I'm not just talking about wine. There are so many other alcoholic beverages that have aided in my journey through motherhood thus far. I won't shout them out individually here, but any of my food-related Pinterest boards will dispel any potential rumors that I don't drink. Now, before you place that phone call to child protective services, no one in this house is falling down drunk, waking up on the bathroom floor. Parenting can be rough, but parenting with a hangover has got to be as good an idea as hitting yourself in the face repeatedly with a sledgehammer. And let's face it...at 35, three glasses of anything and I am way more than halfway to drunk.
Based on this...errr..."research", I have developed a both valid and reliable theory around drinking's impact on the ability to effectively parent. Get ready...It's very scientific. PARENTS NEED ALCOHOL. And why do we need to drink? I know...kind of a stupid question. I am 100% confident that any clinical trial would uncover that having at least one drink increases patience significantly, which is usually the primary attribute standing between said parent and a nervous breakdown. Do we want more than one? God, yes. These children do eventually go to sleep. More drinks then.
In the interest of keeping this post to a reasonable length, here are just a few reasons that I drink:
1. Because bedtime is brutal. I know. I only have one child. How brutal can it be? It's a fair challenge. To be honest, I have no flipping idea how people put two or more children to bed all in the same night. But, trust me, I have created my own little circle of bedtime hell with the one child I have. And let me be clear...it's JUST ME. When it's daddy's turn to put down, he takes Dallas upstairs at the usual 7:30pm and skips down the stairs like Mary f&$@ing Poppins no later than 8:15pm. Cake walk. On the other hand, mommy bedtime consists of 5-6 books, 1-2 puzzles, throwing Mickey Mouse back and forth, one more book, turning off the light, turning on the projector and ocean sounds, 10 minutes of fussing on the floor because we turned off the lights, laying together semi-calmly on the floor for ten more minutes, moving to the rocking chair for 5 minutes (I'm usually ordered to sing a song from the Frozen catalog), and finally moving Dallas to his crib. I then lie down on his floor until he falls asleep. About 20 mins later, I attempt to quietly sneak out. That is, if I don't accidentally trip over the stack of books we just read and get myself made or fall asleep on his floor altogether. It's a lot of f&$@ing steps. By the time I make it downstairs clean, I'm pretty damn sure I've earned a drink.
2. Because my child is 2. As sweet and delicious as Dallas is, there are days when his toddler antics take me to the absolute brink of insanity. Again, not a unicorn. You're all with me. It's an exhausting combination of boundless energy and stubborn crazy. But knowing there is a margarita at the end of this tunnel gives me the strength I need to push through any birthday party tantrum or see-saw meltdown. There's also the doing everything "on my own," as Dallas likes to say...constantly. Zipping his coat, buckling his car seat, taking off his diaper, putting on his pants, etc. The list just grows. And while the idea of future self-sufficiency is a beautiful notion, I never imagined how excruciating it could be to watch a toddler put on his own socks. Drink up.
3. Because the dog is needy. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Frazier. Every time I turn around, there you are...needing things. You need to go outside. You need to come back inside. Then you need to go back out again because you didn't poop the first time. You're crazy loud going up and down the stairs. You whine incessantly until we give you Dallas's leftovers. We love you, Frazier, but if you block the cable box one more time, you might need to find a new home.
4. Because Olivia Pope. How much do I really need to say here? If you aren't watching Scandal, please reevaluate your life and priorities. And then either get your DVR situation together or prepare to hunker down for Thursday night goodness at 9pm. I do both. Olivia Pope drinks lots of good wine. She doesn't have children, but is involved in a tangled love affair with the President. It's basically the same thing.
So yes, there are a lot of reasons to drink. This is by no means an exhaustive list. My sister-in-law and I could co-author an entire book on the subject. Hmmm... We should probably get to work on that. So between now and our book tour, enjoy some cocktails. Our children will thank us...someday.