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Stories

Stories, observations, and reflections from a life of raising boys

Mommyology

Jenifer DeMattia

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The art and science behind making the perfect mommy cocktail.

I used to love a good happy hour after a long day’s work before I had my children. Laughing it up with friends and coworkers. Talking about where we bought our cute outfits and what new trendy restaurant we would be trying out over the coming weekend. I have two kids now. Happy hour has become that magical time after they are both asleep at night. I put on some classy Victoria’s Secret sweatpants that say “love” on the backside, and I laugh it up with whatever HBO has prepared for me.  I haven’t seen the inside of a restaurant in a while, but I hear they are places where you sit down and order food. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, I love my kids, and I feel very fortunate to be able to stay home with them. But there are those days where I don’t know if I’ll make it without some sort of light waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. So just like any tough day on the job, some days just need to end with a nice happy hour. So here are a few of my suggestions:

1. Tropical Vodka and Diarriaquri

  • Crushed ice
  • ½ orange peeled
  • 2 measures white rum
  • 1 measure lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 pineapple
  • 1 measure coconut flavored vodka

Parents, this is no ordinary daiquiri. This is a beverage best made soon after the first little one begins the onset of stomach bug or flu like symptoms because, lets be honest, you know you’ll be vomiting by morning anyway. The excitement and elation when your child first begins school is quickly ruined when the first onset of sickness rolls through the house. Colds, flus, stomach bugs, lice, and germs you did not know existed. So my suggestion is: why not enjoy a little piece of the tropics before you will inevitably be changing diapers with cold sweats and the shakes? Enjoy!!

2. Whiskey Soury for the Inconvenience

  • 1 ½ measures whiskey
  • 1 ½ measures lemon juice
  • ¾ measure simple syrup
  • Maraschino cherry

For whatever reason, there are particular days spent with children where the energy level is up so high the gauge completely breaks off. Your only salvation is a place they can either release the energy or someone else can take them off your hands for a short time so you can put your head back on strait. But alas, you arrive at the door and there is a sign up. You see it from afar as you approach. You pray it says something like, “Welcome to Paradise.” But no. It says, “Sorry for the inconvenience, we are closed today for maintenance.” Your body goes limp. You try someplace different. Ahh, the grocery store has a play area where they watch your children while you shop. “At Lunch,” hangs on the door. You hang your head in defeat. Back home, beat down, and at last give permission to jump on your very first big purchase. The leather couch that now looks like you perhaps found it on the side of the road with a sign on it saying, “take me, I’m free.”

3. Mojhito

  • 8 mint leaves
  • ½ lime cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons cane sugar
  • crushed ice
  • 2 ½ measures white rum
  • soda water

Oh dear God, the little person just hit me. What the hell was that, and where did he learn such behavior? We all get angry, but man, he pulled back and swung. I remember back in the day when I felt sorry for the mom I saw in the store who got popped in the leg during a tantrum over M&M’s. Now, standing on the other side, I do see how the grass is no greener. You tell them to “use their words” but sometimes they find a nice friendly push does the job just fine. You tell them to ask nicely then the next thing you know they snatch the toy from the other kid and the tears start flowing. And so do your apologies to the other parents. The good news is there are many methods to teach your child better coping skills. And even better news, in the mean time; mint is a natural reliever of muscle pain.

4. Gimmelet

  • 2 measures gin
  • 1 measure lime cordial
  • ice cubes
  • ½ measure water
  • lime wedge

Isn’t it so darling when your little one starts to say words? Mama. Daddy. Gimme that. Wait, what? The sweet angel who can melt your heart just by saying your name all of a sudden has become the little dictator. Everyone tells me my son has the best manners. Why thank you. If I add it up, I only spend probably a good 3 hours of my day saying, “I didn’t here the magic word.” “What do you say sweetie?” “How do you ask sweetheart?” “Is that how we ask for something we want?” And then when he does ask nicely, but I still have to say no, then all of a sudden it’s like he was raised on the street and things are going to get real difficult for me if I don’t provide. It’s all part of the process. The world is very giving to a child. I understand the desire to want it right then and there, but let’s be honest. All that constant demanding? Gimme a break!

5. No, not Mai Tie

  • Crushed ice
  • 2 measures golden rum
  • ½ measure orange curacao
  • ½ measure orgeat syrup
  • lime juice
  • ½ measure coconut flavored rum
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine syrup

I remember when I had nice things. Things that I cared about and took pride in. Yes, my leather couch being one of them, but the list goes on. My white duvet cover. My expensive phone. My camera. My car keys. In order: permanent marker, toilet, dropped and cracked, and thrown in the trash. My husband’s tie was taken apart and turned into a train track. The walls are scuffed and the back of the passenger seat in my car has become a doormat where he wipes his feet as we cruise down the road. My socks become hand puppets and our curtains have some sort of foreign sticky goo on them. We used to be so cool. How is it that my kids now have all the cool stuff? What warped universe do I now live in? And why on earth did I pay $80 for that tie anyway? They are, however, only personal possessions and should be mourned so before you take your first sip, pour a little out onto the stained carpet in remembrance of all the stuff that went to the trash can way too soon.

6. Blue Hawhinin

  • crushed ice
  • 1 measure white rum
  • ½ measure blue curacao
  • 2 measures pineapple juice
  • 1 measure coconut cream
  • pineapple wedge to decorate

Feeling Blue? When my second son was born, I thought in a few years we would be dealing with a boat load of whining about who touched who’s stuff and what not. The little guy is only 9-months old and they are already at it. The 4-year-old does not want his brother touching anything. Literally, he is eying him all the time to pounce when he touches something. And the little one goes directly into the fire every time. And my oldest does the cutest thing. He has this cry that’s not like a real cry; it’s definitely more like a fake one. It sounds like a cat in heat, or like when the oven timer goes off and I can’t get to it right away because I’m mid-diaper change. If you can relate, and find yourself riding some rough sound waves, just hop in the sandbox, dig your feet in, and quit your whining!

7. Cosmofallitan

  • ice cubes
  • 1 ½ measures citron vodka
  • 1 measure Cointreau
  • 1 ½ measures cranberry juice
  • ¼ measure fresh lime juice
  • orange zest twist
  • Shake well and strain

I don’t know about you, but my nerves are shot. It’s as if my children are trying to hurt themselves intentionally everyday. The worst is that moment when you literally stop something terrible from happening, but you can’t get what could have happened out of your head. My oldest son left the basement door open and his brother is now a crawler. Seconds before he plummeted down a flight of wooden stairs I grabbed him, but it was the “what if” that I couldn’t get over. Just when I think he’s got it, I hear him hit the hardwood. We call our oldest “stunt man” because if we had to predict what he would become as an adult, well, based on his current behavior, that’s the career we would choose. A heart can only take so much. So enjoy a nice beverage as you envision using arts and crafts time to make a bubble wrap onesie.

8. Grand Momosa

  • 1 measure Grand Marnier
  • 2 measures orange juice
  • Chilled champagne

And this, fellow parent, is a celebratory beverage. Through all the stomach bugs, tantrums, back talking, bad listening, testing of patience, overflowed toilets, and close calls, you do it with style. And the best part is that even though they drive us to the brink of insanity, we wouldn’t have it any different. Cheers to us! And to those amazing creatures we call our children! The times we get to spend with them are truly the real happy hours.