One of my favorite movies from childhood was the 1991 blockbuster hit City Slickers. You’ve probably seen it, so I won’t bore you with the plot summary, but the screenplay’s writers were definitely onto something with the Barry and Ira Shalowitz characters, a pair of adventure-seeking brothers who owned an ice cream empire and one of whom, purportedly, could name the “perfect” ice cream flavor to pair with any possible meal.
The whole idea is ridiculous, of course, as the perfectly-paired ice cream flavor is a 1,000% subjective talent, but actor Josh Mostel’s Barry Shalowitz bravely soldiered on in the face of such adverse conditions as being asked to name the perfect ice cream flavor for sautéed sea bass.
As I’m familiar with both parenting and drinking, I propose, a la Barry Shalowitz, to name the perfect cocktail to go with any parenting situation. I dare you to contradict me. Enjoy.
Bringing Home the Newborn Baby…The White Russian. It’s practically milk, so that’s good, right? With a little Kahlua and vodka thrown in?
Letting Junior Cry It Out for the First Time…Bourbon and Coke. You will NOT, under any circumstances, give in on this. You have to sleep, for goodness’ sake. There is a camera’d/wired-for-sound baby monitor…right…there. Junior will be fine. Will it suck to listen to his heart-wrenching screams for 45 minutes? Sure. Will a glass of Jim Beam and Coke perhaps take you back to college football games and make you believe the screaming is for a first down or tackle for a loss? Sure.
Teething…Whiskey. This is pretty self-explanatory. If you ask Granny, it’s for the baby. If you ask the parents, well, be prepared to wrestle the half-empty bottle from their nerve-fried shaking hands. I grew up right down the road from the Jack Daniels’ distillery, so I’m a bit partial to JD. But the main thing is that you don’t want kids (in pain from/screaming about) teething longer than necessary…that would be the real tragedy.
A Huge Pile of Laundry…Red Wine. Ever noticed that huge pile of laundry looming in the laundry room at the end of the day? It’s the job that’s never finished. Have some vino while you sort, fold, and pair the socks. But be careful about spills. Red wine stains on freshly clean laundry would be unholy punishment.
Post-Target Tantrum…Beer. Any beer, your choice. You may need three. One for each judgmental old lady who gave you the stink eye while your kid lost it in the home goods section. In fact, have an extra for that mom who had four kids who were pretty good considering they outnumbered their mom 4-1 and only one melted down briefly. You can drink one for her, too.
My Kid Is Hosting a Birthday Slumber Party…Sleeping Pill. This is happening later in the summer for me. I’m pretty sure that swallowing a Tylenol PM with a chaser of just about anything will ensure that I sleep, even if the girls don’t. Right? (I’m so nerdy-rated-PG that I can’t even fathom figuring out how or whom to ask for a stronger sleep med. Feel free to make fun.)
Any Girls’ Night Out During Motherhood...White Wine.You know that night out you’ve been dreaming about? The one where you and your girls have on your new cutest post-kid-married-mom-on-a-wild-night clothes, have a sophisticated meal that doesn’t involve chicken nuggets, get hyped up to dance all night, and end up with two awkward girl-jams on the floor before you’re all yawning? White wine is the answer. I recently saw a shirt that I need that said: “Trust me, you can dance. –wine.” Yes, ma’am. I’ll have another.
I’m happily open for suggestions on any parenting situation cocktails. And I have a few situations that I just can’t quite match. If you have the right Barry-Shalowitz-esque cocktail for “my kid flooded the toilet three times today,” “I’m not judging the who-can-scream-louder contest,” or “why do my kids only quote me when I have road rage,” please let me know. Thanks, y’all.