Last Saturday was a BIG day for the Palma family. For the first time ever, my wife and I would attempt to raise 2 kids completely and utterly hungover.
Would both of us survive? Would either of us? What about the children? How would they fare? How would they behave? Would I kill one of them? Just kidding. Or am I? I am. Mostly.
Anyway, here now, in riveting timeline form, is why you should never parent hungover.
Where am I? What happened? There was the wedding and, oh God, the open bar. Yup, that’ll do it. Take the excitement of our first night without kids in over a year, add a festive environment, and sprinkle in an open bar and that is why I’m waking up in this hotel room without a short-term memory. We gotta go. We need to be home by 9:00 to relieve Grandma of her sitter duties.
We leave the hotel and head for the car. St. Paul is buzzing. Joggers jog. Walkers walk. Groups of people on their way to breakfast marvel over the beautiful fall weather. Meanwhile, I, short of breath, lean against a light pole and snag a loogie through a sewer grate. Nice.
We arrive home. Grandma is outside with the kids. This is a shameful moment. I feel dirty and stink like a bar, and that’s where I belong, hunched over a bar stool, blabbering on about how to survive a bear attack, not at home in front of Grandma and the kids and the watchful eyes of God. I need to shower.
The house is a mess. How do parents find time to both raise kids and clean up after them? Hire a cleaner, I suppose. But then again, how do parents both raise kids and afford literally anything else?
We eat breakfast and…oh no. The 3 year old is speaking Perma-Whine, a pesky form of communication where instead of talking like a normal human, she issues demands through her nose in elongated syllables.
This is always my least favorite feature of the 3 year old, but today I fear her Perma-Whining may kill me. This could last for minutes or hours or, who knows, maybe this is the day she adopts Perma-Whine as her everyday dialect.
I shut my eyes and think back to a few weeks before our second daughter was born. I worried I’d never love this second kid as much as the first. I lol at this thought and marvel at just how quickly and dominantly the baby has become my favorite child.
The 3 year old demands to listen to Baby Shark, which literally is the last piece of media on earth I want to hear right now.
“BABY SHAAAARRRRRRKK,” she whines.
I quickly weigh what’s more annoying, Baby Shark or her incessant whining. Easy choice.
“Hey, Siri, play Baby Shark.”
I turn on the TV and fire up Daniel Tiger. This should give me at least 20 minutes to lie down.
My wife sets the baby on the floor and joins me on the couch. A few weeks ago, the baby found her voice. Since then, she has become a nonstop noise machine. Usually I find her coos and squawks sweet and comforting. But today they sound like something out of The Walking Dead.
I say, “Shhhh, quiet please,” forgetting that she is only a baby and doesn’t obey commands. She continues her ruckus. I close my eyes and fall further into misery.
The 3 year old walks over. “WAKE UP DADDY!” I tell her the same thing I told the baby, “Shhhh, quiet please,” forgetting that the 3 year old doesn’t listen to a goddamn thing I say.
The dog trots over starved for attention. He tries to squeeze between the couch and ottoman but can’t. He settles to sit at the end of the couch and lick my foot, clearly intrigued by whatever has grown between my toes after being shoved in a dress sock for 14 hours.
The gang’s all here. Peering through a window, you would see a man physically surrounded by loved ones. Internally, however, I am blanketed in a personal hell. I need to be alone. I need to shut my eyes. Oh God, I need to vomit.
Well, I did it. I will spare you the gory details but just know that I spent 45 minutes trying to vomit before actually vomiting.
Having barfed away my headache, I am finally comfortable enough to sleep. I feel like the worst is over. My body is ready. I just need to calm my mind but every time I close my eyes, Baby Shark Rings through my head.
The bedroom door opens. It’s my wife. She pushes the 3 year old in and shuts the door again. Dammit! That is a solid move by Mom. I both respect and hate her for it.
I’m in trouble. The girl is unable to deal with anything even slightly out of the ordinary. To her, the novelty of napping in our bed is the equivalent of me trying to fall asleep on the moon.
I finally get the girl to lie down. She asks to sing a lullaby. I ignore her. She starts singing Baby Shark, and for a moment I wonder…Is this how I die?
I need to sleep. I shut my eyes, leaving the girl to either fall asleep on her own or go play unattended in the medicine cabinet.
I wake up dripping in sweat. I grab my water cup and chug all 30 ounces. I check on the girl. She is asleep next to me. God does exist. I go back to sleep.
I wake up and the girl’s face is an inch from mine peering right into my eyes.
Gahhh! The hell is wrong with you?
We head downstairs. I’m starving. There is no food in the house. I eat $19 worth of teething crackers while standing over the sink.
I am craving grease. After that nap, I feel good enough to go out to eat. Of course, I’d rather be hungover for a month than spend even 5 minutes in a restaurant with 2 children. We’ll have to settle for takeout. Oh well, just 18 more years and the kids will be out of the house. Then we’ll really start living.