Saturday, March 31, 2007

Boo Booze

When I mentioned in my last post that I'm going to be on The Today Show, someone commented that there has been a lot of bad blogger press about this story featuring moms who drink "socially" during playdates with their small children.

I watched the video of the woman featured in this piece who tripped over herself trying to explain that she and her friends don't "get drunk", and that she watched her parents drink all the time (surprise, surprise) and never witnessed any bad behavior.

As any of you who read this blog know, I'm no prude. But this story made me sick. It's not that it's so horrible for someone to have a drink while watching her child, but is it SO difficult not to? The woman said that no one would bat an eye if dads were drinking while supervising little kids, but I certainly would. I don't see it as a double standard thing. I see it as a/ a poor message to kids ("Mommy's stressed and needs a belt.") and b/ potentially dangerous on a number of levels (Mom/Dad is impaired when child gets hurt, or child takes a swig when no one is looking.)

One of the biggest differences (and there have been many) I noticed when I moved from the city to the 'burbs was the whole culture of drinking. It just didn't seem to be the same in the city. Here, you can't walk into someone's home without them immediately offering you a drink. I was dropping my son off one day at NOON. I was literally getting out of my car, leaving him at his friend's house, and getting back into my car. His friend's dad offered me a glass of wine and was so insistent that I had to say "no thanks" several times before he got the message. I was starting to feel really uncomfortable about leaving my kid there, and if he were younger I wouldn't have. I know that at 12 years old he would call me if there were a problem. I've since seen this dad clearly loopy on several occasions so I'm not so sad that Lucas doesn't visit their home anymore. He had dinner out with them a few times and he said that the dad drank quite a bit and then drove home (thankfully my son rode with the mom, but the dad took his two younger children in his car). This isn't the only parent that I've seen impaired around his or her kids, and I think it's irresponsible.

Call me judgmental... I don't care. When you sign on to have kids, you've agreed to change your life in some ways that aren't so much fun. And maybe saving your cocktail hour for adult time is just one of those ways.

Note: I don't think this is the mom on the segment I saw, which was a "follow-up", but she was on the original piece. Interesting that her father was an alcoholic, no?