I’ve never seen a John Wayne movie. I feel like I’m that generation who grew up hearing about John Wayne. Fathers would tell sons about The Duke and refer to him as the epitome of a man’s man. Eventually, father and son would stumble upon some classics on a lazy weekend afternoon or plan a guys night in with a few of dad’s favorites from Blockbuster. I never ended up there in my youth. Pops and I watched old concerts and live sporting events.
The point is, having never seen The Duke in action, Clint Eastwood is my John Wayne. I guess he’s a lot of people’s John Wayne, but Clint is my definition of a grizzled, older, classic 20th century tough dude. And while I haven’t seen his entire catalog pre-1997, his high-water mark for me is Gran Torino. “Get off my lawn” went from being a dopey dad yelling at neighborhood children and shaking his fist in the air to meaning “don’t fuck with me.”
So far, so good
Night three of fatherhood started out promising. We’d made it through the first two nights (the second being exceptionally brutal for Mom #warrior) and were in prime position to get a couple hours of consecutive sleep. Baby was cooperating. The wife said she’d take the 3AM bottle. It was 12:47AM. We hit the lights and the hay.
At 1:00AM, from the sanctity of my bedroom, I could clearly hear music from the house behind us. Mah was already sawing logs, but this racket was loud enough to wake her. She immediately looked to the bassinet, and Baby C was doing her job, snoozing away. No harm, no foul I guess.
I guess not.
Mom said this has been happening for weeks. I’m usually in deep REM sleep by midnight while she’s been pregnant and hasn’t had a full night sleep since pre-COVID. We decided to let this play out a bit. Perhaps there was a gathering inside, and a few guests wanted to smoke a butt on the patio while reminiscing about the summer of ’69 with Bryan Adams. Just a quick smoke dog and then back inside.
Four songs later, and we’d hit the Tom Petty portion of the playlist (not in a good way).
Luckily, sheer exhaustion of the day (or last 9 months) and comfort knowing Baby was sleeping took hold of mom. She dozed off. Lumberjack back at work.
However, papa bear wasn’t having it. Give them an inch, and next weekend it’ll be karaoke ’til dawn featuring Andrew Lloyd Weber’s greatest hits. Can’t have it. Won’t have it.
Gotta do what you gotta do
I stealthily crept around the bed to quickly peek on Baby (they make some seriously weird noises when they sleep; a topic for another day) before heading out back with my cell phone.
Officer Williams was covering the phones when I called the downtown police department. He was polite and friendly asking, “how can I help you?”.
“Can you hear that music,” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied. I think he was suspecting this may be the beginning of a crank call. I can’t imagine some of the nonsense these officers witness/endure on a Saturday night.
“That music isn’t coming from my house. I live on Dakota Ct. That sound is coming from one of the houses on the corner of Cherry St. and Plymouth Ave, catty corner from my backyard.” I felt like I was reporting coordinates for the first airstrike of the Shock and Awe campaign. I believed in the mission and was proud of my bravery in the face of overwhelming annoyance.
The police station is less than half a mile from my house, and officer Williams, sounding official, confirmed my report back to me. “Loud music coming from the back yard of a house in the vicinity of Cherry and Plymouth. All right, we’ll check it out.”
Veni, vidi, vici…or so I thought
Confident I had done the right thing for my home, safety, sanity and family, I walked back in the house.
At 1:32AM, the music stopped.
Victory claimed, house secured, and bottle prepped for the wife’s 3AM feeding, I retired to my chambers. I was successfully maintaining order in the realm, and I earned a little shut eye. The music was not going to keep me up. Not this night.
On the way back the bedroom, pride surging through my puffed chest, I didn’t see the dog bone in the middle of the hallway. We have hardwood floors, and my big toe yeeted that sucker into the doorjamb like a hockey puck off the crossbar.
I hear a loud whisper from inside the bedroom reminding me of our arrangement concerning disturbance of the infant’s slumber , ”you wake, you take.”
Spoiler, the baby waked. She also didn’t go back to sleep until dawn-ish, and neither did I.
Perhaps it was instant karma for shutting down the party or penance for raising hell in my youth that led to this impromptu all-nighter. Regardless, I hope the people now know what will and won’t stand for late-night parties in my Fatherhood.