When Your Baby Becomes A Kid

Having a baby is the most life-altering thing any human being can do.  Man, woman; gay, straight; single, married, it doesn’t matter.  Whether it’s your genetic material or someone else’s, having a baby in the house is going to fuck your day up.  These days you can’t throw a rock and not hit a blog post or book or article about the trials and tribulation of having a baby.  But no one talks about what happens when they’re not babies anymore. I mean we all know teenagers suck, but what about those wonderful school-aged years when the only they’re doing at the speed of light is learning what not to do. Not to mention, being influenced by other kids.  Correction, other, shittier kids. You know longer have full control over what they learn and how they learn it, which totally sucks!

My oldest son recently turned 8.  I, believing the lies told me by my parental predecessors, thought things would be getting easier by now. We’d be able to have a wrongmeaningful conversation, common interests, and even a developing sense of mutual respect.  Boy was I wrong. What I got were conversations that contain the word “um” approximately 8,000 times about people I’ve never met and things I’ve never heard of, the constant demand to fain enthusiasm 24/7, and a never-ending need to talk myself out of striking a child.  You spend years teaching your child to talk.  Then, you immediately regret that decision.  They never stop talking.  Never.  Ever.

now I get itHe’s reached the age where he is trying desperately to understand adult conversation and nuances. However, he has the attention span of the fruit fly so he zones out halfway through the answer to a question he just asked.  So when he says the words “Ooooh! Now I get it.”  That means he has no idea what the fuck I’m talking about. He’s just moved on to whatever random thought just came into his head like, I wonder if now is a good time to bring up that thing I did at Grandma’s house  months ago that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about right now.

And I swear to God listening to this kid tell a story should be illegal under the Geneva Convention. It is the most torurous experience in my life.  “Mom. I, um, went to Jack’s house and um we played this game um that has this um thing and you have to do this other thing to  um make this one thing happen.  It’s just like the one I played at um I don’t remember his name’s house. You remember?”  Ummmmmmm……what?!?! For Christ’s sake.  I would almost rather work at a college bar on a Friday night full of Sorority bar crawls that’s four deep with dumb bitches who have never had anything stronger than Malibu….almost.  But of course I can’t tell him that.  I have to pretend to be interested and care, because he needs validation.  I need a boob job and a wine of the month membership, but you don’t see me bitching!

So, if you’ve just had a baby, enjoy these moments when they sleep all the time and don’t speak.  Trust me the spit up and shit is worth it.  Just remember, the day is coming when you will have to interact.  And they won’t be like those cool kids on sitcoms.  Rudy Huxtable isn’t real. (Too soon?)  Kids don’t make witty jokes or say the funny thing at the right time.  They will, however, rip ass in the middle of the grocery store and laugh relentlessly.  So, it’s not all doom and gloom.

As for me and my first born, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The other day I made some smart ass comment and he goes,  “Is that sarcasm?”  I’ve never been more proud as a partent.  He’s such a great kid with all kinds of creativity.  He’s sweet and kind and thoughtful and a great big brother.  He has more love and generosity in his little finger than most people do in their whole bodies.  But if this phase doesn’t pass and soon, I would recommend buying stock in duct tape and Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Grigio

 

 

Tips From a Retired Bartender

It feels like a lifetime ago since I was last slinging cocktails behind a bar.  And if I said I missed it and those were the best years of my life would you think less of me as a parent?  Wait….I don’t care.  Those were the BEST days of my life.  I stayed up all night.  I slept all day.  I got all the attention I craved as a self-conscious 20-something.  It was a great life.  There were, of course, some down sides.  People being the main one.  I Hate People

There are a lot of people when you work in the service industry.  People who have never worked in the service industry.  On the rare occasion that my husband and I actually get to go to a bar, I still pay attention to how bartenders/servers are treated by the general public.  Same bar problems; same bar place. If you’re in your late 20’s and beyond, please pay attention.

Always Tip.  Your argument for not tipping is invalid.

Drink In Your Lane. Chances are in you’re in this age group you at least have a job.  Maybe not a great job, but a job none-the-less.  You’re, for all intents and purposes, a grown up.  Please act as such.  Walking up to the bar in your $200 jeans, $150 shoes, $600 purse and asking what the specials make a bartender want to punch you right in your outrageously debted face.  Now, I understand drinking on a budget.  Why do you think you can find me on any given Friday wine drunk as fuck on my couch watching the new season of Better Call Saul at 10PM? However, don’t drink some disgusting concoction that is only on special because they got a case of shitty flavored vodka for free and need to get rid of it.  You’re not in college anymore.  Order a Well vodka and soda, and move on.

Read the menu.  That’s why they’re there. A bartender’s time is precious.  Especially if they’re busy.  They make their money off tips, so volume is key.  If you don’t know what you want, just ask them to come back around, or backup from the bar until you’re ready.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT ask the bartender what they have on draught, make that poor bastard rattle off all the craft beers with small descriptions of each, and then order a Jack and Coke.  Read the fucking menu!  Anymore, bars are really good about describing what beers and booze they have.  Granted, if a bartender isn’t busy, they would probably be more than willing to talk IPA’s with you, but if the bar is 3 deep, decide what you want before you get to the plate.

Leave your Wolf of Wall Street impression at home.  giphySo, as a young professional you might be kind of a big deal within your company, industry, region, whatever the case may be.  And good for you.  Buy a round for your friends and celebrate.  But overall, the rest of the people in the bar, including the bartender, don’t give a fuck where you work.  There is nothing worse than some cocky bastard walking up to the bar, pushing people out of his and making a spectacle of himself to get a drink. “Do you know who I am?” “Don’t worry, I know the owner here” “I work at XYZ Company, this place would be nothing without us.” It does nothing but makes everyone hate you in every way… and assume that you have a very tiny penis.  It is a great way to get ignored….for the rest of your life.

Make a connection. At the end of the day, bartenders are people.  They want to be treated as such.  Ask their name.  Spark conversation, preferably interesting conversation.  If you create that connection, you will get served immediately.  You might even get a free drink or shot out of the deal.  It’s basic human nature.  We help out the people we like.  The girl who hangs over the bar to get your attention and then leaves you a $0.50 tip is going to get ignored the rest of the night.  The girl who makes small talk while the bartender is obviously annoyed by the one guy who is trying to order for 20 people, will always get served as soon as he sees her walk back up to the bar.  Shocking!!  Bartenders don’t want to be treated like shit.  It really is that easy.

In conclusion.  Tip your bartender.  Know what you want. Get to know them.  Don’t be a dick.

The more you know