Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Evils of Drinking

I'm a pretty straight-laced gal. I've never really been one to bend the rules. I've never toilet-papered someone's house. I have my kids in bed by 9:00 pm most every night. I eat my vegetables. I've never smoked a cigarette.

But Wednesday night, this good girl got a little crazy.

We'd been hanging out with some friends pretty much all day at our house - the kids and I and my friend, Mickey, her two kids and an extra she was sitting. Five-thirty snuck up on us and before I knew it, it was time for me to take Brother to swimming lessons. While rushing around trying to feed everyone, get their shoes on and find Brother's elusive swim trunks that I know I had just seen an hour earlier when I didn't need them, Mickey offers to take my girls to her house while I take Brother to his lesson.

Actually, truth be told, Baby said something to the tune of "I wanna go with you" to Mickey and she couldn't say no. And of course, if you take one girl, you gotta take them both. So, feeling a little guilty that my girls had suckered her into it, I reluctantly agree and tell Mickey I will come pick them up when we're finished.

As promised, Brother and I arrive at Mickey's around 7:20 only to find her just getting there herself after taking everyone to McDonald's and spoiling them senseless. I see my little girls hop out of the van and make a beeline for the house and I'm thinking if they go to Mickey's daughter's room - a veridable Dora shrine - I will never get them out. But alas, I cannot park the car fast enough and they are inside, shoes off, dragging out all the toys before I can protest. Brother follows suit and all the boys are magnetically drawn to the Playstation like drones in a hypnotic trance.

"Hey, guys, we need to get going," I say, but only half-heartedly, as I know my words might as well be bubbles blown to the wind. Mickey, who has spent the better part of the day with five kids, says, "I need a drink. Want one?" She's not listening to me either. She starts putting a Dora video on in the girls' room and I resign myself to the fact that I'm outnumbered and we are obviously staying.

"Nah, I'm fine."

She starts walking to the garage where they keep an extra fridge. I follow. "No, you HAVE to try one of these wine coolers."

Oh, that kind of drink.

She doesn't realize what kind of goody-goody she's asking. I had never even TASTED an alchoholic beverage until I took a tiny sip of champagne on my 27th birthday. Scout's honor. I've tried sips of a few other things before, but I just hate the taste. Everything tastes like cough syrup. Even when they say you can't taste the alchohol, I can taste the alcohol. And beer...I could never get it past my nose.

I giggle. "Hey, I have to drive my kids home."

"Well, don't drink the whole thing." She swings open the refrigerator door to reveal Gatorade, Hi-C juice boxes and Schmirnoff. "Green Apple or Raspberry?"

Aw, a sip won't hurt. Just like every other drink I've tried, I won't like it. "Green Apple." She hands me the chilled bottle, slippery with condensation.

We peek in on the kids who are busy demolishing the bedrooms and I continue to follow her upstairs to the gameroom. She turns on the Jimmy Buffet CD and racks up the balls on the pool table and turns to me with a grin. "If we can't go to the bar, we'll just pretend."

This is not something Supermom would ordinarily do. I mean, it's close to 8:00 and my kids aren't in bed and they need baths and Baby missed her nap and who will watch the kids?

But I'm feeling a little reckless, a little tired of the goody-goody act. And my friend is obviously needing some time with an adult. It's summer. I twist the top off my drink and take a gulp. "Hey!" I'm genuinly surprised. "This is really good!" Yikes. REALLY good.

We spend the next two hours playing pool (another first for me), drinking our fruity drinks (I drank the whole thing) and listening to Jimmy sing about margaritas, cheeseburgers and Mexico all the while wondering if I can really get away with this.

Supermom reinvented.

Even though I didn't even feel tipsy, I give myself a little time before hitting the road. Finally, I gather the kids and their leftover Happy Meals and we head home in the dark, way past bedtime. I'm toodling along, windows down, quite happy with my new grown up self. We are almost home, just around the corner from our house, and I see the lights.

That's right. Lights.

Lights of the flashing red and blue variety.

I'm getting stopped.


Now, I'm a rookie. I've never been drunk. Never even buzzed. But wouldn't I know if the drink I had much, much earlier in the evening affected me? Wouldn't I feel something? I wasn't weaving. I wasn't driving over curbs. Did the Stay-At-Home-Mom Gestapo catch wind of my actions this evening and rat me out to the cops?

I reach for my license and insurance verification, suddenly feeling as though I'm being punished for my sins and right now with no makeup and my hair pulled up and my tired, ragged girls in the backseat eating cold McDonald's cheeseburgers barefoot at 10 o' clock at night, I must seem the perfect candidate.

He shines his flashlight in my eyes. "Hello, ma'am, may I see your license and verification, please?" I have it ready and hand it to him, hoping he sees my preparedness as a sign that I'm not a drunken, neglectful parent. His flashlight beam skims over the kids faces, eyes wide and mouths agape, and he drops the stern cop mask for a split second to say hello in a more kid-friendly manner, as I suspect they were wondering if poor ole' ma was gonna be sent to the pokey.

He takes my information back to his car to check me out with dispatch and make sure I'm not a deranged criminal who has kidnapped three kids in a stolen car on a nationwide crime spree wanted in three states for murder and drug trafficing. Or, for all I know, to get the breathalizer. I swear, officer. I've never drank before in my life. I don't keep my kids out after bedtime. I don't feed them McDonald's for dinner on a regular basis. I'm a good mom, I promise.

