Here's a fun game, it's called Try to Party while Parenting. Spoiler alert: I always lose. Now nine months into being a parent, I recently felt the desire to take back my adulthood, i.e. have more than a glass of wine while Netflixing on a Friday night and actually go out and enjoy myself. You know, like the good old days.
You see, back in the day, I could hold my own. Multiple beers at Upper Deck? Sure. A few rounds at Belmont? Why not. There are advantages to being 5'11: 1) you can always see at concerts and 2) it takes a hearty serving of the hard stuff to make me tips. So, with that in mind, my husband and I passed our boy to his grandma and joined some pals for an evening of comedy at Theatre 99 last month.
It was a perfect night. We biked to the theater, I shared two bottles of wine with two other women, we laughed it up, biked home, and then I woke up at 4 a.m. to the sounds of my son crying, a noise so haunting, I immediately had to hand him to my husband so I could throw up.
You think you've had a bad hangover, but trust me, until you've compounded it with the shrill sounds of an infant's screams, you've known nothing. Add to that equation a noxious dirty diaper and you have the makings of a horror story the likes of which Wes Craven couldn't even imagine.
Faced with this fresh hell — the reeling reality that I will spend the rest of my adult life fearing a possible hangover — I knew I had to develop a game plan. I looked at my options: Give up alcohol or find a cure. Now I'm no a quitter, so a cure it was. And how hard could it be? My grandfather was an orthopedic surgeon, so by genetics alone I figured finding a remedy wasn't totally out of my reach. That's how genetics work, right?
I tried everything. Hardee's burgers — no such luck. While many praise the liquor-sopping effect of a burger's juicy greases, it leaves me panting and puking in the parking lot. Others told me to go the ol' Bloody Mary route, but ever since I got skunked while living in Vermont and had to take a tomato juice bath, I've been off the cocktail. A mere wiff of Zing Zang while nauseous turns me green. There was the exercise option, of course. I used to be able to go for a run or a hard workout to sweat the evil out, but operating an elliptical machine while sleep deprived and hungover sounded like a Herculean feat. Nevermind the fact that with a tiny tot at home, I can't even get to the gym on a sober day, let alone the day after being shmammered.
I was losing faith. Perhaps my teetotalling era had arrived. I would turn in my fun card along with those skinny jeans that fit pre-pregnancy.
But then I stumbled upon what might be the key to my future happy hour happiness. Right next to the pastries at the check-out counter at Caviar & Bananas is a little product called Blowfish. Described as "a powerful combination of aspirin and caffeine that knocks out your pain and wakes up your mind," it's like Alka-Seltzer but for dumb college kids. Or, in my case, a woman who wants to have it all — a career, a baby, and the social life of a mid-'90s Ibiza club kid. Turns out I just got the kid, the career, and a migraine. That's what the alcohol was supposed to help? I'm doing this whole adulting thing wrong, aren't I?
At any rate, fresh off a late night Champagne cocktail sesh (see, I'm still cool, I can use words like sesh and totes), I awoke with the familiar buzz of bubbles-induced head pain. Luckily this hangover wasn't as seering as the improv episode. But still, serving my son spoonfuls of oatmeal while the voice of Matt Lauer blared in the background made me want to break things. That Matt, he's so smug.
To shake off the Energizer Bunny doing wind sprints in my skull, I swooped up my child and headed to get a coffee at C&B. And that's when I saw the Blowfish. Hey if it works for scantilly clad co-eds surely it would work for a spit-up covered mom, I thought. And, come to find out, it did.
Simply pop the two tablets into a cup of fresh water and chug. An hour and an iced latte later, I was positively buzzing with renewed energy. Sure Blowfish didn't remove the bags under my eyes, the lost hours of sleep I spent giving my son his bottle, or delete the indecent remarks I may or may not have said while imbibing, but it sure as hell made me feel better. Maybe I can have it all.
What's that? Women still earn less than men and there's no such thing as mandated paid maternity leave? Damn. Pour me a glass of wine.