My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Bottoms Up!

2005-08-16
Red and I have an afternoon routine and I wonder what the child rearing experts would think of her Pavlovian association of beer equaling nursing. Hereís how it goes:

I leave work at 4:00pm (summer hours, dontcha know), pick her up at the sitterís and take her home. Sheís already chuckling in the back seat in anticipation of her first real contact with the Holy Breast all day (as opposed to the constant, every-other-hour, contact throughout the night).

We come home and she follows me around, getting more and more anxious, as I collect a pillow, my book and thenÖ..I open the fridge. I reach in. I pull out a beer bottle. Now, sheís making a bizarre whimpering/laughing/whining noise: he Ha he he Ha heee Haaa! I open a drawer to pull out the bottle opener. I pry off the cap. Redís really in a state now, beside herself with glee to see Mommaís Holy Elixir* because sheís just moments from the Milk Motherload (yes, MOTHER-load). I place my book and beer within reach on the table next to the sofa. I sit down and arrange the pillow on my lap. I lift the now-fractious (uh-uh-uuuhhh-uuuhhh) young toddler. I disrobe so that a Holy Breast is exposed. I place child to said breast. I place bottle to my mouth. We both imbibe. Joy to the world, all is good.

Judge if you must but this is the extent of my alcohol consumption on any given day. I find it amusing that Red is as thrilled as I am to see that bottle emerge. You may feel differently but if you had to be in the same house with this child, especially following a frustrating day at work, youíd wonder how I can stop at one. Mainly, poverty. I just canít afford anymore than one beer a day.

The last time I bought a six-pack with Red in tow, I happened to fall into a conversation about her poor sleeping habits with the very nice large bald and generously-tattooed guy at the cash register. He said when his kids were babies, heíd give them a bit of whisky in their milk to help them sleep. I thanked him for his 1920ís-era advice (he wasnít any older than me). I donít think Iíll be following his advice but itís nice to know others Ė strangers -- care enough about my well-being to suggest I give my child liquor to calm her down. Donít think it hasnít occurred to me before. Itís just that I hate to waste perfectly good alcohol on a child. Iíd rather drink it myself (not that I could stomach whiskey, per se, but you know what Iím saying.)

And lest you think me a complete reprobate, as I write this, Red is sitting in her booster seat happily eating Oatios, cantaloupe and blueberries. Sheís a good eater and, like her sister, enjoys a good stalk or two of broccoli with her meal. Apart from the beer-laced milk she imbibes, she eats a good diet of homemade bread, fruits and vegetables and soymilk. And, no, thereís no whiskey in the soymilk. At least, not yet.

So, she's happy and healthy. And there's not much more you can ask for than that. Unless it's hours and hours of unbroken sleep. But, I'm not going to push my luck.

* I just looked up ďelixirĒ in the dictionary and itís described thusly: a substance held capable of prolonging life indefinitely, a cure-all, and the essential principle. Thatís it exactly.

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9:29 a.m. ::
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