Booze and Babies – A Cocktail Recipe For Disaster?

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I recently hit a new low (or high, depending on how you look at it). I smuggled the last half of a margarita out of a Mexican restaurant after my one-year-old’s restless tantrum at the table forced my husband and me to make a swift and early exit. 

What’s most shameful about this story is that I poured it into my baby girl’s empty bottle and shoved it in my purse to sneak it out, just so I could surprise hubby with it when we got home. And before you ask, neither my husband nor I have a problem with alcohol, we just genuinely wanted a Mexican meal with margaritas and we got cheated! (You can read the whole story here.)

These idiotic shenanigans, intended to make my hubby laugh  (and avoid wasting a perfectly wonderful lime libation that cost twelve bucks), not only made me feel like a silly 20-something again but sparked a bigger debate in my head:

Is it ok for us to drink booze in front of our baby? Are we those lush-like parents that don’t care about setting bad examples for our tot? At what point does one need to curb the cravings for all things adult beverage in front of the kiddo? How early are we supposed to start those “teach by example” moments?

So many questions! When the heck did I start having to worry about things like this?

I’m not taking my little girl to bars or anything like that, but when is the age cut-off for ordering a cocktail or have a glass of wine with my baby sitting on my lap? The last thing I want my almost-toddler to learn is the difference between Grey Goose and Smirnoff! 

Who knew that margaritas could lead to such deep thoughts?

Thinking back to my own childhood, I never remember my parents drinking alcohol in front of me (although they always have and still do enjoy drinking responsibly, and my mom and I now occasionally enjoy cocktail hour together as adults). And I firmly believe that my parents’ conservative choice to not drink in front of us kids enhanced the way my sister and I were raised. They rarely had wine, beer or any booze in our presence. In fact, with the exception of special events or holiday parties, I really don’t ever remember being around alcohol as a kid… and I think it was for the better. Sure, my sister and I have had our share of questionable party nights, but not until we were responsible enough to keep ourselves in check.

And while my husband and I don’t think twice about ordering margaritas at this point, that’s simply because we figure that our baby girl doesn’t know what’s going on. But at some point, she most likely will.

OMG, am I on the fast track to becoming a lush of a parent – with a drink in one hand and a kid holding onto the other? At what point should my good times go sober? Help!

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