Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Drunk Baby is a Happy Baby

Everyone knows that there is nothing funnier in this world than a drunk baby.

If you don't believe me, please refer to Exhibits A-C.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C
See?  Hilarious.

But apparently, not tremendously effective at curbing binge drinking later in life.  An article recently published on indicated the belief that by demystifying alcohol for our children, we enable them to have a more healthy approach to drinking is dead wrong.
At least one in five of the parents of third-graders said they believed that children who sip alcohol will be better at resisting peer pressure to drink, and less likely to try risky drinking, the study's authors wrote in Monday's issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine."This finding indicates that many parents mistakenly expect that the way children drink at home, under parental supervision, will be replicated when children are with peers," they wrote.
"This expectation is refuted by recent studies that link adolescent brain development with adolescents' propensity to disregard home drinking norms when they are with peers."
Previous studies suggested that fifth graders whose parents allowed them to drink alcohol were twice as likely to report drinking in seventh grade, the researchers said.
So, despite our best intentions, drunk baby above may still turn into this fellow:

I have two distinct early memories of drinking.

The first happened at a 76ers game sometime when Charles Barkley and Dr. J were both still playing -- so this had to be sometime between '84 (when Barkley was drafted to the 76ers) and '87 (when Dr. J retired).  So, I was somewhere between the ages of 3 and 6.

I was choking on a pretzel, or popcorn or something or other and when I finally got it down, I needed something to drink.  Being at the Spectrum and landlocked somewhere in the nosebleed section, my mom gave me a sip of the only thing available -- a red solo cup with beer in it.

It was the most revolting, vile, disgusting thing I had ever tasted, ever.  Now, I got over this aversion in college, but it was a long and difficult struggle to overcome this travesty.  But I'm a trooper.

My second encounter came at Christmastime.  I remember that I loved eggnog (I'm sure you can see where this one is going).  Being a fat kid, there were few substances on the face of this planet more delectable than eggnog at Christmas.  The stuff tasted like liquefied vanilla ice cream -- what's not to love?

When I was really young, being the child of divorcees, my holidays were split.  As my Grandparents lived between my mother's home and where my dad lived, my mom would drop me at my Grandparents' house after we finished breakfast and unwrapping presents.

What you have to know about my father is that he's never on time.  Never.  Family has actually taken to telling him that events begin up to two hours before the actual start time, just to make sure that he gets there before all the food gets cold.

As my dad was yet to arrive with my stepmom, I was left to my own devices while my aunts and uncles and grandparents milled about and my older cousins played something or other I was probably too slow or uncoordinated to participate in.  Or, equally likely, there was food, so I was lingering around the kitchen.

I had just polished off a plate of chips, dip, cookies and shrimp cocktail (like you do) and needed a libation to wash it all down with -- out of the corner of my eye, I saw the nectar of the Gods: Turkey Hill Eggnog.

Nectar of the Gods
The ladle was in it already and I helped myself to a fancy punch bowl glass full.  Now, being a fat kid, I considered myself (and still do) a bit of a connoisseur of eggnog and this did not taste as it should.

But, as young as I was, I did not yet trust my already advanced palate and so I proceeded to continue to attempt to identify what was off about the drink.  Undaunted, I got through half of it before I walked over to my aunt and told her that it didn't taste right.

She asked which punch bowl I had gotten my drink out of -- and I gestured to the one in the kitchen as opposed to the one in the dining room.

The look of terror that crossed her face didn't register with me at the time, but I'm pretty sure she thought she had a drunk toddler on her hands.  Little did she know, my little Buddha-esque figure was so stuffed to the gills with carbs, I was probably closer to a food coma than I was to a drunken stupor.

But, knowing my dad was probably hours behind, my aunts and grandmother set on a quest to sober me up before he got to the house.  They set me up in front of the TV with my own plate of cookies and pastries and told me to finish it up before my dad got there and watch some television.

Best.  Christmas.  Ever.

I don't fully recall if my dad was informed of the situation that day or if the secret was kept until I was much older.  Either way, I still like eggnog.  Especially with rum.  Enough rum to blind a pirate, preferably.

So, -- let this be a lesson to you.  Beer is gross to kids, but mixed drinks are like sleepy-time-magic-ice-cream-milkshakes.  So if you are trying to foster a healthy relationship for your child with alcohol, don't give them anything that is that damn delicious.

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