I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the phrase “to kill with kindness.” I hear it a lot, and I use it a lot. Just today, I came back from talking to the young guy who takes care of all the landscaping around our complex. He was cleaning up leaves with a noisy wind blower. (Last week he was mowing/killing the lawn in the park behind our flat with a weed whipper, but that’s another story.) The baby needed a nap and there’s no way she would fall asleep with that noise.
I went outside to ask him if he could do something, anything else for an hour. He said no but in a really jerky way. I’ve talked to him before and the last time he was super nice and stopped trimming branches with his chainsaw for an hour so my baby could sleep. Today, he was an asshole. He said he was tired of people moaning about the noise. Apparently, two other residents had asked him to stop, someone who had a late night (fuck off) and someone else on a conference call.
So, I turned the charm on. What else could I do? I tried to make a joke about how a sleeping baby trumps everything else. He replied: “Your baby is going to have to learn to sleep through the noise.” I was this close to telling him off but I couldn’t. I had to kill him with kindness. It sucked but he stopped and my baby had a nap.