I mentioned in my last post that wine is an essential survival tool in my life and around my house. And it doesn’t just pertain to parenting, a la Reasons Mommy Drinks, although Lyranda Martin-Stevens and Fiona Stevenson were absolutely on to something there. Perhaps my threshold for the ridiculous is lower than the average person, but there are about 7 million times per day where I think to myself, “Man, I could use a glass of wine right now.” From 7 AM until I lay my head on the pillow at night — sometimes even beyond then — I feel like I am being constantly bombarded by excuses to self-medicate with adult grape juice.
Here are six examples of things that drove me to pour a glass this week alone:
1. When My Husband Uses TV as a Bargaining Chip with Our Son
Whoever came up with the “no screen time before two” rule has clearly never had to change a diaper on a screaming, flailing baby while an 8-lb Shih Tzu barks maniacally in the background and an overtired, hungry toddler simultaneously complains about their shirt “CHOKING” them, slapping the other 10-lb Shih Tzu in the ear and repeatedly asking for “MORE JUICE PLEASE.”
I am all about TV serving as a back-up parent when things get hairy. Cookie Monster and Daniel Tiger can feed, bathe and discipline my kids any time they want, as far as I’m concerned.
On the other hand, my husband, Tim, while not anti-TV, is perhaps a little more conservative about the Evil Box than I am. And, knowing our older son, James’, appreciation for a good marathon TV sesh, he often uses this as a negotiating tool when James isn’t doing what we would like him to do. For example, “James, you can watch your show if you finish your chicken nugget.”Or, “James, no show until you clean up your toys.”
Since Tim is, at this point, more of the disciplinarian of the family than I am (I imagine this will change during the teenage years), I am generally okay with this approach (actually, I’m totally not). For the most part, it works. But on those days where I am quite literally at my wits end with the noise and the touching and the mess and the “HE’S NOT SHARING!!!” I don’t care what the scenario is or what life lesson is attached to it. Mama needs TV.
The other night, during bathtime after a particularly trying day, I overheard the following exchange:
Tim: “James, pull the plug, please. It’s time to get out.”
James: “No. I’m just working on something.”
Tim: “James. Plug. Now.”
James: “No. In a minute. I’m busy.”
Tim: “Ok, you can play for five more minutes, but then no show.”
James: “…..” [continues playing]
In fairness, Tim gave him a choice — stay in the bath longer or watch a show. And, not fully comprehending the true meaning of “consequence,” JAMES CHOSE BATH.
Since I know my husband is not a man of idle threats, I panicked. It was 6 PM and there was going to be no TV.
I could not get the bottle of wine open fast enough.
2. When I get “constructive feedback” at work
I like to think of myself as pretty sturdy when it comes to hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly about my work performance. A firm believer in the philosophy that you can’t grow as a professional (or an individual) if you’re not at least a little bit uncomfortable, I try not to shy away from practical, unemotionally-delivered criticism. But as someone who also puts a lot of heart and soul into their job, I suppose there is an honest expectation that feedback be fair and balanced. A little bit of positive evens out the little bit of negative, right? It’s called “constructive” for a reason, isn’t it? So when I send out surveys about my performance and get reviews like this, I want a drink.
I’d like to point out that, in addition to “Yes,” “Somewhat” was also an option. And this survey respondent didn’t select it.
3. The unbalanced dishwasher situation
Can someone please make a dishwasher with two top sections? I don’t know if our family consumes a disproportionate amount of liquid or what, but this makes me want to pick a chair up over my head and throw it at someone. What are you supposed to do here? Run it? Isn’t there a drought??
So I save water the best way I know how — I drink wine.
4. Shopping and cooking for this particular family
We spend a LOT on groceries. As in we high five each other if we can get it below $250 per week for a family of four. Keep in mind that one out of these four is a baby who still hasn’t really learned to eat actual food yet, and another one, as I mentioned before, lives on, like, yogurt. Sometimes cheerios and the occasional chicken nugget, but mostly just yogurt. Not even Fage. The cheap kind. AND we shop at a place called “WinCo.” It’s a store with a lot of bulk products and discounts and absolutely nothing like Whole Foods. And it sells things like this:
What even is this? No really. WHAT IS THIS? I drink because I shop at a store that sells super cheap “chub” and I feel compelled to buy it despite having no idea what it actually is and whether or not it will give me food poisoning. They don’t even bag your groceries for you, which makes me want to hand whoever made that decision our Baby Bjorn — with our baby in it — and ask THEM to try to bag $250 worth of groceries while also trying to figure out where in the 100,000 square foot building their toddler disappeared to.
5. This situation
For anyone wondering what this is, it’s an empty box of baby butt wipes. Right next to a poo-filled diaper. Not featured: screaming baby wondering why his mother is stopping to snap a photo with poo covered hands, instead of dealing with his bum. All in the name of a good blog post, right? Right??
I drink because this is a regular occurrence. And even though this is not the first time I’ve found myself elbow deep in baby poop before realizing the box of wipes hadn’t been refilled, I somehow never think to check before diving in. And so on top of the fecal explosion, I drink because I am mad at myself. Often.
6. The fact that our house won’t look like an adult house FOR A VERY LONG TIME
Instead, it looks like it is owned by people under the age of four, which it pretty much is. Nothing looks clean, nothing looks sophisticated, and things like this happen regularly:
That’s a kiddie table, inexplicably on top of our adult table. Granted it has some freshly painted artwork on it, but still. WTF.
Even the most adult-y areas of our house have been invaded. No more cuddling up in front of the cozy fireplace. No. This area is now reserved for the massive of collection of assorted items I shake at my 11-month-old in hopes of distracting him long enough to go open a bottle of wine. Oh, and I’m sorry, James, you want your marker collection to be salmonella free? Well then maybe we shouldn’t store it right next to where I cut the 80 lbs of raw chicken your father cooks and eats each week, mkay?
This barely scratches the surface, my friends. In fact, I may very well make this a weekly feature. Let me drink on it…