If you’re like me you love a good party. I think it was Buddha, or Charlie Sheen who once said, “Have a good time, all the time.” I subscribe to that philosophy as well. Christmas, Yom Kippur, Flag Day, 4/20, Kwanza, Take Your Daughter to Work Day, it’s all ripe for getting down. And now that you’re a new father, your children have replaced any social life you used to have with a host of birthday parties and other tedious crap meant to approximate some portion of the awesome life you used to lead.
I like my children, but I LOVE them even more after a few beers. This is the true secret to raising children. DRINK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Not so much that you start telling them that their mother is a controlling, soul-crushing bitch or anything nasty like that. No, just enough to keep that jolly veneer on your face as you go to and fro in your harried day. Don’t you know why Santa’s so happy? Yup, he’s shit-faced. Keep that in mind the next time your little treasure pisses on your leg. And in the meantime, a few more simple thoughts on drinking with your children.
GET DRUNK AT A CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY PARTY WITHOUT GETTING CAUGHT
If you’re not a father I can’t describe the pain of going to another child’s birthday party. Think back to the worst time you ever had, like testicular cancer or surviving the Holocaust, and it still doesn’t hold a candle, I promise. It’s fine if it’s your own child’s birthday, because by rule of thumb anything your child does is wonderful and special. That does not mean I should give the remotest shit about your children. The key to surviving such affairs: alcohol. Yes, friends, the old social lubricant can grease even the most special of Dora-themed birthday extravaganzas. Enough vodka and I could convince myself that your wife is pretty hot, too. And believe me, after three kids she doesn’t look so hot in Spandex anymore. Anyway. The key is not to let anybody see you drinking because that would be creepy. Rather, bring a flask. At most of these things they’ll have a selection of juice boxes. Generally, if memory serves me, it’s apple, cranberry and grape. Take all three and pop a straw into each of them and pretend that your child couldn’t make up his mind as to which one he wanted. Which is totally plausible because those little fuckers waste food better than a Sudanese warlord. Then casually excuse yourself to dispose of the opened juice boxes. Go in the bathroom, fill your cup with enough vodka to make Mel Gibson’s eyes water and add equal parts apple to cranberry to blueberry by squirting the straw into your cup. If you spill on your pants you can always blame it on your kids. And there you go. Drink up, Johnny. Because this your life now—hiding in a bathroom, drinking warm vodka mixed with organic grape juice.
NEVER INVITE YOUR SINGLE FRIENDS TO YOUR CHILD’S BIRTHDAY
Now, when it comes to your own child’s birthday the gloves can come off a bit. In my home it’s perfectly acceptable and expected that copious amounts of alcohol will be served during the party. And no children’s music will be played either. It sucks. Parents who say they like it are either lying or should be avoided because they are child molesters. Make no mistake, this is a party—with children. And before you think I’m some evil cunt, there’s cake and presents and organic snacks and shit for the kids. But there will be booze, and lots of it. The key here though is to not mix your parent friends with your single friends. Under no circumstances should you ever invite your single friends to a child’s birthday party. It will go wrong for all sorts of reasons. Now, before you go and say, “Well, I still party and I have a family,” I’m not talking about having a few pops and maybe a joint. It’s the real freaks you want to avoid inviting—you know, morning drinkers, grown men who sweat in the winter and sob mid conversation. Maybe you have a friend who looks like a 300-pound biker and has a penchant for doing drugs at your dining room table. He should not be invited. Nor should your buddy who has come straight from an after-hours club to your house, mainly because he’s too tired to get on the subway. Definitely not someone you want around the children. And maybe, just maybe, he passes out in your yard and the children poke him with sticks. And he’s got a heavy rasp to his breathing like he might just stop at any moment. That’s not cool either. You get the point. I wish I did. We have trouble keeping other parent friends. My wife clearly explained the reason: “It’s you.” I find me quite charming.
TAKING YOUR CHILD TO A BAR
The upside to the Socialist do-gooder liberals who prevent me from smoking like a condemned convict inside the bar of my choice because of “health reasons” is that these spaces are now suddenly deemed kid-friendly. The key is to only bring in newborns and babies. Nobody wants to see your bratty kids running around (not even you). People go to bars to escape the world. Thus, quietly wheel in your stroller; head to the back of the bar and set up shop. If the bar is empty and the bartender is cool you might be able to get away with putting the car seat on top of the bar. Make sure to go during the day before happy hour. After all, parenting under the influence might freak other customers out. But if you’re in there at noon while your little poopy diaper is napping it’s just you and the other Deadbeats so, really, who’s to judge?
DRINKING AT THE PARK
This is a tough one. The park has its own sociological rules, and they are run by a coterie of moms who will eye you suspiciously the moment you enter its gates. Drink at your own peril here, or you will be greeted by the whispers and stares of a gang of jackals who would tear you apart limb by limb if they could stop talking about themselves for five minutes. Avoid this by carrying a large Starbucks container. I think they call it a “Venti.” I would firebomb the fucking place if I could but if you want to drink in the park you need a Starbucks cup. They all have them. When you get your Mocha Cinnamon Vagina Latte just slip into the men’s room and pour in a shot of Irish whiskey, and away you go.
Besides sharing the joy of sports with your offspring, which I happen to find overrated, the best part of the stadium is the ability to drink in the company of your children and not have to worry about them wandering off. The key here is to overload them with every pretzel, cotton candy and giant turkey leg that the vendors swing their way. Stuff them into a veritable food coma, then proceed to make a nuisance out of yourself—what you really came to the game for, before the wife thought it would be nice to bring the kids along. “But, honey, my heckling is famous, the team needs me.” Sure they do, sport. I bet they also like it when you take your shirt off. The beauty here is that small children don’t get searched by security. So your Thermos of Irish coffee fits nicely under his tiny hooded sweatshirt. Careful not to spill; it burns. And if you’re bringing even smaller children, the stroller provides a golden opportunity to wheel an entire bar with you. Do us all a favor, though: walk or take the bus or train.
There is nothing worse than being hungover with a child. First of all, unless they know you have a drinking problem they have no idea that you have a hangover, nor do they care if “Daddy has a headache.” They want to go to the park and they want to go now. There is no compassion from them at 6 a.m. when you went to bed three hours ago after draining most of a bottle of Jameson dry, telling your friends, “Whatever man, I’m my own person, I can go all night.” Sure, champ. Bet that diaper smells good right about now. There’s very little to help you here. These mornings require pure brute strength and cunning. First things first: TV on. And they can watch whatever the fuck they want for as long as they want. Now for you. Caffeine is key but so is a product called Alka-Seltzer XS. Shit works like a wonder drug. Dissolve said tablet in a glass of Red Bull. Drink it down. The rest of the day you will want to spend at someone else’s house. Find that one friend who is Super Dad who either has a pool, a big-ass TV or, even better, a trampoline. He will spend most of the day not only interacting with his kids, but yours as well. You should then lie down on the grass and occasionally sit up to compliment your children. When it comes to dinner, feed them fast food. And as the day winds down, change the clocks so they think it’s their bedtime. I’ve gone as far as two hours early and found that it works. Then congrats! Champ, you’ve made it.