Thursday, August 28, 2008

On becoming THOSE people

Ah, blessed progress at last. The baby Zantac is having a soothing effect upon Stella's stomach, calming her crazy reflux, finally. It took about a week to finally kick in, but I tell you, this stuff is a god send.

Her stomach no longer grumbles non-stop, roiled. She is no longer spitting up, and swallowing acid back down. She no longer squirms in her crib, or on our bed as she sleeps. She no longer wriggles in pain as I hold her.

I tell you, acid reflux is no joke. It pretty much ruined all our lives for the first four months of Stella's life, and no one even told us about it. We had to find out about it ourselves. So, parents, or would-be parents, if you're kid can't sleep, cries after eating, and writhes around, consider that you might have acid reflux. Your pediatrician probably won't bring it up if you don't, but it could be that.

Now, if we could only get her to drink from her bottle on a regular basis.

In typical Stella fashion we got her a new sippy cup, and the first time out she drained it right down, like she was funneling at a college kegger. I was like, wow. Then in even more typical Stella fashion she's absolutely HATED her new sippy cup every time I've tried to use it after. No reason why, no rhyme or reason to it.

Which brings me to today's post. Are we becoming THOSE people?

You know THOSE people. We all know THOSE people.

They're the people who cut off traffic as they push their stroller across a busy intersection, expecting everyone to get out of their way.

They're the people who sat in the movies behind us, with a little child talking the whole film through. The mom got terribly offended that an irritated patron asked her to quiet her child. "It's okay baby," the mom answered. "You just keep right on asking questions." The film? No Country For Old Men. The showing? 10:00 p.m.

They're the people who take over our local coffee houses, stretch their bodies across the sofa for hours, and let their kids run around, irritating everyone.

They're the people who do nothing but talk about the minutia of their child's life, often larding this chatter with lofty praise for their spawn, boring all our asses. On the flip side they are also overly-involved with their children, making them little into neurotic, tantrum-throwing, spoiled Mini-Mes. They're the dads who flip out and berate the refs, or even other kids, at Little League games. They're the moms who put bumperstickers about living organically on their $50,000 BMW's as they nearly run you over.

They're entitled, they're offended, they expect everyone to pay homage to their child as they do.
We, of course, have been accused of this, even by those who comment in this blog. And the whole issue had that as an element. (Thankfully resolved. The owner of the site, Kerry, simply took the posting about us down, which was a nice way to treat a neighbor. We didn't ask her to, as she has the right to freedom of speech, but she decided, I guess, that it wasn't worth it.)

We try not to be THOSE people. We haven't been to a movie as a family since Stella was born, although Randi went to a mommy 'n me specific showing of Sex And The City, a month or so ago. I missed that one, which is all well and good. I kind of hate SATC, mainly because I refuse to buy Sarah Jessica Parker as a writer. Or Candace Bushnell either, for that matter. But we've hungered to see The Dark Knight, and have said no way, because our crying baby would piss off everyone else who paid $11.00 to watch Heath.

We try to keep in a lane as we walk down the street with our stroller. We try to not assume that everyone finds our baby as cute as we do. We try to not assume an entitled air as we shop.

We try to not make everyone's schedule revolve around ours.

But, some changes in life are inevitable.

I shop for fresh produce more at the Union Square farmer's market these days. I don't know if this makes me an entitled parent, or if it simply corresponds to what entitled parents do. But, damn, those summer tomatoes are tasty!

As noted, at great length, we now get pretty irritated by door to door religion sales-people. More than we used to.

I, of course, also blog about my child's life, which could be seen as one big, entitled action.

We schedule interactions with our friends around whether Stella has had a nap that day. Often, as noted, the answer is no. Meaning we stay inside just a bit too much.

If I'm all used up at the end of the day, from work, being a parent, and general free-floating stress, I might skip on the calls back to family and friends. This rankles some people, sometimes, although most understand.

I guess the real litmus test is yet to come. Stella doesn't walk yet, and she doesn't talk yet, and those thresholds are the real ones that mark the entitled parents from the other ones.

Entitled parents think it's cute when their kid mouths off to you, and they get furiously mad when you try to correct this behaviour.

Entitled parents let their kids run around, even inside, with no concern for anyone else's well-being, or mental sanity. If you ask them to not do this they get mad, again, at you!

Entitled parents treat their child's school teacher like an employee, and refuse to understand that their kid isn't allowed to receive to what amounts to private tutoring, all day. They also refuse to understand that sometimes their child isn't being abused by the teacher, but is simply unpopular with the other kids, because they have no respect for anyone else's boundaries, property or happiness. Randi's seen this one a lot.

Entitled parents always seem to have kids that are allergic to everything. It's amazing that we have survived as a species this long, as so many people are allergic to wheat (only the backbone of human civilization), nuts, dairy and everything else. When I was a kid I didn't know one kid allergic to nuts. Now they ALL are. Except when they're not.

Entitled parents are the ones that give all of the rest of us a bad rap. They're the reason why hipster doofuses sneer at Randi in the coffee shop when she's with Stella, for no good reason.

So please tell me if you see us acting like THOSE people. But be kind. After all, the movie might just be getting started.


Randi said...

Look, Mr. Entitled, how dare you say you're not entitled? Because you're entitled just for even procreating in the first place, got it?

Sorry...couldn't resist. ;-)

I really do hope people can nicely call us out if need be. But the nap situation is what it is. You'll have either have to whisper if you're at our pad or buy us sound proofing for our walls. Sorry!

Martin said...

I am a career nanny, much to the chagrin of my parents, and you are not. those. people.

Trust me. I'm biased :)

David Serchuk said...

Hi Martin,
Well, you haven't nannied for us! :-)

Actually, we don't have a nanny and probably never will. Partly it's a philosophical choice, partly is an economic choice. We wouldn't if we could afford it, but we can't anyway!

Actually, if you have horrible parent stories, and it won't get you in trouble, that would make for some good reading. Please feel free to post here, if you don't already on your blog.

(Everyone else: You can also post your horrible parent stories here. Why not? Let's own the topic!)


Holly said...

Lol! Love this post. I, for one, do not believe you are "entitled parents." I certainly don't think you're "entitled" because you're writing this blog. Frankly, I think any haters are jealous because they don't have the writing talent to document the most important thing in their lives the way you do. You're creating a work of writing that can be handed down for generations (hopefully, you're backing this up!). So go on with your bad self!

David Serchuk said...

Hi Holly,
Wow, thanks! I have backed up a lot of it, but not recently, as I've been winging it more. I should do it, though. Who knows what will come of it?

At the very least Stella will have something to wonder about, far down the road!

Also, if you have any horrible parent stories, this is a good sharing space!