Babies and Bars

A friend sent me a list of “kid-friendly” bars. A place for the “cool” parent to still go out on the town.  Sure! We’re cool! We’ll try that. So we make a date with our (currently childless) good friends. Here’s what taking a very active 10 month old to a bar looks like in real time.

First off, we must meet very early, not a “cool” time like, after dark, say. Because we have a baby. And that baby has a bedtime. So we show up at the bar somewhere around 5:30.

The bar is loud. Luckily, our kid likes loud. However, her stranger danger keeps her clinging firmly to mommy.

We order beers. Mommy gets a delicious stout and places it in the middle of the table, out of baby’s reach. Mommy makes everyone else place their beers away from her as well, as if she is a beer pariah.

Mommy and Daddy make conversation like they used to do at bars while Mommy deftly treadmill’s squirming baby.

Baby has arms like a frog’s tongue. Somehow one darts further and faster than seems possible and topples Mommy’s beer right into mommy’s lap and baby’s face. Baby has first stout; gives 1 star review very loudly to entire bar.

After some cleanup, we all order food. Since baby pretty much eats anything at this point, we plan to let her eat off our plates. She’s a baby, she won’t eat that much.

Food arrives. Baby wants food NOW! But it is too hot. Mommy frantically cuts and blows and cuts and blows but cannot keep up with baby’s demand. Apparently beer makes baby voracious.

Mommy order’s baby her own damn sandwich.

Baby begins to slow down enough for mommy to take a bite or two. Meanwhile mommy attempts to continue conversation like a cool person at a bar. Baby decides she is done. Wants mommy’s lap again. Mommy cries single tear into dregs of spilled beer.

Daddy saves the day. Baby and Daddy go for walk. Mommy orders fresh beer and picks leftover food off friend’s plate since baby ate hers. Mommy contributes to conversation for 10 glorious minutes.

Daddy returns. Baby is calm. Mommy is finally relaxing. Daddy looks at clock. No more relaxing — it’s Baby’s bedtime.

Mommy packs up tornado of toys and “eating-out gear”, hugs cool childless friends goodbye. Cool childless friend says “This was fun! She did great! We should do this again soon!” Mommy whimpers something affirmative while scanning for forgotten important things.

Mommy and Daddy cart baby through crowd of cool people, truss her into carseat, slump into front seats. Mommy and Daddy look at each other, sigh, laugh.

Did we have fun? Yeah… yeah, I think for at least 10 glorious minutes, we did.