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On this week’s episode of The DadGum Podcast we discussed how miserable being sick and having to take care of your child is. Never a good situation.
Getting sick is one thing; you can’t help it. Sometimes though, you set up the sword for yourself to fall on. Every now and then you make the (poor) choice to line up a day of taking care of your kid with a vicious self-induced hangover.
One of the cruel things about aging is the increasing severity of hangovers. Every now and then a few beers just sneak up on you the next morning and you unexpectedly feel like shit. Most of the time though one knows what’s coming. Ordering that extra drink at dinner knowing that it’ll be a problem tomorrow or making that weak cocktail not quite as weak as it should be.
When a parent gets home a little drunker than they left, and the babysitter leaves, they’re on the clock. The next day could bring them to some miserable places.
A Birthday Party
Let me tell you a little story. A story about a guy who picked up a hangover so terrible after an engagement party that he had to defer to his girlfriend to drive them four hours home the next morning, and then had to attend a birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza with his son a few hours after arriving home.
That poor bastard in the story was me, and it was horrible. Kid’s birthday parties, no matter where they are, are always loud and require constant interaction. Nothing is worse for a hangover than noise and constant interaction. A headache is bad enough, but a headache while kids scream and run while machines from the arcade beep and shrill is hell on Earth my friends. Of course, Chuck E. Cheese serves beer, if any parent wants to risk shampoo effecting themselves into wasted while watching their kid (pro tip: don’t take this option).
Any party with a hangover is a kiss of death. Oh, trampoline park? Try not to coat the birthday boy in vomit during trampoline dodgeball. Pool party? Enjoy talking to other parents making bullshit small-talk while being aware of how much you smell like a distillery. Making sure your kid doesn’t act like an ass during a party is already a challenge; doing it with the alcohol sweats is mission impossible.
A Soccer/T-Ball Game
You wake up with cotton mouth. Squinting your eyes, you realize there’s a dull headache forming and that you might’ve had one beer too many the night before. However, you didn’t overdo it too badly so everything is fine, right?
Wrong, because you and your kid have to be at the soccer field at 8:30 a.m. to sit out in the sun and watch terrible soccer. There are worse things for a hangover than sitting in a lawn chair. In the right situation, sitting in a lawn chair is great for a hangover. This ain’t one of those scenarios cowboy.
Without fail the day that you show up to your kid’s early-morning soccer game hungover is the day that it’s hot as fuck outside. Each time the ref blows his whistle to mercifully signal that another quarter of hellish play has ended you’ll get a sharp pang in between your eyes and wish that you were still in bed. Between sweating out booze and simultaneously listening to six or so games going on all around you, you’ll make a silent pact with yourself to never drink before gameday again; or you’ll just have to be flask parent at 8:30 a.m.
A School Function
“Ohhhhhhh hi, you must be (your child’s name) dad, it’s….so good to meet you” the other parent will trail off, noticing that your eyes still look a tad glazed over and you’ve got a facial expression like you just witnessed a murder. Turns out getting a babysitter and knocking vodka tonics back the night before you had to go to your kid’s school “Fall Festival” wasn’t a great idea.
Remember when you were your child’s age and you actually wanted to make a good impression on your teachers? That desire increases tenfold with your kid’s teachers. No one wants to be the shittiest parent in the class. Bringing your kid to any sort of event at school while hungover is a logistical nightmare. You’re faced with not only small talk with the other parents who don’t want to be there either, but trying not to act like a hungover piece of shit in front of his teacher.
Oh, and don’t worry, I’m sure the depressive effect of alcohol won’t have any impact on the pressure you feel to make sure your kid behaves and you look like a good parent in front of people you might be associating with for the next ten years.
Literally Your Own Home
What? Your home seems like an ideal place to suffer through a hangover, right? Wrong, at least not with a child there. Children are absolutely crippling to a hangover. Each minute spent with an energetic child while hungover is the hangover equivalent of hearing someone loudly puking while smelling cigarette smoke. It’s awful.
Beating a hangover requires rest, relaxation, and hydration. A parent can suck down a swimming pool’s worth of ice cold water at their house, but if their offspring is presiding over the domain, rest and relaxation goes out the window faster than you can say “holy shit I shouldn’t have drank last night.”
Your child inhibits almost every aspect of getting through your hangover, especially because you don’t want to show weakness. Sleeping in is out of the question. When that kid is up, they’re up. No leaving the curtains down and catching up on some Z’s. Get your hungover ass out of bed and make breakfast (and hope to God the smell of food doesn’t send your last meal back up). Maybe the tablet or Netflix will buy you a decent amount of rest, but lounging the whole day ain’t gonna happen.
At some point that child is going to demand some focus or attention, and that foggy ass brain of yours is going to have to deliver. No time to lie in bed with a Yeti of ice cold water on your bedside table is a thing of the past when your child wants to build their new Lego set and needs your help. .