I consider myself a fairly savvy communicator, whether by spoken or written word. It’s an essential skill we as adults have worked to master throughout a lifetime. Despite all the gradual work put in to become an effective and tactful speaker, that all goes to hell when communicating with two types of people: young kids and drunk people.
It’s less frustrating to build an entire living room’s worth of furniture from Ikea with directions written in Chinese than it is to reason with a young child or one of your wasted friends. The only difference is how you get to speak to them. With someone hammered, it’s great. It’s the one time in life you get to be as miserably blunt as possible because they’re a grown adult and at that point you couldn’t care less about their feelings.
A young child, however, is an emotional roller coaster, and every little thing you say could have consequences on how they carry themselves and their self-worth as an adult. Pretty heavy, huh, Doc? Try telling a child from a young age to “Shut the hell up, you’re driving me insane” constantly and let me know how they turn out. But I’d be absolutely lying if I sometimes didn’t wish I could give a stern speaking to my little one like I do my buddy who’s blowing chunks in a bar restroom.
Last week at about 3:30 a.m., a full three hours before my alarm was scheduled to go off, I awoke to my offspring having a nightmare. Since he hasn’t seen any horror movies, doesn’t have bills to pay, and still isn’t aware that his favorite baseball team had dropped their first nine games, I’m not really sure what he had to be upset about, but I digress.
Instead of rolling back over in his bed and letting us both go back to sleep, his distress kept me up for the long haul. As I deliriously sat up in bed with him while he watched that fat piece of shit Barney, it took every bit of willpower to not say, “Hey son, I love you, but stop being a little bitch and go back to sleep.” Unlike your drunken friend who wanders in your room late at night to slur his trials and tribulations, you can’t just banish your child from your presence.
Unless you’re gonna be that parent who starts talking to your kid like a grown up by age three, sometimes you just have to sit back and realize that they just don’t understand how much of a damn baby they’re being. Parenting would be 100 times easier if you would reason with a child. I know it would’ve let me get more sleep the other night. When your buddy drunk dials you at 2:30 a.m. because he’s not sure if he wants to date Laura or not, you can matter-of-factly say, “Hey buddy, sorry about your predicament, but I’m hanging up on your ass.”
I simply wished I could’ve walked into Jr.’s room and said, “Listen, champ, look around. Literally no reason to be scared/upset. You’ve got zero worries in the world and can sleep for as long as you want. No monsters are gonna get you because daddy has a Louisville Slugger bedside. Now calm your shit and go back to bed.”
No one loves to complain more than a toddler or a drunk. For a toddler, they’ve just learned how to speak and their one tract minds don’t have any problem in popping off when they don’t get exactly what they want. Same goes for someone over the legal limit who suddenly has the vocal skills of a toddler and couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks.
Anytime you’ve ever gone out with a group, some drunken asshole isn’t satisfied. You and the squad may be enjoying your current boozing establishment, but there’s always some guy wanting to leave, suggesting other bars that would have more girls or be less crowded, and continually saying, “Guys let’s make moves.” The rebuttal to that guy is easy. “Hey Jeff, shut your ass up you buzzkill. You’re a grown man, leave if you want, but we all know you’re not paying for an Uber, plus this place is crawling with women and I’m trying to get covered in some muff-nectar before tonight is over, so we’re staying.” Unfortunately this to-the-point strategy doesn’t work on your youngling.
Yesterday there was a massive rainstorm where I live. My offspring sat by our back door and threw a massive tantrum begging to go outside and play in thunder, lightning, and pouring rain. There’s no struggle like calmly explaining fifty times that, “It’s raining and dangerous outside, we can’t go play” to someone who’s screaming bloody murder.
Kids not understanding blunt and rational statements really makes you realize that your years of mastering the English language don’t mean shit when you’re dealing with someone who still pees their pants on a regular basis. It would’ve made my day easier if he could’ve understood the simple phrase, “Hey bud, you’re not going out to play in a thunderstorm, because it’s a fucking thunderstorm.” Mic drop, tantrum over.
It’s a tough realization that while your little DNA replica may act like a two-foot tall drunk person, they aren’t actually an adult capable of being spoken to bluntly. And that really sucks because sometimes you’d love nothing more than to just say, “I don’t care if you don’t want your goddamn green beans, they’re already on the plate, so throw those things down champ.” It’s just not the same as being able to tell shitfaced Bob in the backseat, “I don’t care if you don’t like Whataburger, we’re already in the drive-thru so shut up.”
One day you’ll be able to give your kids a piece of your mind like a grown adult. But, unfortunately, today is not that day. Your kids aren’t being troublesome because they drank Fireball like water, they just simply don’t know any better. Moral of the story: once you have kids, take out your frustration on your drunk friends. Because fuck em..
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