“Just a little patience, yeaaaaaah”
Who would have known? Who in their right mind would have EVER thought that the key to not losing your shit spectacularly on a daily basis would live in the hands of the one and only Axl Rose. Cause I’ll tell ya, that’s fucking IT.
Countless books, blogs, and websites do their damndest to come off like they know what the fuck they’re talking about. Most of ’em don’t. Nowadays people are too busy trying WAY too hard to get their funny parenting tweet to go viral to actually have anything fucking helpful to say. I’m down to laugh about this shit just as much as the next breeder, but at some point it would be nice if people’s need for validation could take a backseat to some REAL talk about how to not go out of your fucking mind when you’re trying to raise two little creatures who seem hell bent on never allowing you a moment’s peace ever again.
Dear Pinterest Moms & Instagram Dads: Fuck off.
Seriously, the internet and social media are overflowing with “parenting content”, whatever the fuck that means. Everyone trying to out-funny the next asshole on the block so they can land on the Huffington Post’s “Funniest Parenting Tweets” list every week. Half this shit isn’t even fucking TRUE. So yeah, to the charmingly disheveled dads with flour on their faces, and the moms doing crafts while writing the great American novel- shove it up your asses, sideways.
I’m tired of NOBODY being on the level. I’m tired of everyone reducing parenting to cute little fucking one-liners, goofy 20 second videos, and heartfelt Instagram posts about how “blessed” they are. Christ, when did we become so self-important that we all started walking around calling our fucking selves BLESSED? Don’t flatter yourself Karen, I don’t think the Pope is coming around anytime soon to ordain your shitty toddler and your “Live, Laugh, Love” thing hanging on your living room wall (you know what I’m talking about). You’re human and insignificant like the rest of us, now kindly bless yourself the fuck out of here and close the door on your way out please.
You just can’t trust anything you read/see/hear anymore, cause the internet has reduced us all to sniveling little fame-chasers, desperate for more likes, more views, and more fucking validation. Sure, I’m trying to build something here and make a name for myself, but I don’t write SHIT unless I know about it personally and/or it fucking needs to be said. I get it, unless you’re grooming your own shit to go viral and that’s your deal the odds are slim to fucking none that anyone will ever even FIND your shit, let alone subscribe or read it on a. regular basis. That’s why I said “fuck it”, I’m gonna be honest, raw, and real even when it doesn’t feel warm and fuzzy. There are probably others like me, but I don’t give a shit.
I think I’ve said “I don’t give a shit” more in 2020 than I have in my entire life.
All this shit is clear as day too, and it’s not just in the “parenting milieu” either. Motherfuckers everywhere are just DESPERATE for attention and there’s almost NO way to know who’s sincere and who’s full of shit. We’re ALL full of shit to some degree, it’s just figuring out who the worst offenders are. We’re swimming in a sea of “creators” who are little more than desperate people-pleasers doing whatever will get them the most likes and it’s turning the whole prospect of even TRYING to be a writer people give a fuck about into a god-forsaken three-ring shit circus.
God-forsaken three-ring shit circus, that’s kind of the perfect way to describe 2020 come to think of it. Anywho, I’m probably getting off track here. The LAST thing I want to do right now is talk more about how shitty this fucking year is, this post is about other shit. Long story short, 99.99999% of the people talking about parenting are glad-handing, bullshitting, fake-ass phrase coiners who have about as much authenticity as Justin Bieber.
The truth is, parenting is fucking hard, and sometimes it’s hard for days. Or weeks. Or months. Fuck it, YEARS. You’re telling me that some of these schmucks are just so orgasmically amazing that they can clear the fog of any 48-hour tantrum to drop a hilariously precocious tweet about baby farts? Nope. Full of shit. Some days the only thoughts I can even fit into my head are various contemplations on how to rage-slam my face into a brick wall repeatedly, enough to punish my stupid face but not enough to do TOO much lasting damage.
