“I’m not letting the Jones take care of my son anymore,” Stacey told me while we watched our kids get filthy from head to toe. We were sipping iced tea in her backyard as the Taz and her son, the Menace, took turns digging holes near the playset, trying to find buried treasure or reach China – whichever came first. So far, they were only coming up with earthworms, which they were hucking at each other. It was sweltering hot, the proof in the sweat on my brow. And I couldn’t help wishing that the iced tea were something more along the lines of a frosty cold Mojito, or any kind of cocktail that would add a little tropical flair to the shadeless backyard with more dirt piles than grass. Don’t get me wrong, the iced tea was good. But it just wasn’t cutting it in this 90-degree weather.
“Why not?” I asked her, taking another sip of the tea.
“Well, the other night when Steve and I went out on our date night, we left the Menace with the Jones. We picked him up around 11pm, and I noticed some wine glasses on the counter. I asked Lisa about them, and she said that she and Terry always enjoy a glass or two with dinner.” She looked at me categorically as if she had just proven her point, and I immediately felt guilty about the cocktail fantasy I just imbibed in my mind.
“Were they drunk?” I asked.
“No, she was fine. But I just don’t think it’s appropriate for them to drink alcohol when they are watching someone else’s child.”
I’m not a heavy drinker, mostly due to the fact that one glass of wine can have me singing showtunes one minute and then needing a nap in the next. So my alcohol intake involves maybe one drink a month, and usually only at social events. And I’m not averse to drinking around my kids, mainly because I am such a light drinker. But I had never given much thought to drinking when watching someone else’s child, or drinking on the part of someone who was watching my kids. I mean, if they were getting plowed or going to be driving my kids, I would definitely have a problem. But a glass of wine while staying at home?
What do you think? Is it ok to enjoy a drink if you are watching someone else’s child? And how would you feel if someone was drinking while your kid was in their care?