07 Apr
Help Me with My Nasty Neighbor

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

We moved a few weeks ago to a spectacular rental, but we share the yard with a kook. I’m not raising a bubble boy,   but I do want to put a safety lock on the gate we share, connecting the backyard to the busy street in front. I shopped around for something that would fit this weird latch, and settled on a short alpha-combo lock. Our neighbor seemed amenable to it, but freaked out once it was installed, and insisted we remove it. Apparently, it is “too much” for her to use.

She threw such a hissy fit that I baked her soothing cookies later that day, which she refused. How do I resolve the situation, and keep my kid from being run over by his beloved garbage truck?


I’ve Eaten All the Cookies and Still Have No Lock


Dear I’ve Eaten All the Cookies,

I remember this one time I refused cookies back in 1978. Oh wait – that was totally a dream. I have never refused cookies. Nor has any other sane person. Which makes your neighbor a bit crazy, so trying to find a resolution could be problematic. At least now you know why you were able to afford the spectacular rental.

I would first talk to your landlord and see if he or she can help you resolve this situation. I’m guessing your landlord is more than familiar with the cookie hater and might be able to act as a middle man. If your landlord is suddenly on vacation until further notice, then it’s time to move to plan B.

Since you are only trying to prevent your son from exiting the yard, why not just purchase a childproof lock instead of a combo lock? I still don’t know my home number by heart, so maybe this lady isn’t good at remembering combinations and she doesn’t want to have trouble getting in and out of her yard.

Before you install the childproof lock, however, take a deep breath, put a big smile on your face and head over to her house. (Just don’t take any Samoa loving Girl Scouts with you.)   Show her the new lock and just explain that you are worried about your son running into traffic and you’d like to install this EASY TO USE lock. Hopefully, she’ll give you the OK. If she is still against it, maybe she has ideas for a solution you both can agree on.

If she continues to fight you at every turn, you’re going to have to get some kind of mediator involved because it sounds like your child’s safety is at stake. And by the way, you can send me cookies anytime and I’ll never hang out in your yard.

Good luck to you,

Kelcey, TMH

8 Responses to “Help Me with My Nasty Neighbor”


Comment by Lara.

Good response. And let’s be clear: your child’s safety isn’t at stake because of the lack of lock. It’s at stake because there’s a crazy lady living next to you.


Comment by Erin at Im Gonna Kill Him.

Yeah, I’d be more worried about your son living next door to a demented lady who can’t figure out locks and hates cookies. I’d make a voodoo doll and start sticking pins in it and feeding it cookies.


Comment by marathonmom.

I think you need to try harder. Come up with a combination that’s easier for her to remember. Like H-A-G. A-S-S. etc…


Comment by thepsychobabble.

Eh, I’d be kind of irritated if my neighbors started putting locks on shared property, too. But probably not if they came to me beforehand and said blahblahblah child in the street blahblahblah garbage truck, etc.

I think a better bet would have been to go to the landlord, and say “Hey, we’d like this, we’ll pay for the lock, is that cool?” and then any pissing and moaning could have been deflected to his direction.


Comment by Jamie.

I am going to be the hater here and say…would it be too hard to teach your kid not to go outside of the gate? Maybe establish a boundary that is inside of the gate?

amy Reply:

Then when son runs out in the road and gets killed everyone and their dog can comment on ‘why didn’t she have a lock on that gate?” BAD MOM. (Similar situation happened here recently sadly enough.

Kids don’t always do what we tell them sadly and it is near impossible to keep an eye on our kids ALL the time.

Mom of a former Escape Artist!

Great advice Kelcey.


Comment by Rachel.

Get your landlord to take care of this. Let her be annoyed at the landlord not you. Back when I rented my landlord provided a lock for our old gate so our dogs (and selves) were safe.


Comment by Karen at French Skinny.

You need to learn the “crazy eye look”.
An expert taught me this.
When people get all psycho on your ass you look at them like you could go nuts at any minute.
If done properly you out-crazy them and they make you cookies.

Consider Checking Out...