Here’s the thing too- I fucking LOVE my kids. I’d die for them RIGHT FUCKING NOW, without question, instinctively. Period. I love the shit out of them, I truly do, but after going through the terrible twos-and-threes with our daughter and jumping headfirst BACK into the terrible twos-and-threes with our son it’s a real “mindfuck with a power drill” situation at the moment. Patience? For tantrums? I just don’t fucking have it like I did a few years ago when there was only one drool jockey running around, and if I’m being SUPER honest I never really had much of it for that stuff to begin with.
More days in 2020 have pushed me to the absolute brink of my human capacity to not rip my own eyeballs out of their sockets than I ever would have imagined. The stress of living in a country led by morons where a pandemic is raging like a brushfire, inequality and racism are somehow still a thing, and doing it all while trying to raise two little humans to not be pieces of shit is, in a word, exhausting. We had no help LONG before the fucking virus took hold, so at least we’re kind of used to being stranded on parent island without a fucking raft. We’re tougher than we give ourselves credit for a lot of the time too, but right now? Shit’s stressful, and I also know we’re not the only ones who feel that way. Not by a million miles.
Sometimes I just don’t fucking have it, patience I mean. I feel like I might, and then as soon as the tantrum starts I’m a fucking bear who got poked into a corner and robbed of his picnic basket.
A Yogi Bear analogy? Really? Was that the best you could do?
No, but it WAS the best I could think of at the time. Whatever. I want SO badly to be one of those parents that comes off like a Buddhist monk, all zen and quiet tones, eager to share his cosmic insight into how controlled breathing can improve a person’s mood and how the perfect scone recipe is only a spoonful of shortening away, but I’m not. I’m a train wreck, my wife is a slightly less “agitated meerkat” train wreck, and we’re hanging on by a thread. Not our marriage, our sanity. We’re solid, but our sanity? Fragile. Very fragile.
So how the fuck does a 39 year-old adult find their way to MORE patience in a world that’s tailor-made to fucking dance all over it? You got the secrets? Nah, I doubt patient, stable people read my shit. You’re probably just like us, trying to get a kid to stop screaming in your face cause their yogurt is the wrong color and wondering if you’ll ever get rid of that nervous twitch that you get every time you hear a child cry. And you know what? Good. It’s nice to know we’re not alone, cause nobody’s really talking about this shit and keeping it real. They’re all trying to be social media celebrities, and while I wouldn’t kick a few more followers outta bed I’m DAMN sure not gonna sink to pandering to get there. I’ll be writing whether you read it or not, SOMETHING’S gotta keep my ass out of the clock tower.
Apparently though, the answer has been right under my nose the whole god damn time. I was about seven or eight when Guns N Roses were the biggest thing since multi-colored Tupperware and I’m pretty sure I had absolutely zero actual understanding of what those dudes were talking about back then. I was eight, with a bowl cut, and my Mom was my only friend. I dressed like a little white secondhand Bill Cosby, I had asthma, and I heard the “ding” of my GameBoy turning on more than I ever heard another kid say “let’s be friends”. If none of that screams “edgy Sunset Strip booze-rock about drugs, fucking, and Charles Manson” it’s because it doesn’t.
If my childhood screams ANYTHING, it’s “HELP!”.
Whatever, we’re not here to go down the childhood catharsis rabbit hole again, we’re here to talk about how to prevent your parent-brain from oozing out of your tear ducts while you cry into those useless carbs you know you’ll kick yourself for later. So Guns N Roses, getting back on track, OK.
It turns out, most if not ALL problems us adults have with our little ones amounts to one thing and one thing only- patience. Patience, whether in abundance or a lack thereof, is the thing that will either keep a smile on your face or cause you to take a cheese grater to said face. If you’re fortunate enough to have a high level of patience, you’ll find that the majority of your toddler’s incidents will roll off your shoulders, and you’ll calm de-escalate the situation and everyone will have snacks and hugs. If your fuse is on the short side, every single whine, grunt, or cry will send you into a tailspin of pure, unbridled rage that only a joint the size of a Sharpie can cure. Another thing I’ve learned in my parenting career, aka trial by fire, is that we CAN control it. It’s true, we can be as patient as we want to be, it just takes work. Just a little….
