Articles, advice and tips for fathers - Reluctant Dad

New parent tonic - Daddy's little helper

During moments of Parental Psychosis often find myself asking the question, “Is there enough alcohol in the world to help me get through this?!” Unfortunately the answer is, “Yes.” There is enough – too much in fact. For the Reluctant Dad babies have a way of inducing full blown alcoholism. Luckily you’re usually too tired to get up and go to the fridge to prepare such a frosty beverage.

I say there is too much alcohol available as any alcohol consumed will only compound the permanent hangover you have from sleep deprivation. Honestly, I’ve wander around the whole day like a zombie trying to remember what I did the night before, thinking it must have been good for me to feel this bad. But the night before usually consisted of diaper changing and/or cleaning up vomit (I assume this belongs to the baby).

Upon first becoming a parent I decided to invent a drink. It has two names… I’m not sure why. Use whichever you prefer – “Daddy’s Little Helper”, or “New Parent Tonic”. It’s not particularly original, but it’s quick, easy and horribly effective when you’ve had no sleep and only eaten half a piece of cold, unbuttered toast all day. Recipe follows:

  • Get a talk, straight glass (required as you don’t have time for precise measurements).
  • Put in 3 large ice blocks
  • Pour in equal parts (visually estimated, hence the tall, straight glass) vodka, Sprite, and V8 Tropical Splash Juice (this isn’t available in all countries, but you should be able to find a good enough substitute).
  • Stir

I like it, but I no longer drink it. While I do still drink now that I have two kids, no sleep, very little time to eat, and a new job, I just can’t afford the loss of coordination or mental thought processes brought about by the heavier stuff. I usually stick to a glass of wine or beer. I find that my stress is quite reduced by a small amount of alcohol, but anymore than that and I’m ruined for the next day. I think the inability to sleep in has a lot to do with it. Sleeping in is great. More people should sleep in, and then the world, even one full of babies, would be a better place. I wish the kids would sleep in. That would be more precious than gold.

Try “Daddy’s Little Helper”, but not too much. Instead of sleeping in (Instead of? Like you have a choice), go to bed as early as you can, even at the cost of missing out on a couple of drinks. You’ll find any amount of sleep more beneficial that getting hammered with Pepe Lopez, or any of your hard liquor mates.

I don’t always stick to my own advice.

December 2nd, 2005 marks the first time I've ever invested my own money in low alcohol beer. Specifically I purchased Carlton Sterling which has 2.5% alcohol. It didn't taste too bad. After drinking a couple that night I found that I didn't have any ill effects the next morning (other than the usual lack of sleep and the shock that my absurd predictament isn't just a momentary dream, but these symptoms had nothing to do with the beer). So maybe low alcohol beer is the answer to my problem. The quandary of being a Reluctant Dad; that is, it's a time where you really want to drink alcohol but also a time where you really shouldn't be drinking alcohol, might be solved by this low alcohol beer. And there's a surprising decent variety of light beers (here in Australia, that is. Unlike the USA where most of the beer could qualify as light, and none of it is much good). Cascade, Boags and Hahn are all readily available in light. Supposedly there is a light Coopers as well, but I haven't found it. I recommend trying the light beers. Just say it's for your visiting American friend when the cashier looks at you askance.

December 9th, 2005. I've come to the realization that low alcohol beer may not be the wonderous solution I had hoped for. It would seem that when I drink this light beer I end up drinking the whole 6 pack rather quickly in one sitting to apparently compensate for it lack of alcohol. This makes me feel ill (not drunk, just uncomfortable). I'm going to continue with the light beer experiment, but I will now buy the single larger bottles (750ml) instead of a six pack to limit the amount I can consume without having to get up and go to the store again.

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