Friday night has finally arrived! You’ve survived another week of adult-ing and you’re going out with your favorite people. It’s 9 p.m. and you’re headed to the club to dance the night away while sipping Cosmos and throwing back a few shots. Or maybe you’re trying out that trendy new gastro pub where you’ll unwind and enjoy an expertly mixed concoction, or a shared bottle of wine, while waxing poetic on the meaning of life and why your boss is such an unrelenting hard-ass.
It’s the weekend and you don’t have work in the morning, so there won’t be any consequence to indulging a little too much and being rendered useless the next day. Tomorrow you can stay in your pajamas until the sun goes down, lamenting your choices from the previous night. You can keep the shades pulled all day and pretend that the sun never rose at all, binging on Netflix and Chinese takeout.
Except, what’s that loud sound? Why does it feel like your body has turned itself inside out? And where in the hell is that bright light coming from?
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Ah, yes, one minor detail. You have kids now. You may be an adult who likes to go out and relive those glory days, but your kids are not on board for this. They are opposed to silence, darkness, and your comfort in general.
You used to be able to stay out all night and sleep it off the next morning, but not anymore. No, sir. Not today. Today you will be awoken by a little person whisper-shouting in your ear that it’s time to wake up and “feeeed” them. They do not have a snooze button — an unfortunate flaw in their design, obviously. You can swat at them and groan, but you cannot make them go away. They employ a host of tactics to get you out of bed before the sun has even considered opening its eyes. They want you. They want to see you in a mostly upright position, struggling to heat frozen waffles while attempting to find the latest episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, all while trying to avoid the harsh glare of the television and the jarringly loud sound that is emanating from both your child and that perpetually sunny-dispositioned mouse.
It’s fine, though. They’re kids. They’re your kids, and you love them. As you watch your child spreading crumbs and syrup all around the living room while they dance to the Hot Dog Song, you realize you haven’t yet had coffee. So you stumble away from your currently entertained child to make some.
While you’re waiting for the sweet nectar of the gods to finish brewing, you close your eyes for a few minutes as you sit at the kitchen table. Suddenly and without warning, screams come from your living room, as though your child has just broken a limb, or is being carried away by a pack of wild dogs. You run toward the sound, trip on a random toy that was obviously left out in an attempt to end your life, and realize your child is in fact safe, but their beloved show is now over. You console the shrieking creature that is writhing in your arms and before you know it, it’s 11 and you haven’t even drunk a drop of what the baristas would now refer to as stale coffee.
Why? Why can’t parents just drink coffee uninterrupted? Because, they have kids who are only content for short bursts of time. If you can’t manage to drink your coffee during those 46 seconds of silence, you will not be drinking that coffee at all. Parents need shots of coffee. Twelve espresso shots to keep up with these children who have the energy of a thousand suns. At this point you should just add some ice to this room-temp liquid and call it iced coffee.
Next you will have to climb out of those comfy pajamas and put on real clothes, because your kids will expect you to take them outside to play, and your neighbors will judge you if they see you’re still rocking your flannel jammies at 2 p.m. on a Saturday. Extinguish this notion of lounging. Put on your oversized sunglasses to block out as much light as possible and take in the fresh air.
The only ritual you can still perform from those previously child-free days is order Chinese takeout. Of course you can only do this after you get the kids to bed that night. You certainly can’t order it while they’re awake because, according to your children, it “smells funny” and it “makes them sad.” Just survive until bedtime and then you can watch an episode or 12 on Netflix and stuff your face with a generous portion of egg roll.
Yes, once upon a time you could go out all night and party hard. Then you had kids. The End.