I’ve been sitting at this computer and trying to type up a new post for Noisetopia since 3 pm. In the three and a half hours that have elapsed, I’ve probably only been present in this seat for about 14 minutes. I begin to write, then have to press the pause button to go be a parent. My wife is doing what she can. She did just push a tiny human out of her lady parts a few days ago. So I can’t really fault her for not being able to administer swift justice or provide expert medical care for whatever event seems to be going on upstairs.
In the three and a half hours I’ve been sitting/not sitting here, I’ve come to the realization that what we have in this house is an inner city style gang neighborhood, albeit a much more condensed version. Bear with me on this one. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Just about everything I know about gangs comes from TV and/or my Facebook feed. So you can rest assured my gangland knowledge is both extensive and reliable. Everybody knows that if it’s on TV, it has to be true. I assume the same rule applies to Facebook.
Moving on. The first similarity I noticed was that, much like a Gangland neighborhood, the wife and I are pretty much immune to most screams and crashes. Our concern level has more than diminished over the course of raising four kids. Our first child had it pretty bad. If she let out a grunt or whimper from straining too hard trying to poop, the wife and I made an appointment just to make sure she didn’t have Necrotizing Butt-itis or something. If she fell down, we were the helicopter parents that would immediately scoop her up and kiss her boo boos and tell her she’s so awesome at falling. By our second child we had developed a better sense of what to expect. If she developed the ugly-face-farts we didn’t immediately suspect Ass Cancer-itis. When she fell down we still rushed over to help while only mildly giggling to ourselves. So far, our third and fourth child are getting the full benefit of our parenting experience. They pretty much need to be bleeding from multiple orifices and/or have bones on the outside of their body that aren’t normally there for us to get excited. The caveat to that statement is that my wife is a registered nurse and I’m a firefighter/EMT. It takes a little convincing for us to hand our child off to an ER doctor when we have most of what we need to handle minor scrapes and bumps here at the house. Our fourth child is in for a real treat. After she finishes her upcoming boot camp, we’ve got her enrolled in a free summer internship with a coal mining company. Kidding. Point is, after four kids you begin to develop instincts that enable you to gauge a child’s pain level based on tone, cadence, and volume of cry. As cruel as it sounds, sometimes the best course of action is to ignore the screams/crashes/cries and let your kid figure out their own shit. They might develop into a more independent adult because of it.
The second one is pretty easy to recognize if you’ve ever seen a gangster movie. It’s the concept of “don’t talk to The Man.” If the wife and I hear a scream or crash from upstairs that sounds especially concerning/interesting, then we rock/paper/scissors to see who is going to investigate. It’s almost a certainty that when the loser gets upstairs to check out what happened they will confront three stone-faced, tight-lipped little girls. “Crash? What Crash? Screams? Nobody screaming up here. Probably the dog. Or maybe check with the neighbors.” Tell me that doesn’t remind you of every episode of Cops you’ve ever seen. Didn’t see nothing. Didn’t hear nothing. Ain’t saying nothing.
Anybody ever heard “snitches get stitches?” It basically means that if you talk to the authorities, you’re going to get hurt or worse. Same rules apply at our house. Some time after our second child discovered the delightful Art of Combat with her older sister, we began to walk upstairs to investigate crashes/screams and heard faint whispers of “please, don’t tell Mom” or “I’m sorry I’m sorry please tell Dad you fell” or “I’ll cut you if you tell on me.” Okay, maybe not that last one. But it never fails that I’ll walk upstairs to investigate what I am certain was a death match involving medieval weaponry and/or armor only to find a tranquil tea party whose attendants all appear to be enjoying each others company. I’m not sure what kind of back-alley dealings are going on that’s keeping one party from ratting on the other but — whatever the agreement– it seems to work for all parties involved.
Uh oh. Sounds like someone just delivered a 300-style Spartan kick to somebody else’s chest upstairs. Time to gear up and head out. Probably won’t find anything when I get there. After all, nobody talks to the Fuzz. Not in this neighborhood.