Yesterday was my dad’s 63rd birthday. Uncle Bri, JD, my dad’s girlfriend, Karen, and I took him out. We always dine at fancy places but I intervened and made an executive decision: We went to Thatcher McGhees in Pompton Lakes, NJ. Here’s the thing, they have really yummy American cuisine and a rustic dining room—but Thatcher’s is also a fun, low-key party place. It’s a place you go to drink beer, do shots and listen to a band. I’ve been there many times on dates and with friends. I got drunk there many times.
When Uncle Bri, JD, and I arrived, my dad and Karen were sitting at the main bar. The bar where dudes have bought me drinks and I’ve done shots—LOL. They were sipping cocktails. I plopped JD on a bar stool and ordered a rum and diet with a lemon wedge (Uncle Bri was driving and not drinking). The bartender was super adorbs and asked JD what he was having. “Hmmmmm,” he said. “I’ll take an apple juice!” We all laughed. Next, the bartender gave JD a plastic kiddy cup decorated in cartoon characters with a red lid and bendy straw. We raised our glasses to my dad! “Happy 63rd old man—what a year! What a year ahead!” I said and we all laughed. I snapped some pics and we headed to the dining room.
JD ordered dinosaur nuggets, pickles, carrot sticks and fries—just like that. We chowed down on Thatch fries (fries baked in gooey cheddar cheese and ranch dressing) and hot wings. I ordered another drink … hey I wasn’t driving. We chatted! JD entertained us with random break-dancing moves, announced he had to poo (I made my dad handle that. I tend not to care-take as much when I have family around. I needed a break, ha.) Bri also took him for a walk outside where they chatted with a doorman bouncer who was getting ready for the younger crowd to roll in. Our entrees arrived. We dined!
A slice of bday cheesecake arrived next. We sang. JD blew out the candle. My dad made a wish. I ordered shots (yeah I did!) and paid the bill. Uncle Bri maintains he’ll pay me back. Ah, I’m adding that to his IOU doc on my computer, hee-hee.
When I got home I tucked JD in and retreated to my office. I was feeling a little … happy, not drunk, but then I got pissed when I checked my Facebook. Some kid I graduated high school with 11 years ago sent me a message: “You write about parenting and shouldn’t have your kid sitting at a bar.” DELETE. This is so Jersey. My parent friends in NYC dine at bars every other night and their kids sit with them at the bar. JD was a regular at the tiki bars in Aulani—they knew him by name. When he was a baby, I’d sit on the LES with my friends and have a beer. He’d sleep in his stroller.
JD wasn’t doing shots of JD at the bar. He was chilling with his fam. In my book, it’s OK. I don’t drink and drive. My kid doesn’t drink. I attend enough kid things: the park, the zoo, the circus, the diner, the live cartoon character shows (ouch), the spray park, the kid-friendly vacays, the movies (we wore matching McQueen shirts to Cars 2, hello!)—we can hit up the bar sometimes. It’s really OK. Just be responsible, my sweet readers. If you wanna meet your friends at a bar/dining setting take your kid and order a soda if you don’t have a designated driver. Simple.
Chime in! XO