October 15, 2012

Drunk vs. Toddler

I never knew my job as a bartender was preparing me for motherhood...until Daughter reached toddlerhood.

There are far too many similarities between a drunk adult and a toddler!

  1. They both speak unintelligible gibberish and expect you to understand it.  There are made up words in drunk language and in toddler language and if you ask either what they're trying to say, they get mad at you that you even asked! Cuz obviously, "mumble jumble ali baba" meant I need another drink, to toddler and drunk person!
  2. They're both incredibly well versed in tantrum throwing.  Tell a toddler they can't have something they want and step back.  Tell a drunk person they're cut off...ditto!  I have actually told a cut off customer or two that they were "throwing a tantrum a two year old would be proud of!"
  3. They both can give you 101 reasons that you should give them what they want.  And when they give you these reasons, they are very sure that they are very convincing reasons even though 100 of them are said in the made up language.
  4. After the convincing reasons are not convincing enough, then come the threats.  The threats themselves are differing, drunk person threatens to never come there again and toddler threatens to scream and wake up her brother but threats nonetheless.  Stomping and yelling go hand in hand at this point too.
  5. Sometimes the only response that can work with either is, "Because I said so!"  Whether the question is, "Why can't I have another drink?" or "Why can't I eat candy for lunch?"  
  6. The reasoning of "Because I said so!" is usually again met with the tantrum throwing, stomping and threatening but this is usually the point that the bartender/parent has stopped paying any bit of attention to the drunk person/toddler.
  7. Putting on a smiling face and speaking in a calm voice in the face of the tantrum thrower is usually met by anger from either too because they were looking for you to respond with yelling of your own and worry over the threat.
  8. When you tell drunk person/toddler that it's time to go, the behavior is the same too.  The tantrum throwing, yelling, and threatening continue usually followed by forceful removal.
  9. And the best thing you can do for either sometimes is find them a safe, warm place to pass out and hope they wake up in a better mood!   
  10. It's usually this point where the bartender/parent goes and has a drink for themselves!
I guess I should go and thank all the people I cut off over the years for teaching me how to be a parent but that probably won't happen...

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