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A Hangover Guide For Parents

What's worse than being older and hungover? Having a toddler AND being hungover. You know who doesn't understand the "Irish flu?" A very demanding tiny person who relies on you to wipe their butt.
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Remember when we were young and reckless? We would drink our paychecks away on a Saturday, wake up on Sunday, go to the sleaziest diner to fill our bellies and sleep away the day with Cartoon Network droning in the background and call it a day. Now we are older. Our partying days are few and farther between, but the next day, we are "kindly" reminded why we don't get shit-faced anymore.

What's worse than being older and hungover? Having a toddler AND being hungover. You know who doesn't understand alcohol-induced nausea? A very demanding tiny person who relies on you to wipe their butt.

After having a few nights of being "carefree" and reliving my youth, I have finally found a way to survive the next day with an unsympathetic child. It may not be the "hair of the dog," but it will get you through that morning after a night with your pal tequila.

6:00 a.m. The child awakens.
You may have crawled into bed at 2 a.m., possibly had a restless night of head spinning and you may or may not have thrown up. This means nothing to a 2-year-old.

Before you think about starting the morning, ask yourself: Are they crying? Are they hungry? Are they hanging upside from the rotating fan? If the answer to all these questions is "no," you can simply turn down the baby monitor and give yourself 45 more minutes of sleep before they finally approach your bedroom.

7:00 a.m. The child demands that the day start.
At this point, she has snuck into the bedroom and is starting to put her fingers in your ears, your nose and your mouth. She is giggling and possibly jumping on your bed. You'll have no choice but to get up with her at this point. Begin crawling down the stairs like Regan from The Exorcist.

7:30 a.m. Feeding time.
First, take care of the essentials -- food. Don't even wait for her to ask for what she wants. She will change her mind, anyway.

Ask if she has ever pretended to eat like a dog. This will grab her attention. Pour a bowl full of dry Cheerios into a bowl and place it on the ground. When she sees this, she will definitely not back down. Off Fido goes, eating her breakfast. Congrats. You fed your child.

8:00 a.m. Entertainment time.
Now that your child has eaten, she will want you to be her source of company. You are in no mood to direct her in a game, nor do you want her to get into trouble. Time to put on a movie. Don't believe in letting the TV babysit your child? Then you and your Amish friends can and go knit a sweater with your toddler.

Movie recommendations: No annoying voices. Your pounding head will not take kindly to "Sponge Bob." The less flashing colors, the better. Finding Nemo will mellow any child and hungover mother out. Fish are relaxing, right? Even if one of the parents gets eaten in the beginning.

8:30 a.m. Take care of you.
Time to get your shit together and take care of that booze-infused body. Quickly eat that leftover Chinese food, drink a glass of water and take something for your migraine. Have yourself a cup of coffee while you slump on the couch with the toddler.

10:00 a.m. Rub a dub dub.
Nemo is over. By now your head is mildly numb, you are a little less nauseated and you can remember your child's name.

Sally, right? Susan?

It's time to ask Sarah if she wants to pretend to be a fish and play in the tub. It's an offer she can't refuse. Turn on the bath water, add some bubbles and if you're feeling it, add some oils. While you try and soak away the memories of you dancing on top of the bar last night, your child will be happy that she can spend a whole hour in the tub with those bath crayons and naked Barbie dolls.

11:00 a.m. The final countdown.
You have one more hour until this kid can hopefully take a nap. Golden rule: If the child is passed out, you can pass out.

Time to give the kid a lunch she will never forget: potato chips, salsa and pickles. If this makes you squirm, just remember, salsa counts as the child's vegetable. Congrats, your kid is eating healthy.

Once she is done eating, take her to her room, tell her what a great morning you had with her and if she doesn't fall asleep soon, she won't get that car when she turns 16.

If you know your child isn't a guaranteed napper, lay out books, stuffed animals or anything that is quiet. Shut the door.

12:00 p.m. Back to bed.
Finally you have an hour or two to sleep off your bad choices from the night before. Crawl into bed and whisper sweetly into the ear of the husband you let sleep in, "if you expect me to do the things I did last night ever again, next time you will get your butt out of bed and take care of the child." Suddenly, Prince Charming will let you sleep through your hangover.

Maybe you should have started with that line at 6:00 a.m.