Drink Pairings For Imperfect Parenting
Have kids…will drink. I know there are some of you out there that manage to get through parenthood without drinking. God bless your souls! I wish I had your super human strength, but alas, I do not. The upside though is that I get to share with you my drink pairing expertise!
My best friend told me when I was on the phone with her having a mild
panic attack in the baby section of Target after I found out that I was pregnant with my son. First she said, “What? What in the world are you doing in the baby section? Get out of there fast! That’s too much too fast!” Then she told me to just accept the fact that I was gonna screw my kid up somehow. “We all will as parents”, she said.“We are only human, and we can do our best, but know that we will screw them up a little. That’s just life.” This is my best friend. She has three kids ranging from 11-15 and she keeps me grounded in reality as a mother and as a woman. She reminds me to laugh at my mom fails and to see the bigger picture. Don’t sweat the small stuff and for god’s sake…give yourself a break!
Without further ado: here is your guide to Drink Pairing For Imperfect Parenting.
NEWBORN: CORONA WITH LIME
Let’s start by acknowledging that parents of newborns are like the walking dead. You don’t know if it’s day or night. You don’t know if it’s Monday or Friday or when the last time was that you bathed. What you do know is that you aren’t sure if you will ever be able to sleep or function normally. You know that there is probably spit up somewhere on your clothing. OH…and that this little bundle of non-sleeping joy is making you feel like you may be mentally insane. SO…at this stage it is best to stick to drinking a Corona with lime for two reasons. 1- too much alcohol content will put you straight to sleep. 2- The Corona slogan is Find Your Beach; insinuating that drinking it sweeps your mind to a beach somewhere in your dreams. ENOUGH SAID.
Teething happens at different times for every baby and seems to go on forever. When my son first started teething, at four months, we found ourselves in some kind of strange hell filled with drool, baby Tylenol, and cold chew toys (which he hated). My mother-in-law said, “Just rub a little whiskey on those gums. That’s what we used to do. Worked like a charm.” I plead the fifth on whether or not we tried it. But let the record show that, at this stage, I recommend whiskey.
TODDLER: VODKA TONIC/MARTINI
At this point he/she is terrorizing things. You remember the baby stage where you used to take a shower with him in the bouncy seat and he would stay in the bouncy seat. Now, you can’t remember
when you last showered, but who cares because your house looks like it was hit by a tornado or there was an earthquake, wait...was there an earthquake? Of course you can't remember. You have a toddler! You spend the day in the futile effort of picking up things that are going to end up right back where they were….on the floor. Arguing with a tiny human that you are realizing is more like you than you care to admit. You also have now realized, in that rare spare moment you have to look in the mirror, that OH…I had a baby! My body is not the same; hence the Vodka Tonic. It’s low in calories, but still gets the job done. You can go for a
Martini with olive when you want to feel like the James Bond of parents. I mean, you may not be dodging bullets, but dodging a yogurt-slinging toddler has to count for something!
ELEMENTARY: WHITE WINE
Ok…here’s the deal. They can really talk now…and understand things. This is the age where they still
like you, so take advantage. You don’t need to drink the hard stuff, but they also do sex ed during
this phase so Lord knows you’re gonna need a drink. I would recommend red wine, but you also don’t want to have to answer the question, “Mommy, why do your lips look like that??” Also, white wine is less conspicuous at events, like
dance competitions /soccer games etc. Yes…I see you dance/soccer moms…I know what’s in that cup!
MIDDLE SCHOOL: COFFEE WITH LIQUEUR
Holy puberty! There’s this shift that happens around twelve years old where your baby turns into this heinous monster half of the time. It’s unprovoked and unpredictable and worst of all, you can’t reason with this monster. There was a mom of one of my dancers years back that came out of the dressing room at a competition looking like she’d seen a ghost. “Are you ok?” I said. She put her back against the wall and just slid down on to the floor as she said, “I don’t know that girl. Where’s my daughter? I don’t think I’m gonna make it.” She was eerily calm. I walked into the dressing room to find her twelve year old daughter hysterical because she had put her trunks on before her tights. She was crying and saying, "I don’t even know if I can go on! How can I even make it through this day? I hate these tights! I hate everyone!” Yep…puberty, the necessary evil. Therefore, I say coffee to keep you going and liqueur of your choice, Baileys/Kaluha/RumChata, whatever you fancy to take the edge off. Plus, conceals well in a coffee mug. Yes moms, I know what’s in your coffee mug and I don’t judge you in the slightest. Side note: I'm happy to report that this young woman emerged from her puberty, alien self and graduated High School this year a stable young woman who loves her mom!
HIGH SCHOOL: BOXED WINE
Oh High School, that magical time in a kid’s life where they think they know everything. The time when they are completely focused on making sure that they are getting great grades and setting themselves up for a successful adult life and always happy to hear your advice because they value your option and input so much. Wait…or are they completely focused on Snapchat and whom they’re going to prom with and you know nothing? Either way you have a child who is an angel and you have to grapple with the fact that your angel baby is growing up and about to spread their wings and fly, or you have the opposite side of the coin and everyday is a new battle and you can’t wait for them to spread their wings and fly right out. No matter what, it’s a treacherous back and forth between finding their independence,
letting go and needing you more than ever, but not wanting to admit it. Boxed wine. Don’t discriminate, just drink. SHHHH…I know you are better than the boxed wine. That’s neither here nor there right now, just trust me, you are going to want something on tap. Plus, if it's good enough for Ellen and Michelle Obama then.....
COLLEGE: REAL WINE (but not the expensive stuff)
You’ve done it! They are adulting (sort of). You can go back to pre-child days of drinking (sort of). The
thing is, now you’re paying for college, so drink normal people wine, but just don’t get too crazy.
AFTER COLLEGE: CHAMPAGNE
Well…this one’s simple. They owe you, so have them take you to dinner and order the expensive champagne!
MULTIPLE CHILDREN: GET CREATIVE
I realize that some of you are saying, “Wait, I have more than one child at more than one of these
stages. What do I do?" Calm down…I didn’t forget about you. Here’s the deal; you are gonna have to get creative. You can either drink from both categories or you can opt to use one of these super classy apparatuses
that I found online to suit your situation. Yes...I'm
willing to bet that the innovator othese incredibly classy drinking devices definitely had multiple children. You could say, "That's crazy!" I would say, "Is it? Or is it just being overachiever?"
In conclusion, no matter what stage of parenting that you are in, take solace in the fact that you are not alone in your struggles; that we are ALL imperfect parents and also that there is a drink to suit your needs. Cheers to our kids and cheers to being a parent…the BEST job on earth!