There was a time when I slung beers to frat boys to pay my rent back in my college days, so I know a thing or two about intoxicated people. Their tequila-fueled feelings span both ends of the emotional spectrum. From the overly confident karaoke singer to the self-loathing cynic, I have seen it all. Now that I'm the mom of two boys, one of whom is a toddler, I find myself witnessing similar behavior on a day-to-day basis. I have been showered with hugs for simply supplying fruit cups, and (later the same day) shunned for not allowing my 2-year-old to use the power drill to disassemble his Cozy Coupe. Apparently not granting my child permission to use power tools before he can even urinate independently makes me an a**hole.
The everyday, unpredictable ups and downs have got me feeling quite nostalgic for my days tending bar. It’s almost as if while debating with my irrational toddler, I’m dealing with the same emotional instability of that collar-popping, fist-pumping d-bag who could drink his weight in Jager bombs. And it's got me thinking: Maybe my days behind the bar oddly prepared me for motherhood. Toddlers and drunks really aren’t so different after all.
Both Struggle To Walk Straight Lines
Look, we've all tried to convince others of our keen sense of balance on the parking space line after a few too many Lemon Drops. It happens. Vodka is a powerful force and sometimes it overtakes our sober will. While walking a straight line is not impossible, it does require a fair amount of sobriety and coordination to walk said line without face planting. In the toddlers' defense, their joints are not fully formed, nor has their peripheral vision developed. The inebriated adults are, well, drunk due to lack of developing self-control or alcohol tolerance. Both are equally hilarious.
Both Are ALWAYS Hungry For Macaroni And Cheese
Literally always. Even if they’ve just finished a birthday feast or a hot wing sampler, and their pupils have begun to dilate before the onset of their food coma, if there’s macaroni and cheese within smelling distance, they will find it.
Both Slur Their Speech
Trying to listen to a toddler justify why he is feeding the dog his green beans is strikingly similar to trying to translate the drunken political rant of an over-served bourbon enthusiast. It involves a lot of interpretive hand gestures and indistinguishable, high-pitched, angry babbling.
Both Lose Articles Of Clothing In Public Places
Have you ever woken up post-bachelorette shindig missing one or both of your shoes and/or earrings? Well, you're not alone in your battle of the missing garments: Toddlers also struggle to maintain their appearances. Why is it so damn hard to make it through the entire grocery store without losing a shoe? Where? How? I DON'T GET IT.
Both Lack Emotional Maturity
As most would consider the disappearance of an over-priced gin and juice grounds for cursing, the desertion of a toddler’s beloved apple juice can be equally devastating. Is apple juice a gateway drug? Should we be concerned with their emotional dependence on that sugary-sweet, artificially flavored nectar? Apple juice, gin, whatever — you're basically dealing with a couple of basket cases no matter what the cocktail.
Both Like To Yell For No Logical Reason
If someone at the bar is yelling, it’s for one of three completely irrational reasons: college football season (talking to you, Bama fans), a themed frat party, or everyone’s favorite Journey song just came on. If a toddler is yelling, it’s because he just discovered that loudness demands attention, and he thinks it’s funny to watch Mom pull her hair out.
Neither Can Ever Find Their Keys
Or their Pop Tarts, socks, cell phone, purse, dignity, bra, camera, or the remote to the TV that they so sneakily hid. I'm confident in my belief that Apple profits off of the new cell phone purchases that were a result of over-consumption and device abandonment. I guess we should be happy that toy phones are significantly more affordable than iPhones, otherwise we'd all be broke.
Both Are Desperate For Attention
Both toddlers and drunks are constantly vying for the spotlight, and both are willing to dance pantless, and stuff their faces full of French fries to own it. This is how drunken karaoke was conceived: Some college girl suddenly allowed vodka to convince her that singing Shania Twain was a necessary move .Really though, they both just want to be the apple of your eye, so enjoy the entertainment and be thankful that someone cares enough about you to perform for your approval.
Both Want To Party All Night
Toddlers hate bedtime as much as your drunk uncle hates last call. Whether they're reading Dr. Suess for the 27th time or owning bar trivia, neither can fathom their night ever ending. I can attest to the fact that they both go down kicking and screaming (but when they do, they go down hard).
Both Will Definitely Pass Out In The Car On The Way Home
It never fails: After a night of taking shots and doing the Electric Slide, or a long day of constructing small empires out of mega blocks and pretending to be a dragon, exhaustion inevitably overtakes excitement. The ride home from a fun day (or long night) always ends in open-mouthed snoring by both parties.
However, when a toddler passes out on the car ride home, we want to drive just a little bit longer because it's so flipping cute (and quiet, so quiet). When a toddler babbles, it's adorable, and when they dance, it's OK that they look like a newborn giraffe.
As for those adults who have had one too many, I mean, hey, they're pretty entertaining too. Also, they paid my way through college so I kind of owe them. And if given the opportunity or a date night to do so, I too would happily do the electric slide with an LIT in my hand.
If you really think about it, toddlers and drunks just want to be loved like the rest of us. They just want to eat cupcakes for supper and party all night. Sure, sometimes they turn into obnoxious jerks in the process but they mean well. And really, don't all of us want to eat cupcakes for supper sometimes?