As part of our mission here at Why Daddy Drinks to revel in the humorous lunacy that is fatherhood, and to promote the drinking of quality beverages, we bring you our weekly segment highlighting something that should be in your glass. This is The Drink Of The Weekend.
There’s a reason why I call these columns the Drink Of the Weekend. The weekend is for relaxing, watching football and, for me at least, eating a few things that I don’t normally partake in during the work week. And, often, all three of those involve a good drink or two.
Of course, since my wife and I have two small daughters at home, all of those first three are dependent upon how much time we have to spend dealing with the two little ankle biters and their constant demands for attention, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and going to the park. And never mind all the times one of them comes running to us to tattle on the other for something like playing with that stuffed monkey that they both just discovered for the first time months and is now the center of their known universe.
In other words, “relaxing” is never a given when you’re a parent.
But having a good drink? Hell, I have pushed my older daughter, Maddo, in a stroller around Las Vegas with one hand while working on a margarita with the other. Half of it ended up spilling on the kid’s head, but still…
The easiest thing to drink is, of course, a beer. Chug some Pinot Noir straight from the bottle and you look like a wino. Doing that with a bottle of booze is even worse. No one wants to look like Jimmy Page backstage in 1975, after all. But a beer lends itself to be drunk from a bottle, or can. All you need to do is pop that cap off or pull that tab back and you are ready to go. Whether you’re working some steaks on the grill, taking advantage of the open bar at a wedding or just sitting down to binge watch “House Of Cards” on Netflix.
Or, when you and your wife are having a “Plan B” style dinner to mark your seventh anniversary.
I call it “Plan B” because Plan A, which I had put in the works for weeks, was for my wife, The Thoroughly Awesome Ms. Crums, and I to get out of the house early and spend the day driving up to the wine country of Sonoma, Napa and Lake Counties in Northern California. This was to be a Big Deal for us.
You see, with two kids, four-year-old Maddo and three-year-old Little Sis at home, we don’t much time to ourselves. And we REALLY don’t get out of the house, sans kids, very often. I contacted one of our babysitters and arranged for her to come over at 10 in the morning on Saturday, Oct. 12 so that we could get out of Dodge for a while in order to celebrate our seventh anniversary, which is on Oct. 14. The plan was just to get away for the day, have lunch or an early dinner in Calistoga, visit a few wineries, and go to the Steele Winery, in Kelseyville, Calif., in particular. My wife had their wine once years ago and called it the best Pinot Noir she ever had. She always wanted to go up to the winery and we were finally going to do that.
Only, Little Sis had different plans.
Friday night was uneventful…The kids just had their regular dinner of stuff like macaroni and cheese, some chicken, some small oranges called “Cuties” and a few other things. We played with them for a bit, got them bathed, and sent them off to bed. Everything was going well. For about 15 minutes.
It was then that Little Sis woke up and decided she wanted to sleep in our bed with me. I say “with me” because my wife had already been chased up to the guest room due to my on-again, off-again snoring that was definitely on at chainsaw levels. Little Sis climbed into bed, I gave her the iPad with some kids show for her to watch, and soon, she was asleep.
And about an hour later, I was awoke by the tell-tale sound of a toddler throwing up. All over herself. And the bed. And I knew our trip to the Wine Country was in danger.
I managed to get Little Sis, and the bed, cleaned up. Late-night baths are always a joy when you’re a three-year-old and you have chunks of thrown-up Cuties in your hair. We got back into bed. And within 20 minutes, the kid was at it again.
And again. And again. Little Sis eventually went up to sleep with her mom. Almost every hour on the hour, the kid started retching. By sunrise, she had probably thrown up seven times, only by then, there was nothing left in her tummy.
I held out some hope that we might still make it out the door and on our way. Of course, when I suggested this to my wife, she looked at me like I told her Hitler was “a little misunderstood.”
“There is NO WAY we can leave her here with the sitter! She’s still SICK!”
I called the sitter and told her what was up. She was very understanding. And with that, it seemed our anniversary would be spent changing vomit-covered pajamas and washing the kid down all day. But then a funny thing happened.
By about noon, Little Sis was looking pretty good. She hadn’t thrown up in about four hours and was holding down her water and Pedialyte. And my wife had an idea….
“Why don’t you call the sitter and see if she can still come over for a while? Maybe we can still go out to dinner?”
I got on the phone. The sitter was still around and willing to take a chance on hanging out with our potentially plague-filled kids. Then again, the thought of making $15 an hour just to make sure our daughters could watch Disney Jr.’s “Jessie” over and over and not break anything may have been enticing.
The sitter came over at 2 and my wife and I hit the door running. It wasn’t anything spectacular what we did: We went out to Vallejo, Calif., where my wife had a pair of Ugg boots on hold at a store. The boots looked good on her, and I actually managed to find a pair of pretty swank pair of wingtips. Yeah, the style is more like something Nucky Thompson would wear in “Boardwalk Empire”, but damn, they did look good and we boxed them up.
And then we went to dinner, partially courtesy of a Groupon that we needed to use, at a local Indian/Nepalese/Himalayan restaurant, the Taste Of The Himalayas. It wasn’t what we planned, but were delicious, and we had a good time after all.
And it being mostly Indian food, I figured I’d have an Indian beer to go with all of it. To my surprise, there were no India Pale Ales on the menu. I know the IPA is a creation of the British, but I guess I thought the former Crown Jewel of the Empire would have taken up with that old tradition of Mother England.
Instead, I went with something that represents India more than anything else: the Taj Mahal and Taj Mahal Premium Lager. It was cold and crisp, and the 22-ounce bottle was just what I needed to wash down all the lamb kabob, palak paneer, rosemary naan, samosas and chicken momos in front of me.
It wasn’t what we planned, but when you have kids, you have to always be ready for Plan B. And Plan B still turned out pretty good.