, I did. And my alarm clock was set to a blaring volume that I thought I couldn't possibly sleep through (but bizarrely still do).
The house then went up for sale a second time and once again I waited for the new arrivals, who didn't arrive. Several weeks and a guilt-inducing hedge trim later, a 'To Let' sign was put up in the garden and I prepared myself for the arrival of a removal van, planning to leap in to the front garden with a freshly brewed pot of tea and some nice biscuits to welcome my new neighbours.
And now mysteriously the house is occupied - but I'm not really sure who by, how or when. There was no removal van (which is just as well because I ate the biscuits). For a good week or so after hearing the first signs of life there was no furniture either. In fact, the only time I ever hear them is at weekends.
Last weekend there was a very loud baby constantly crying. This weekend there are signs of life but no baby (where did that baby go?) I occasionally hear the raised voices of the parents when I am in the shower (the bathroom wall seems to be the thinnest) although I can never quite hear what they are saying, and sometimes I hear the back door being locked or unlocked as they surreptitiously enter or leave.
Even then I might consider myself to be imagining their existence, were it not for the sound of their children running up and down the stairs from dawn until dusk. I say children, because I assume that a single child would have little reason to hurtle from floor to floor every hour of the day seemingly dragging a sack of bricks behind them.
So now "The Dog Whisperer" sounds like: You need to develop a calm, assertive *giggle-giggle*thump-thump-thump-thump *giggle* with defined rules, boundaries and thump-thump-clunk-thump I rehabilitate dogs, I train thump-thump-THUMP-CLUNK-THUMP.
Supernanny sounds remarkably similar.
Last night I caught myself looking at the walls as if in disgust. How intolerable.
And then a distant memory of my mum screaming "FOR GOODNESS SAKES! YOU SOUND LIKE A BUNCH OF FAIRY ELEPHANTS JUMPING AROUND UP THERE!!!" popped in to my head.
Oh, so that's who has moved in next door. Now all I have to do is re-adjust my flinch-ometer. At weekends.