You’ve probably already figured out how I’m tying it all in with Axl Rose and the song “Patience” cause it’s as obvious as a fart in a car, so I’ll keep the explanation brief. “Just a little patience”, that’s a lyric from the song “Patience” (I know you’ve heard it, but for the kids in the back of the class) and I’ll be damned if that isn’t the fucking essence of how you deal with pretty much EVERYTHING that comes your way as a parent. Kid losing their shit? You losing YOUR shit back at them only makes shit worse, and I know- I did it last night. Whatever, win some lose some. Everything falling apart in the middle of Ikea? You can scream your face off and toss your kids into the Hemnes display OR you can choose to take a breath and handle shit like a zen master. Does it always play out the right way? Fuck no it doesn’t, and you shouldn’t expect it to either.
Luckily, 2020 has stolen ALL expectations of shit going “well” for ANYTHING so the bar is situated very low at the moment.
Nothing in life goes the way we plan it all the time, or even most of the time. The thing is, you just gotta be OK with it, cause otherwise you’re in for a shit fucking ride. “Just a little patience” can make the difference between a good day and “I’m pressing charges, officer”, and it’s the ONLY thing that’ll get you through parenting one kid, two kids, or ten kids. Yikes, saying “ten kids” just made me a little dizzy- pause- OK, I’m good. Whew, ten kids! That’s the plot of a horror movie, not a lifestyle choice. I kid, I kid- if you’re enough of a superhero to have TEN FUCKING KIDS then you’ve GOTTA be pretty fucking well adjusted. or, you’re just COMPLETELY insane- like ALL the way.
I’ve just been thinking about patience a lot lately, cause having a five year-old who is finding her independence AND an almost three year-old who is DEEPLY into the tantrums and FTW phase of toddlerdhood is draining on that most precious parenting resource. Add the fucking pandemic into the situation, and all the uncertainty we’re ALL dealing with right now, and patience is fucking LOW around here. I’m working on it, just like every parent, and I have my better days and my “who even AM I anymore?” days but they all end in hugs and kisses all around regardless so I’m fairly well-assured that we’re doing something right. Maybe not all the time, but enough of the time, and I’m cool with that. Maybe when I turn 40 a magical switch will flip in my brain and I’ll suddenly have all this shit figured out and I’ll be walking around like David Carradine- but from “Kung Fu”, not his later-period performance art-all calm, cool zen and perfect understanding. Ha! Whatever helps me sleep at night I guess!
So cheers to you, Axl Rose! You managed to somehow make it to the other side of the “cornrows, football jerseys, and SUPER off-key singing” phase to reunite with your 99% original lineup and make like a zillion dollars touring the world for the better part of a decade now. You also managed to nail down the most important tool in a parent’s box (innuendo intended)- patience. You knew what so many of us struggle with day in and day out back when you were a heavily intoxicated maniac in a Charles Manson shirt that totally led to ME wearing a Charles Manson shirt later in life- patience is fucking important, and it only takes a little bit of it to make a big difference. I’m fairly certain this level of complexity wasn’t baked into the writing of the song, but if anyone can overanalyze some shit into existence it’s me.
That’s all for me, my kids are napping and looking peaceful, and all is right in the world for the next fleeting hour and a half. I love those little monsters with all of my blackened heart, and I’m going to try to be a little more patient this afternoon than I was yesterday. If it works for Axl fucking Rose maybe I have a shot at not tearing out my eyebrows before dinner. Fingers crossed!
PS- Just in case you’ve lived in a cave since you were born, or you’re one of those “who the fuck are Van Halen?” kids- here’s the song I wrote this post about, “Patience” by Guns N Motherfucking Roses.
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration