Endless Needs

     I’ve often compared addicts to children and now that I have children of my own, the analogy has become all the more colorful (won’t say “nuanced” as it annoys the shit out of me) and appropriate. If you are a parent, then you will know exactly what I’m talking about… specifically the torture of, say, trying to go out with a 1-year old and a volatile 3.5 year old (at the same time).
     The torture begins at the mere mention that we have to go out to run errands, especially since toddler was only on his 2nd hour of Paw Patrol re-runs. “Awwww, Nooooo!!!! I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t…!!!!” “Come on, honey, you gotta get your clothes on… please stop running away… please stop kicking me incessantly… please stop punching me in the f’ing face…” – fresh diaper, baby clothes, socks, baby shoes, shirt, pants, socks, shoes, coats, hats, mittens, diaper bag freshly packed with extra diapers, wipes, cloths, snacks, sippies, toys, change of clothes. 
     Then you need to actually get in the truck and engage in the modern-day PC definition of child abuse to get your toddler strapped into his car seat. With two of them, not only do the endless needs weave back and forth, but they often become simultaneous, and that is when I could happily drive to the asylum and commit myself for what would be the equivalent of a Caribbean vacation. 
     Toddler sees that I have a Patriots hat on and immediately starts freaking out, ripping his winter hat off and hucking it at me, screaming at the top of his lungs that he wants his Patriots hat, which is, of course, back upstairs. Leave them in truck (felony), run to back door, unlock back door, run upstairs, unlock back kitchen door (take off shoes so wife doesn’t murder me for tracking in some mutated and no doubt lethal bacteria from the street) run upstairs to his room to grab his hat, run back down, put shoes back on, etc. etc. By the time I get back down, I’m sweating profusely, so I take off my Patriots hat, and now he doesn’t even want the fucking hat anymore, so I put my hat back on so he’ll want it again, but he’s already onto me and starts whining incessantly and then screaming like he’s possessed by a demon for absolutely no reason. 
     Having left the baby as well, her passie had long ago fallen out, so she was also in tears and screaming. I get out of truck and run around to open her door when maybe 20 things fall out – half-empty coffee cups (that open and spill all over me), all the toys I tried to distract her with that she’s thrown out of her seat, both of her passies (which fall into a pile of dirt and need to be cleaned ((upstairs again))), bills, napkins, you name it. 
     Finally, she gets her passie back and calms back down, but now toddler is screaming again that he’s hungry, so I pull out snack but he doesn’t freakin’ want crackers, he wants a freaking oat bar, which is the one snack I didn’t bring. I tell myself not to cave, but you see, nobody will shut the fuck up, so I justify running back upstairs for the sake of some potential, albeit momentary, peace and quiet so I don’t actually go insane. 
     Oat bar in mouth and we’re finally off… until the moment I pull out. Passie has been thrown again, oat bar has been dropped, and everybody starts screaming and whining all over again, with renewed vigor and demonic overtones. Plus toddler doesn’t like the music I put on… he wants Dave Matthews instead but can’t really pronounce it and I have no idea what the fuck he’s asking for and each time I say “What, honey?” he goes into a fit of rage/sadness/anxiety/not feeling heard blah, blah, blah…
     So… doesn’t that remind you of a fucking addict? The endless needs of an addict are living proof that my theory is correct. Addicts are simply children in adult bodies who have/are refusing to grow up, which of course means a) taking care of themselves, b) supporting themselves and c) not feeling comfortable 24/7. Oh and yes, you do have to wipe your own ass now. Sorry.
     Case closed. Recovery is simple. It’s called growing up. And if not, then we should at least suck our thumbs so people wanting to get into relationships with us can identify who we are before taking that masochistic plunge 😉

     P.S. About the J. Hari speech, he should talk to some parents. Do you know how many addicts were thoroughly loved and nourished and supported and still mutated themselves into junkies? Trust me, most of us are pathologically selfish and completely preoccupied with our comfort.

11 thoughts on “Endless Needs

  1. Better to just say no and mean it. If they are going to cry anyway, why kill yourself? I teach 4/5 year olds. My classroom motto is “You get what you get, and you don't mind a bit, and you never throw a fit!”…and a few years ago a precocious 4 year old added “And you don't kick the teacher!” which I thought was hilarious and appropriate, so I have been known to add that to my motto from time to time.

    You are absolutely spot on about addicts being big children. Unfortunately for them, they don't have that cuteness factor to go along with all their whining.

    Ps. You have your hands full. I miss those days!

  2. “modern-day PC definition of child abuse”
    too funny :))

    yes, I support your idea that addicts should suck their thumbs so we can identify them.

    It's easy to *not* get worked up and let the little ones scream and cry when they don't get what they want … as long as it's not your own child. Your own child seems to have a specific pitch to their voice that eats into the parent's brain, making it impossible to react calmly. I look back and think: why did I react like that? Now that they are all grown up, any whining just doesn't affect me anymore.

  3. Good to see you, Liz. You know what's also funny… I think I'm like sort of okay mentally and spiritually and then a couple of kids send me over the edge in a split second. Can't wait to find the time to meditate so much that I can get punched in the face and smile, but I think we both know that will never happen 😉

  4. Love your motto. I'm going to tattoo it to both of their forearms 😉 But seriously, that is great advice. My wife gives me all sorts of nonsense about how to talk to them, and I'm like “Hun, the kid is having an aneurism… there's no talking about feelings right now.” A firm, flat “No” will be my new thing. Great to see you, Lori. How is he doing?

  5. It is amazing, isn't it, how that pitch will pang through your entire body and saturate your brain, squeezing it like it's in a vice or a microwave or something 😉

    Great to see you, Yvonne. Perhaps we should lobby the treatment community to mandate the thumb thing should we fail to complete the program. I have no problem embarrassing myself on some poster with my thumb in my mouth if it will help spare a few lost souls.

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