I think that I have truly embraced this fatherhood thing. Of course, everyone has their doubts, but not so much me. I’m a pretty cocky guy on occasion and was sure that my common sense would win the day when it came to parenting. For example, I’m not going to take a baby to a rated R movie showing at midnight nor do I plan to allow my daughter to date—ever. So common sense wins again, right? The first year of my daughter’s life has ever so greatly humbled me, much to the pleasure of some family members. They are dying to say “I told you so”, you can see it in their beady little eyes. Communists, I am surrounded by communists. However, I’m sure I do deserve some humble pie.
The case in point. The hossman family ventured out for a nice evening of celebration for one of our friends. Our daughter was big hit as she was nothing but smiles and laughs. She didn’t scream, didn’t puke on anyone, and only a few times did she grab some ice and spit it back to where she got it. I decided that it was in everyone’s best interest not to mention it at the time. As our daughter is only a year old, the days of staying out until 1 am are long gone. Our goal was to be back at the home at 8pm, which is the parenthood version of “out all night”. As a result, we hit the restaurant a little bit earlier than everyone else. Nice place, plenty of balloons to keep the squirt occupied, and some light weight booze for mom.
Every parent knows that you have a “dinner ritual” when it comes to your young ‘uns. My wife and I are team Monica when it comes to this. We have duties, chores, rules that mesh in a way that looks like a finely tuned ballet of baby puke and cheesy poofs. One of my jobs this night was to handle the water and the sippie cup. Easy enough? Sure, no problem, I got this. The waitress, who we always leave a big tip for considering that we leave a path of destruction comparative to a nuclear blast of mushed hash browns, arrives at our table. She brings three waters. I thought she was very prompt and already see myself giving her a 20 buck tip.
I undo the top to my waters child proof glass, but when she is determined, she can wreck that slogan. I often wander if I should market her as a tester of child toys, so she can destroy toys as well as careers. I take a look at the three water glasses and notice that 2 of them have lemon in them. I decide to go sans lemon, thinking that she won’t like the bitter taste but lets be honest, lemon doesn’t do anything for water except making you think you are getting a 5 dollar drink for free. Not a big fan of the lemon in the water.
I take the third glass which looks clear to me, maybe a little cold, but good to go. I proceed to pour it into my daughter’s glass all the while cussing because I’m spilling half of it on myself. I’m going to invent a baby funnel for this sort of thing, I would use it all the time. Luckily, with a 1 year old, you always have plenty of extra towels on hand. Seriously, they have no sense of society norms when it comes to puking. I once saw my daughter launch a white gunky mess about a half mile at Bed, Bath and Beyond. There was a part of me that was impressed with the distance. There was another part that wanted to run and hide as I was getting the “judgment stare” from little Ms. Fancy Shopper, where the puke just happened to land.
Back to the story. Out of nowhere, I hear, in a very loud and public voice:
“SHANNON! WHAT ARE YOU DOING.!” My wife only uses this tone of voice and only calls me by name when one of two things have happened: 1. I have screwed up royally or 2. There is a dead rat in the bed, a gift or a threat from the cat, depending on who you talk to. In my head was my usual response. When threatened, I tend to back track to my deep southern roots and this case, I thought “What do you want WOMAN!” I don’t say this because I value my life. Should I ever say this, the cat that left the dead bird would get more respect than myself. Instead, like the calm and rational man that I am, I say “Yes dear, what ever could be the problem that you have decided to get everyone’s attention by screaming love tunes to me so that everyone has stopped what they were doing and are now looking at me with “Judgment Oprah Eyes”.” I use the term Judgment Oprah Eyes because I know that every female loves Oprah, and god woe to you should you piss off Oprah. At that moment, they all become Oprah.
“Why are you pouring my Margarita into the sippie cup.” Hollars my wife so all Oprah Judgers can finally shake their heads in disgust.
Uh-oh, that’s not good. In fact, that was pretty bad. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, worst father of the year, right here, come see the 8pm show where I will throw knives at her.
That’s right, I mistook the Margarita glass as a water glass, not realizing that my wife had ordered it and that is why there was no lemon in it. Worse than being judged by every mother, aunty, or midwife there, I judge myself. Yup, that was pretty god damn stupid. If my wife hadn’t caught me doing it, I would have given it to her, not realizing what I had done. Panic slowly begins to set in, which is even more entertaining when you are now the focus of 100 people who have seen your parent mess up. I thought I caught some torches being lighted by the mob forming by the changing table. Headline reads “Mob goes Oprah on father and drunk baby”
I quickly muter some sort of excuse, hoping that it will somehow bring the forgive me fairy out of nowhere and save my ass. The funny thing is that since my wife hadn’t been out in a while, I don’t know if she is more mad about the cup of hard liqueur that I’m about to give my daughter or the fact that I just wasted half of her margarita at 6 bucks a pop.
For future reference, that common sense doesn’t work so well at times. In fact, I plan on being uber protective parent from here on out. Any sharp corner will get a dose of the belt sander. All animals that I encounter will be de-toothed and declawed. Bubble wrap will be bought by the ton. And of course, only virgin Margarita’s go in the sippie cup.