The neighborly picnic came and went with nary a glimpse of my mysterious neighbor. (She'd called the landlords with her regrets; she was sick and knew that there would be small children present.)
A few nights later, I was nursing NS in the rocking chair at 1:30 a.m. after she'd awakened, crying emphatically. Through the walls came a sound of running water--a toilet? a shower?--and the bang of a door.
My weary gut gave a twist. Oh, no. She's finally had it with being wakened by a crying baby twice a night and is out for revenge.
An uneventful day or two passed. Then one morning I was chasing my nephew NA up the driveway. He was blubbering for his mama who had just dropped him off for a couple of hours with me. At that moment the neighbor appeared, about to get in her car. I seized the moment to march up, shake her hand and introduce myself.
"And this is NS," I pointed to the sweet baby on my hip. "She's the one you've probably been hearing at night."
"Oh, no," said the neighbor mildly. "They have babies upstairs, too, and I never hear them. Besides, I don't mind babies. That's how they are."
I blew an audibly relieved sigh and went about the day with a lighter mind.