We Are Both Right

Consider Me a Teetotaler (At Least on Playdates)

Gözde Otman/stock.xchng

Cocktails and playdates? Hmm, not sure I see the need.

Sure kids are noisy, especially when they’re running around with other banshees their size, so a little distraction is always welcome. And of course moms are entitled to some fun too. Who’s going to notice if you down a glass (or two) of pinot in the backyard of a friend?

But drinking on playdates seems, well, a little immature. Sort of like sneaking a beer out of the garage fridge as a teenager. Like getting away with something that you know is somewhat taboo. But maybe that’s what adds to the allure — for some.

Like the mom who proudly shared that she and a group of neighborhood friends carried plastic cups filled with wine during trick-or-treating rounds. What started as their inside joke had turned into a bragging right. I withheld judgment (at least in terms of what came out of my mouth), but I was less than impressed. At least no one was driving home. Still, what’s the point?

And that’s where I get stuck every time. I don’t see how the two things mix. Like beer and vodka, there’s no reason to pair playdates and drinking.

Call me a fun-hater. Teetotaler. Stuck-up. It’s true that I was the one in high school and college who always volunteered to be the designated driver. I just couldn’t let anything happen to the friends around me, so I kept a tight grip on my sense of control. Just like I do now with my kids, and the situations they’re in.

That’s as close as I can get to explaining why the idea of drinking on a playdate isn’t my cup of tea.

Obviously, for some people it is. Otherwise there wouldn’t be phrases like “Whine and Wine” and “Tots and Tonic” whose only purpose I can see is to make a mommy group invitation sound more appealing.

At the same time (as I’m getting my name crossed off of playdate lists everywhere), I’m not above drinking socially (which I will do, even at parties where the kids are present). Amanda is right when she reminds me that I was the one who handed her the first wine cooler she drank in college, or hooked her on sangria during a night on the town weeks before my wedding.

But on the mid-day playdate? I’ll take a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade instead, thank you very much.

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Amanda’s been caught on a playdate with a drink — and you’ll never guess who cut them off.