I started this post and a few others in the last week. Here’s the first of them, this one was started on Saturday:
When Little E was born, we disconnected our doorbell. We did this because we had three dogs at the time, since then we’ve lost two and gained one, and we didn’t want the ringing doorbell to trigger barking that would wake Little E during her nap schedule. However, the dogs now recognize the sound of knocking and threaten to attack even the slightest noise. Not that they would inflict a whole lot of damage other than potentially rupturing an eardrum or two. You see, they are big dogs in teeny-tiny little bodies, the larger of the two tipping the scale at a whopping eight pounds. It’s gotten to the point that every time there’s a doorbell in a movie, we mark the time so as to be able to press the mute button to avoid the raucous.
The reason I have prefaced all of this leads to the following occurrence. This morning Little E decided that sleeping from 10:30 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. was more than sufficient. So while she was jumping on Mama Bird and I on the couch, there was a timid little knock on our side light at the front door. I looked up to see the neighbor kid’s face pressed against the frosted glass. This in itself is not an unusual occurrence as she has done the same thing to ask for her ball out of the back yard and, according to Mama Bird, money for the ice cream truck. You probably guessed that we didn’t have the greatest reaction. What was out of the ordinary, however, was her request of “Can you help me? My parents are fighting.” On one hand, I wanted to say that there was probably nothing I could do to help. But the dad in me told me to go. He said that because he knows that there are three children in that house under the age of 9, and he couldn’t let it go without making sure the kids are OK.
The argument was apparently over the father wanting to leave because they are in the middle of filing for a divorce, he had a small bag packed and everything. This was not the actual problem, though. According to the mother (both of them speak broken English, her’s is worse), there was no food in the house for the children, aged 1, 3, 9, and 18. The father was willing to go to the store, but she was concerned that he wouldn’t get everything they needed, or come back. She actually said he was too stupid to figure it out. I told her to make a list, which she refused to do, because “it’s his job to take her to the store.” By the way, she doesn’t drive. So we made a decision together, he couldn’t leave until he had to go to work, and I would take her to the store while Mama Bird watched the kids. I know what you’re thinking, “Why didn’t he just take her to the store?” Well, believe me, she was in no condition to go to the store, still wearing a rather revealing and unflattering cotton nightgown. So what did he do? He sat in the car while she threw his clothes out the front door, all the while yelling at him in their native language. Who’s crazier here? Well, she may have been yelling and throwing things, but you tell me, why couldn’t he help take care of his kids while she got her self ready to go to the store? All in all, the cops were called at least once (I heard someone say something about the cops a second time, but not certain it was a cop), the front yard got cleaned up, and my Saturday went straight into the toilet.
But it got me thinking about how delicate so many relationships are these days, and how a small bump in the road can lead to so many problems. Not that I know what the problems are in their case. Quite frankly, I don’t care about their marital problems, I was only worried about the welfare of those children. I just can’t fathom wanting to walk away when my children are in need of essential food items. It’s difficult for me to spend one night away for legitimate reasons. I’ve only had the misfortune of not being here overnight on a few occasions. Once for work, once because my Mother-in-Law had fallen and injured her knee, and once because, well, Toys R Us opened at 10:00 on Thanksgiving night and I spent the whole night out shopping (Crazy, I know, but our Christmas shopping was finished by 6:00 on Black Friday morning. WooHoo!). I’ve gone off subject, and I apologize, back to the point. I can’t understand how anyone could put their self and their feelings before the needs of their children. I get it if you need to go out and cool down, one of the best places to do that is the grocery store. But you can’t let things get you so far out of whack that you don’t even want to be there for your family. I get it that she was maybe acting a little “crazy”, but maybe it’s because you go to work all day and she’s stuck at home all stir-crazy. They call it cabin fever for a reason. You usually get to a point where you just can’t take it anymore. I feel like too many people just give up when they come to an obstacle. I’m not saying stay together for the kids, that can make it even harder for them in the future. I’m just saying you need to make an effort to fix things. And not just a half-hearted, “we can fix this ourselves” kind of thing. Counseling does work, though maybe not for everyone. Men, you need to be there for your wife when she’s feeling down, especially when you have kids. Moms take on a HUGE burden, especially stay-at-home moms. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids. That’s stressful. Mama Bird has a hard time with it every now and again, and I always try my best to help out. But even my best isn’t always enough, and I have to listen to her in order to find our what other things she needs from me. That’s what it’s all about: Compromise.
There’s no doubt that it’s a difficult adjustment bringing a new baby home. It is a very stressful event, there’s a lot of change. Your life will never be the same in so many ways. In the last two years, we’ve had dinner alone two or three times. We don’t go anywhere that doesn’t include plans for Little E. This December we will be embarking our first family vacation. Royal Caribbean, hold on to you hats, there’s a hurricane on your horizon. That’s right, we’re going on a cruise with our two-year-old. And, just to show that we have no limit for challenging our sanity, we are also taking my mother-in-law along for her 60th birthday. People need to realize that having a child changes your life. If you don’t expect your life to change, don’t have a child! If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s parents who take their child to the grandparents’ house every weekend so they can continue to go out drinking and partying. I get it if you work at a bar, it’s your paycheck and you probably work the hours that your kid is sleeping, but it’s a different story when it comes to people who have a “day job” and give up time with their kids. I said earlier that I’ve only spent a few select nights away from home since Little E’s birth. There’s a lot of people out there who take these times for granted. I just don’t understand.
I love my family to death, and I wouldn’t change them for the world. I’ll never walk out, I’ll never file for divorce, I’ll try my hardest, and, by God, I’ll be successful. I’ve said it before, I have big plans for our life, and I do mean OUR life, and Mama Bird and Little E and any future additions are going to be along for the ride. I have Mama Bird’s support, now I just need the support of my fans to start making things happen. Please show the support I need. Become a Follower of Adventures in ‘Da(d) ‘Hood anywhere you can, including Twitter, Facebook, and anything else on the side bar to the right. Tell your friends, and tell them to tell their friends. I want to prove to people that there is a market for what I am developing, and this is the best way to do it. I want to do this for my family, because they deserve so much more than what we have right now. I will put in the work, regardless of the time needed. Because in the end, it will all be worth it. That’s how much they mean to me.