Luckily, I check out and he issues me a written warning for going 33 in a 25.

As I am signing for my reprimand, he asks me the ages of my kids. I relax a bit, thinking he's being friendly...making small talk. He probably has kids, too. "Eight, five and two," I reply proudly.

Chatty, he is not.

"The five-year-old still needs to be in a booster," he says, in a voice that is a combination of Dudley DoRight and Batman. Authoratative. No nonsense. A tad condescending. "It's for her own safety."

"Okay," I answer, caught off guard that I'm still being corrected. I left the booster in Hubby's car. Bad mom.

"And how tall is he?" he asks, motioning to Brother who is in the passenger seat beside me.

I don't know. I really don't know. "Uh, I don't know." Is it worse to not know how tall your own child is or to pretend you do? "Uh...42 inches?" That's wrong. I know he's taller than that. But I know I heard that number sometime on one of our recent pediatrician visits. Could have been Sister's height. Could have been the number of times I had to tell Baby to leave the Doctor's instruments alone. It was the first number that popped into my head. Bad, bad mom.

"Well, he still needs to ride in the back." He makes eye contact. He is very serious. "Again, it's for his own safety."

Yes, officer. Perhaps you'd like to point out that my toddler's bangs are too long and are hanging in her eyes because she pulled her hairclip out. And maybe we should talk about how bad fast food is and that I'm putting my children at risk for heart disease and obesity by letting them eat it. Did you know my kids didn't get naps today AND they are out late tonight? I also yelled at my son earlier today and let them play in the mud last week. IT WAS ONE DRINK! GET OFF MY CASE!!!!

I nod politely and accept the bright yellow slip as he tells me to have a good night.

I pull around the corner and steer wearily into the drive. I get the kids in the house with no baths, no tooth brushing, barely even in their pajamas and put them to bed. Brother, in fact, slept in his clothes.

Just say no to wine coolers, kids. It only leads to trouble.

14 comments:

Luminous Obscurity said...

I hope you're not making this stuff up because I love it! I really like your style, it reminds me of the chicklit genre that's really popular right now...keep it coming in your spare time!

Bttrfly1976 said...

I would have had a freaking heart attack!!

Kelli said...

It's a known fact that if I'm in the car, don't let me wave at an officer.

The first time, my mom ended up with a ticket in Coastal Podunk-Nowhereville, OR. Her first in her life. She was 66.

The second time, my husband got pulled over, but only got a warning- it was New Years Eve in Eastern Podunk-Nowhereville, OR.

The third time, I got pulled over, again no ticket but a warning, on yet another New Years Eve in Prescott, AZ- one block from my driveway.

I could go on and on.

And I'm with you on the alcohol. First and only time I tasted champagne, I got so thirsty I Walked around a wedding finishing up whatever I could find. Took to sparkplug wires off my Mustang cause it wouldn't start. Of course, I don't remember if I tried the key first.... ended up going home with the best man. Well, he drove me to MY home. Let's not start a rumor :)

SO glad you're back in the bloggy saddle, girlfriend. You have been missed.

Heather said...

Oh how we've missed you around these parts. And, for what it's worth, I totally heart those green apple drinks, too!

crazeemommy said...

Movie Day was awesome, much better than anything the AMC could offer. So, are we on for this Wed? You supply the movie and I'll get the drink(s). It'll make more great blog material. Mickey

Heather said...

By the way, I'm hereby giving you the Rockin' Girl Blogger award! Welcome back and check my blog for details!

heather said...

It would figure that your one little naughty apple cooler would get you pulled over. Come on, you know better than that! We can't all be rock n roll to the bone. ..Ok, just kidding.

Shehopper said...

I haven't laughed out loud at a blog in a while....I guess it is because you haven't blogged in a while!!! Glad that you are back.

Kathy/Lessons from the Laundry said...

No way. I can't believe the officer took that much interest in your kids sizes and ages at 10:00 at night. Was there not a donut shop open?? At least you only got a warning. I doubt the stop had anything to do with the wine cooler and everything to do with a bored cop.

goodlikeamedicine said...

That is HILARIOUS.

The only time I've ever been pulled was when I was 18 and one of my friends looked at me seriously and told me she was planning on committing suicide that night. I drove right through that upcoming red light - didn't phase me at all!

Somehow I don't think the cops would ever believe us if we gave 'em the real background, do ya?

I think you should find him and email him your blog post. hahahaha

Heth said...

That is the best thing I've read in a long time. Hilarious.

Rebecca said...

I'm glad that turned out ok! I was on pins and needles until I reached the end of that post. I have this fear of authority figures....irrational, but still there.

Next time, have girl's night at your house! Hahaha

Mama of 2 said...

Okay first off the green apple variety are my favorite and you should be glad you stopped at one since they go down way too smooth -- almost like kool-aid.

As for your police story...I couldn't stop laughing. I know that it wasn't funny for you but your telling of it was hilarious.

Glad to see Supermom is back in blogging land. I missed you.

lisa h. said...

love it! i read your blog a while back and i'm glad you're blogging again, it's too funny!

no wine coolers!