Two nights ago at bedtime, I settled in to read the boys a few pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I have been reading it to them since July. We are on page 510. Only 380 pages to go. Can you sense my enthusiasm?
I settled into the armchair by their beds to start back in where I had left off, using my best Nymphadora Tonks voice (for which I draw most of my inspiration from Jennifer Saunders on AbFab). But then Seamus piped up:
“Mommy. Why do you always drink a beer?”
Okay, coupla things:
- Yes, I had a beer nearby as I read. But it was like 8:15.
- I don’t ALWAYS drink beer. First graders are way too literal. If I overimbibe anything, it’s coffee.
- I was thisclose to being over the bedtime finish line. Maggie was already asleep. Why not kick back with a Mich Ultra while I read aloud?
- What the hell is wrong with me? Swigging beer in front of my kids? What, couldn’t I wait another fifteen minutes? Nice work, Mom.
I’m mostly sticking with number four. If one of my kids thinks I “always” drink beer, then I am not happy about that.
Beer for mothers didn’t always have such a bad rap. My 92-year-old grandmother always insisted I work more Guinness into my diet while my babies were nursing. “It’s good for the milk,” she’d say, and she was a NURSE all her life, so who was I to argue with an elder who was also a health-care professional?
“A case of Bratz Beer means much to the young mother, and obviously baby participates in its benefits.” Obviously! They’re both totally chillin’ and plump, nourished by the malt, appetized and stimlated by the hops. Right?
However, I have not nursed a child since 2008, and while my hard is kinda hard right now, my need for a “pick up” is perhaps not quite so medically indicated.
And the cliché of the carefree wine-swilling soccer mom has gotten less funny over the last few years, especially since Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, who literally wrote the book on the subject, became sober and started hosting Don’t Get Drunk Fridays on her blog. One would certainly have to admit that it wouldn’t be worse for your kids not to see you drink, ever. Hmm.
Lastly, there’s Lent, which sort of sneaked up on me yesterday. I am not the most practicing of Catholics, but I love Lent and the opportunity it gives to examine something that I love too well. In past Lents, I’ve given up Facebook, gossiping, clothes shopping, chocolate, and yelling. I did great with everything except the gossiping and the yelling. This year for Lent, I’m giving up my bedtime-celebratory cocktail. I might still have a glass of wine out of the house; I won’t have one at home, in front of my kids or not. I think this will be a little bit tougher than the chocolate. On the other hand, that’s why I’m doing it.
(vintage Bratz ad, original source unknown. But as far as I can tell it’s real. I’ll ask my grandmother if she remembers Bratz Beer.)
Do you make it a point not to drink in front of your kids? What are you giving up for Lent?