Friday, May 09, 2008

Never too young for happy hour

I first took Opie with me to New York when he was 6 months old. In the week we were there he mastered sitting up, practicing on the one small rug found on the sealed concrete floor of my cousin's loft.

He also visited his first Lower East Side bar. Whenever I come to town it's always an excuse for a happy hour outing with my friends at work. My cousin/nanny had some other commitment that night so she delivered the baby to me at work (plus, duh, always have to find a reason to parade a cute baby through the workplace) and he accompanied us all to the bar.

At six months, he was a fairly cheerful guy but only if he could maintain contact with one of a few trusted caregivers. I was, of course, at the top of that list. So after a long day of being forced to hang out with my cousin instead of me, he was not interested in any further separations. But after a few drinks (most of them of the "tap water" variety) I did need to use the restroom.

I had, at that point, mastered peeing with a baby on my lap (because desperation is the mother of ... more desperation). But I didn't think my skillz would carry over into the dingy stall in a bar. So I handed Opie over to a coworker, a very lovely and capable woman, and headed downstairs.

Bars are loud, right? Even when it's only 5:30 and there aren't that many people there. The music is pumping and people are talking and there's huge ventilators whirring out white noise and traffic flying by just beyond the front door.

Do you think that was any match for one six-month-old baby? No. I could hear him screaming all the way down in the basement, from inside the ladies' room. Little man was not having a very happy hour.

Dude, the LES is so over. Next time take me to Greenpoint.

The thing is, I really tried, with both my babies, not to not do things because I had a kid. I took Jo to a friend's child's birthday party that was a two-hour drive away, by myself, when she was two months old. Everyone there was astonished but I really, really wanted to see my friends, and my husband couldn't go for some reason, so I packed up the baby and got on the road. She slept all the way there and back.

Maybe I was overconfident or lucky or stupid or all of the above as a rookie mom but it all worked out. As it did with Opie at the bar, once I'd quickly washed my hands and hotfooted it out of the restroom. And as I hope your new-mom outings did too.


Lady M said...

The "not to NOT do things" is a really good point. All too often, I wonder if something will be too much trouble and don't even try to make it work.

the mama bird diaries said...

I, too, am a believer is still doing things even with kids. Sometimes it goes terribly wrong but it's all worth it for the times it just works.

I think it's awesome that you make stuff happen.

Magpie said...

that's great. i remember taking mine to the Olde Towne for a beer, and sitting her little bottom on the bar.

Damselfly said...


Happy Mother's Day!

Mark said...

I just stumbled upon this blog (in the fashion of random internet wanderings) and must suggest that you are doing your child an invaluable service by exposing him to night life in "the city." I come from a town of, oh, about 200 in northeastern Utah. I visit my girlfriend who live in the East Village. Two worlds, both of which are full of vitamins and character-building experiences.

Go, Opie, go.