My daughter, at age seven, is already learning how to game the system. For Lent this year, she is giving up “screaming at my mommy.” Such a carefully crafted sacrifice, while doing nothing to guide her towards civility, leaves me to bear, in full force, the vitriol of her displeasure. This is akin to me giving up “Tanqueray martinis with a twist of lemon” after stocking the house with Bombay Saphire and blue cheese stuffed olives.
Which Comes First
You are getting ready to prepare dinner for your family. Your spouse and the kids are at gymnastics class and will then be coming home in about an hour and a half. What comes first?
Do you put on some Eric Clapton so you can listen to it while mixing a martini or do you mix a martini so you can sip it while getting the Eric Clapton cued up?
oh, and then make dinner.
What Happens in Vegas…
…so my wife and I had a weekend jaunt to Las Vegas – our first weekend away from the kids in almost seven years (since our oldest was born). While there, we went out for long walks, checking out shows, restaurants, etc. At one point, we had a discussion about whether or not to hit a cocktail lounge or to just walk, talk, and explore. We chose the latter, as it was so refreshing to just be together and joke around as we used to.
Then we came home. The first night back, our kids were out of control – sleep-deprived and irritated that we tore them away from the treats, movies, late nights they enjoyed playing with Grandma, Auntie, and their cousins. As the tantrums continued during the dinner-making process, I open a bottle of wine and my wife asks me to make her a Manhattan. I had to chuckle thinking that for use, the one thing that happened in Vegas and stayed in Vegas was “temperance.”
Why is alcohol called “empty calories?” Sometimes is the most fulfilling part of my day.
The Date Matinee
Early into into parenting my wife and I learned an important fact: While we have the right stay out as late as we want to, our kids don’t give a shit how late we stayed up and will wake up at their normal time the next morning.
We learned that painful lesson only once. After that, we decided that it wasn’t worth it, at least until our kids were old enough to head downstairs, get some cereal, and plug themselves into some PBS until Mommy and Daddy were ready to face the world again. Our kids are now 6, 4, and 3, and we’re still waiting. It’s okay, though. My wife and I learned to adapt.
Perhaps the best adaptation to our new life was something we call “The Date Matinee.” It’s sort of like date night, only it occurs significantly earlier in the day. We’d have a babysitter come over at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. then we’d head out to the local mall/movie theater. After parking the car, we’d hit happy hour at one of the restaurants for dinner and drinks. We didn’t have to worry about driving since we’d be walking to the movie theater to watch the early showing of the movie. When all was said and done, we’d head back home and relieve the sitter at 7pm. Per our instructions, the sitter would have the kids fed, bathed, and teeth brushed by this time. We could then slip into our jammies and read books to the kids to finish the night time ritual.
Who could argue with it – my wife and I got some time out alone, we got to put our kids to bed AND as an added bonus, we saved money on all the happy hour and early bird specials. Perfect for a young family like ours!
One Great Reason
I love my kids – they give me reason to drink.
At our house, come 5pm every night is Friday night; unfortunately, come 6am every morning is Monday morning.
I’ve found that a successful bedtime hinges upon rituals. Kids who know and understand what’s about to happen are much more at ease and co-operative.
For the babies, it’s a bottle of milk and some snuggling in the rocking chair. For the older kids, reading books and brushing teeth. For Daddy, it’s a martini and a good cry.
Stu’s Diet Breakthrough
Hey Parents, here’s a little tip to help shed those unwanted pounds…
When I’m getting ready to cook dinner and I fix myself a cocktail, I purposely take the liquor bottle out of the kitchen and put it away in another room where we keep the liquor. You won’t believe how this little habit has helped drop the weight.
I now get a great cardio workout walking back and forth from the kitchen to the other room where we keep the liquor.
Hello Tom, Goodbye Kids
…made a Tom Collins with homemade Gomme Syrup, carbonated water, lemon juice, and Tanqueray Rangpur gin.
Stay tuned for my new movie, “Honey, I’m Completely Oblivious to the Kids”