Ranting and Raving
December 10, 2008 by The Constant Complainer
Welcome to the award winning blog of The Constant Complainer.
Most of the posts that I put on this site discuss single incidents that recently occurred in my life. However, once in a while, numerous strange incidents occur, which causes me to discuss several topics at once. Today is one of those days…
When I wrote the “Kids – A Product of Their Environment” post, I received a number of private e-mails from parents commenting about it. Most said that they considered themselves to be good parents and found it hard to read about the behavior I witnessed from some of the not-so-good parents out there.
I’ve said before that I found myself being more critical of bad parents once I became a parent myself. However, in the same breath, I don’t jump to conclusions and am fair with my observations. Plus, I know that children can be difficult and often need to be corrected. Apparently the two below-fathers missed that part of the parenting lesson.
I was at the Cavs game last Friday night. There was a family of four sitting behind me. I would say the child I will go on to describe was about five years old. I kept overhearing the father lash out at the boy. He must have said, “don’t be a baby” about 30 times. It seemed to be an ongoing debate about the child wanting ice cream. Every time the father would say no, the boy would start to cry. Then the father would say, “stop crying” and “don’t be a baby” over and over. This repeated itself until the mother finally told the father to go get some ice cream for the boy. My feeling is this – explain to the child why you don’t want him to have ice cream, try to work out an alternative or discipline him for not listening. Don’t browbeat him into submission by taunting him and calling him names. I could be wrong, but I think that is horrible for their self-esteem. The boy eventually ate the ice cream but didn’t say a word the rest of the game. He sat slouched in his chair looking upset – clearly a reaction to the name-calling episode he had just endured.
Also last Friday; I had to go to the doctor’s office. Before I even walked in their door, I knew I was going to be in for an adventure. I take that back – before I even exited the elevator, I knew I would not leave the doctor’s feeling better, but rather with a headache. There was a child screaming bloody murder when I walked in. Now mind you, the office is very small. There was another female patient there and a father with two kids (one of whom was the one screaming). I walked in and sat down. The boy was screaming because his brother had a toy he wanted and they were fighting over it. Did the father step in or stop the situation? No! He was chatting (and continued to chat) on his cell phone. The other patient and I got to hear all about a recent eviction, that he had no money, that his car didn’t work and that he might have to leave the children with a relative while he sleeps in his car. But of course, no attention was paid to the kids. I’m not trying to downplay his personal situation or insinuate that he was a poorer parent as a result. I’m simply saying that he sat there and talked on his phone (in an office where cell phones aren’t even allowed) rather than break up the fight between his children. The two brothers fought back and forth over the truck, hit each other, screamed, took turns crying and disrupting the rest of us for almost ten minutes. This father stayed on the phone the entire time. Finally a nurse took the truck and said that nobody could play with it. That’s what I wanted to do, but did that stop the father from being on the phone? No. Now both kids were screaming because they didn’t have the toy. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I deliberately walked over and took a picture of the “No Talking on Cell Phones” sign with my blackberry. Upon seeing this; the father just stared at me. However, before I could have the pleasure of discussing this picture with him, I was called back to see the doctor. At that point, I simply added a “headache” to my list of ailments.
Another post that caused my in-box to be flooded with messages was “Smoke Smoke Everywhere” – which is an older post from when this blog was just launched. But I couldn’t help but think about it when I was writing this. I’ve heard the rumor at my office about a guy who comes onto the property at night and steals pre-smoked cigarette butts from the smokestacks and then smokes them. The thought of which completely turns my stomach. But I realized the other night that this guy does indeed exist. I was working late and was tipped off that he was outside. I watched him go from smokestack to smokestack and pull out the cigarette butts he felt were most usable and then either smoke them or put them in a baggie (I assume for later use). I don’t smoke and realize that cigarettes aren’t cheap, but smoking pre-smoked butts! Come on! I thought – you must be kidding me. Of course we asked him to leave and he muttered something about needing nicotine before storming off. At least now we know who removed and threw away the knobs that held the two pieces of the smokestacks together. Frankly, I just can’t imagine needing a cigarette, or anything, that bad. However, I’m sure Neo Con Don will figure out a way to convince me that this guy is a liberal.
Have a good evening everyone…