So, I'm actually going to do a Part 2 post on the Surprises of Fatherhood. It's been almost 6 months since I wrote the original post and now my son is almost 1 year old. Amazing! It's been one crazy ride with this little fellow. I'm sure there will be many more fatherhood surprises but here are the new ones I've discovered so far.
Dude, I'm tired.
Okay, this sounds stupid. Wow, you're a parent and you're tired? Join the club. The surprise here isn't that I'm tired, it's that it's a different type of tired. This isn't hangover tired, or no sleep tired, or I just ran a marathon tired, it's something completely different. And here I am lucky; my son sleeps a pretty normal schedule, maybe wakes up once in the night, takes naps, and I get 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, sometimes 9. It's like a winning the Kiddo lottery! But I'm still tired. Taking care of someone wears you out and I do the least amount parenting work here. Thanks Wifey. But yeah, it's a different kind of tired, like a combo of sleeplessness and being stretched too thin.
As 2015 comes to a close, it's time for everyone to look back and review the past year. For me, it was a huge year as my Wife and I had our first child. It's been almost six months and I thought it would be fun to recount the surprises I've experienced as a first time father. I remember preparing for fatherhood in spurts. I read one book and scoured tons of blogs and articles on the net, including many titled "The Surprises of Fatherhood". But there were definitely some things that came out of nowhere.
We're going to classify this under rant. This topic has been bubbling in my brain for quite some time now. I've never really written about it because I can't really call myself an authority on child rearing. However, now I have a horse in the race, so maybe it's time to speak up. A good portion of my generation had their kids 16-22 years ago and so all of those kids have been entering the work force these past couple of years. This brings a lot of them to my door, in the restaurant business. The restaurant business, along with retail, is the easiest career path for youngsters to get into. Whether it's the career they want to pursue for life or just to get them through school, this is where they start. I get a lot of applicants at my restaurant and about 3/4's of them are between the ages of 18 and 22. And I can say, without a doubt, that 4 out of those 5 applicants are braindead husks of human beings.
I don't know what my generation did but we raised our kids wrong. Maybe I'm becoming a grouchy old codger and maybe the restaurant industry is just getting the scraps of the workforce, but the numbers don't lie; these kids are idiots. And unfortunately, I have to hire some of these idiots just to keep my restaurant staffed. Here are just some issues with today's new workforce:
They have no common sense.
They have no manners.
They do not follow instruction or retain knowledge.
They are completely self-centered.
They have no work ethic.
They are entitled.
They can't seem to let go of their phone for more than 15 minutes.
They have no social skills.
They don't actively listen.
They have no sense of loyalty.
They have no discipline.
I could probably go on forever. But first, let me thank all of the 1 out of 5 parenting teams who raised their kids right. Of course, there is no one way to raise a child but I'm going to say, that if your child has more than 3 of the qualities listed above, you didn't raise them right. You didn't even give them a chance to survive. The people I feel the worst for are teachers. They have to deal with all of these kids. And of course, no parent is to blame for their child being raised to be a braindead husk.
I hate to be the one to point out the problem and not offer a solution but I imagine it's too late. We're screwed. It all starts in the home and no one seems to care. Broken homes, social media, government hand outs, over sensitivity in the media, teen pregnancy, drugs and whatever else is tearing apart society as a whole are things that just don't get fixed over night. I'm starting my family late in the game and so are some of my friends, so hopefully the wisdom of our years will help us raise our kids right. I know it's not impossible in this day and age because I do get applicants who are well adjusted, smart, hard working individuals and they come from all sorts of backgrounds. So, there's no excuse for everyone else dropping the ball. Take care of your kids, it's the least you can do.
When I was in High School, I wrote a paper on why a person should love their enemies. The basic argument was that you should love your enemies because without them, your life would be boring and unchallenging. I had to read the paper out loud in class and in one of those personal awe moments where you realize you're good at something, I noticed my English teacher's jaw actually drop, while the rest of the class looked confused. I bring this up at the beginning of my story about my ex-neighbor Angela, because of two points. One, you never know what stupid, annoying thing in your life will turn out to be the thing that makes it interesting. And two, at times you have to cut through a lot of junk to see the genius of something.
Everyone has had an annoying neighbor. It's part of life and living in the real world. If you're a misanthrope, pretty much everyone is annoying. But if you're lucky, sometimes annoyance can turn into crazy and crazy is always entertaining. My wife and I got to experience this over a couple of years and let me tell you, it was worth the loss of sleep and interruptions. We used to have people come over and ask, "Do you think Angela's coming out tonight"? She was that entertaining. Of course, she was like a unicorn and we were the only people she would come out to.
It all started innocent enough. Angela and her husband moved in above us and she would go on her balcony to smoke. We were in non-smoking apartments but no big deal, just close the windows and deal with it. Then she started talking really loudly on her cell phone, or at least that's what we thought. Then came the constant in and out and slamming of doors. This is all completely normal when it comes to annoying neighbors. Then her late nights started getting later. At this point, annoying neighbor became too much for other neighbors to ignore and the "shut up" shouts started. Now we have "shut up" shouts and intense expletives flying back and forth between apartments in the quad. All through this, the loudest one being Angela. I'm sure there were plenty of noise complaints filed with the office. There were none from us though, we didn't want to get involved.
At some point, Angela's rage focused on the female neighbor directly across from her. They would shout back and forth the craziest trash talk you ever heard from two girls. One night, there was an altercation at Angela's front door. We knew it was the neighbor from across the way. There was a lot of screaming and the sounds of struggle. Eventually, the cops came and sorted it out, but later that night they were shouting at each from their balconies again.
There were a couple of nights where things would fly off of Angela's balcony. One night, as we were sitting, watching T.V., we could hear Angela fighting with her husband upstairs. It started getting crazy with screaming, doors slamming and bumping and banging. Next thing we know, a glass flies off their balcony into the street and shatters. Then they were fighting on their balcony and this large trash bag of cigarette buds and ash comes flying down onto our balcony. We had cigarette buds fly onto our balcony before, but nothing like this immense bag of ash. Then the sirens started coming. Four police cars later, Angela was dragged off screaming. I was cleaning up our balcony when her husband looked over the edge of his and said, "Dude, I'm sorry."
Angela was gone for weeks. It was so quiet.
We missed her.
Until that fateful day when she came back. And then I got to meet her! Her husband brought her down to apologize for all that she had done, including dumping ash on our balcony. When she apologized, I had no idea what to say. I think I said, "Okay, we all have those days." The funny thing is she is this little petite girl that looked so innocent. I was in shock. My wife was ticked. She couldn't believe she didn't get the chance to meet. her.
Music, Food, Hockey, and Society through the eyes of a misanthrope named Quez Def.