Gem was away this weekend, catching up with old friends, leaving me in sole charge of the little’uns. On the basis of my first full day alone with them, I must admit to being a little nervous.
But I’m pleased to report that aside from a slight dent to my pride (Mummy apparently cooks everything better than me… which is undeniably true, but I don’t need to hear it after every meal) the weekend has gone without a hitch. And, more importantly, without any A&E trips!
So I’m now kicking back and enjoying a well deserved beer. Although if looks could kill, I might not be here to enjoy it. You see, according to at least one Sainsbury’s shopper, I committed a cardinal sin.
I took the girls down the beer aisle! And bought beer!
Picture the scene… I’ve had a look at the ales, picked out a few I’ve not tried, and am just putting 3 bottles in the trolley when Daddy Lion – they toy Megan loves more than anything in the world – appears in front of me. A fellow shopper had very kindly picked him up from the floor. “Thanks very much” I said. I might as well not have bothered, because what I got back was a stony silence, and a look of disgust which I can only put down to my being near alcohol with two small children. A simple “You’re welcome” would have been sufficed!
This reminded of a conversation Gem was having at the nursery gates a few weeks ago, about drinking in front of the kids. The consensus amongst the other mums seemed to be that this was a big no-no, although effing and jeffing in front of the same kids is apparently perfectly acceptable, judging by what happens ever day at those gates. Gem stayed quiet, not feeling confident enough to admit to enjoying a beer or two, or a few glasses of wine while the kids are about.
Oh the horror! Just imagine… drinking… in front of the children. You just wouldn’t, would you?
Well, actually, yes, I would. In fact, only last week I got myself in a conversation with Heather about how beer is made. A conversation which kind of petered out when she asked what yeast was, and the best answer I cold come up with was “magic stuff”.
I just don’t see what the big deal is – I know we need to encourage a responsible attitude to alcohol in our kids, but surely pretending that booze doesn’t exist is NOT the way to achieve that? In fact, I’d argue that seeing us enjoying a drink or two, without falling over drunk, is exactly the way to do things – lead by example, and show them that drinking isn’t all about getting as drunk as you can. Isn’t that how it works in other parts of Europe? Y’know, the parts that we’re constantly hearing don’t have problems with binge drinking and teenagers destroying their livers on a regular basis.
There are, of course, drawbacks to this approach… like the time Heather saw her first Coca Cola Christmas ad and said “look, Daddy, Santa is drinking a beer!” Cue hasty explanation that other drinks come in small bottles…
So is it us that’s wrong? Should we be pretending to our girls that beer, wine, whisky etc don’t exist? Are we setting the girls up for a future life that involves getting wasted on the cheapest booze they can get their hands on? I’d love to know what you think – the comment box is at the bottom of the page.
Oh, and in case you’re interested, the Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference IPA isn’t a bad pint, although it’s no Brewdog. But then, what is?