Hello, my name is Ken. And I drink in front of my children.
I enjoy adult beverages…always have; always will. Whether it’s a casual night out with some friends…
…or if I’m sneaking in a couple beers while the wife shops.
I’ve been known to have one or two at a ball game.
There was beer at both of our baby showers.
I’ve gone around the world at EPCOT.
I’ve taken Sam to Disneyland once or twice…
And Ben too.
Now before you all go jumping to rash conclusions, let the records show that my party days are over. In the ten years I worked for the mouse in Orlando, 1992-2002, things got downright blurry at times. For instance, there were the epic Beer-30’s. For my entire tenure, I worked as a DJ at Pleasure Island, the now defunct nightclub mecca that ruled the Orlando bar scene throughout the 90’s. My friends and I would get off at 2am and meet at my car in the cast member parking lot, because my car was the one that usually had a trunk packed with beer. No more than 30 minutes later, we would all be huddled around my open trunk, tailgating, sometimes until the sun came up. These weekly meetings started off pretty tame, but eventually tipped the scale into insanity. I started adding Jägermeister and other poisonous shit to the mix and we would do countless shots out of Mickey Mouse Dixie cups. There was always some Disney music locked and loaded in the CD player too. That way, if the mouse police ever rolled into the lot, we would hide our drinks, close the trunk, blast the music and proclaim, “Nothing to see here. Just hanging out and listening to some Disney jams, occifer. All 20 of us.”
Today, when I look back on the Beer-30’s, I smile. Right up to the part when we started having beer bottle throwing contests and stood there laughing maniacally at the sound of glass shattering in the distance. That’s when my smile fades. That’s when we started being dicks. The alcohol ended up turning these festive hangs into angry company gripe sessions. We deliberately trashed the property of the company we adored and then plopped into our beds at 6am, right when some other poor cast member would clock in and begin his/her day by cleaning up OUR mess.
Yeah, total dicks.
I should note that when things turned ugly as described above, it was usually just me and some other fool who decided to have one too many. The other responsible and more mature folks were usually home by this point and played no part in these shameful antics.
When my first son was born, almost ten years after the final Beer-30, I traded in my car to lease an SUV. I’d be lying if I said that all those nights didn’t flash through my mind when they drove off with it at the dealership. The trunk that provided cast member therapy for many months. The CD player that rocked The Little Mermaid soundtrack once or twice. And of course, the large scrape on the front right fender from where I hit a guard rail driving home. And kept on driving.
Luckily, meeting my boys inspired me to dial things down. Way down. Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I still enjoy beer, wine, vodka, rum, whiskey, margaritas, mimosas and just about every specialty cocktail known to man, and we quaff it all right out in the open in front of our boys (not at the same time). There’s no need to wait until they go to bed. Why hide it? Why make it weird? Enjoy parenthood. Celebrate it with a drinky-poo if you want. Just make sure the little ones see you making all the right decisions and always be informing them along the way.
This is a big boy drink. You can’t legally have it until you’re older.
Just be smart about it. Don’t go cramming your kid into a Babybjörn and start doing keg stands. I never said that was okay! However, if you want your 3 year-old to hand-deliver your cans of Modelo at a pool party so you don’t have to give up the best raft, go for it. Guilty.