This year's Christmas hasn't exactly gone to plan. I had imagined a lovely magical day for Christopher, full of fun and nice surprises, the first Christmas when he would actually be able to unwrap his presents himself and have a bit of a clue as to what was going on. We excitedly put all his presents under the tree on Christmas eve, waiting for him when he got up in the morning, and santa spent a lot of time wrapping his present to Chris with perfection. We were really looking forward to Christmas day and seeing what Chris made of it all this time round.
Once he was tucked up in bed though our neighbour from upstairs came thundering up the stairs with his friends, everone shouting and yelling drunkenly. They then left and returned at least six more times throughout the evening, getting increasingly louder and more obnoxious each time. They eventually left around midnight, sliding down the banister and staggering/falling down the stairs.
At 4:45am on Christmas morning we were woken up by the same neighbour returning home, this time with two shrieking bleached-blonde leopard-print mini-skirt wearing women, who then left in a taxi three hours later. Chris slept through all this somehow, and when he eventually woke up a couple of hours after we were up, he woke to a bedroom filled with the stench of cigarette smoke. The first time it has happened for two weeks. Not quite the magical environment I had imagined in which Chris would open his stocking from santa!
We sat with him as he opened his presents, trying to be happy but so sad and disappointed that Christmas eve and morning could be ruined for us in such a way, with no prospect of any other Christmas spent in our current flat being any different to this one. A kid should not wake up to a room filled with stinking fumes on Christmas (or any morning!). We cannot allow that to happen to Chris any longer than we have no option to do so! We are currently thinking of ways in which our landlord might let us move out sooner than our contract of a year's tenancy. Even though it means getting Chris on the waiting list for a whole new nursery and primary school, and all the horrible upheaval and expenses which moving house involves.
We always thought the smoke was coming from the flat below ours, through the floorboards. After speaking to the girl from the flat downstairs today though, we are no longer convinced that it is her causing the smoke (she is a doctor!) and that the problem is much likely more to do with the same upstairs neighbour who makes all the noise on the stairs at night time. She has reasons to suspect that he might even be a drug dealer! All the neighbours hate him and many have complained to him about the noise that he makes, although none of them seem to have the same problem we have been having, that of a really overwhelming and pungent smell of what we assume must be something like marijuana, certainly not normal cigarettes, filling our flat from time to time, especially in Christopher's bedroom.
It looks like we have no choice but to move house again
It will be Christopher's fourth home (and our sixth) and he is only two years old! There's no way I want him breathing in those fumes for several years though, it's so disgusting and makes me overwhelmingly sick to think that we have to put up with it for any time at all. We thought that we'd finally found a nice place to live and had settled into and grown attached our new home over the last four months. There appears however to be no solution to our problem. We have tried everything, signs in the hall, notes to neighbours, speaking to neighbours, telling the letting agency, getting a gas safely man to check out our flat etc.
I had planned to write a happy little Christmas post this evening, I am sorry it has ended up being this instead! We went up to my parent's house for five hours, and had a really lovely Christmas lunch and relaxing time there, it was most definitely the best part of my Christmas day! Chris had a nice day at least, enjoying all his presents and hopefully oblivious to the frettings of his parents. It was when we returned home in the afternoon that we found our flat absolutely reeking throughout of that really pungent and sickening smell again, more than it ever has before.