Rule #26: Take Your Kids to Bars

You've always been a bit of a dork. Having kids just emphasized it.

You've always been a bit of a dork. Having kids just emphasized it.

You’ve pretty much been labeled a social pariah ever since you decided to have children…at least that’s the way you see it.

You get fewer invites to happy hours and hardly receive any 2 a.m. drunk dials from reasonably attractive people—but perhaps the biggest change is that you simply don’t have the opportunity to get hammered and all crazy in a public setting any longer. (Well, unless you count the church parking lot on Sundays, and we’re not.)

But you are nothing if not incredibly resourceful, so it’s easy to shed a few years of parental lameness by making one simple decision (and please note, this will go down as the single-greatest decision you’ve ever made): Just take your kids with you to bars.

Come on—It’s a Just a Little Smoke

Young lungs, ears, and stomachs are resilient—they can handle the seedier qualities found in watering holes. Besides, this is supposed to be about you, too, so don’t overlook the perks:

You’ll always have a designated driver.

After enough beers, having him drive will seem like a good idea.

After enough beers, having him drive will seem like a good idea.

You’ll never have to hail a cab again—or worse—get behind the wheel of your mini-van after several martinis. Extensive research, conducted in European cities that we have trouble spelling and pronouncing, note that it’s easy to keep your child awake with a steady diet of Coke, salty bar nuts, and stale pretzels (also good for strengthening kiddie gums and molars).

When the bartender won’t serve you another screwdriver and it’s clear you’ve made an ass of yourself long enough, just toss your child the car keys. (What? He’s not old enough to drive? Well he’s not old enough for bars either—and that didn’t stop you.)

Someone to make cigarette runs.

Don’t let your kid get in the way of dancing with the scantily clad cougar or sugar daddy by the jukebox—and certainly don’t let yourself fall prey to missing any of the game just because you’re jonesin’ for a smoke. Simply slip your kid your I.D., tell him your favorite brand, and sit back and wait for your cancer sticks. Plus, your child will enjoy the fresh air on the way to 7-Eleven. You guessed it: a win-win.

Half-priced appetizers.

Having Junior tag along on your night of debauchery will allow you (at classier establishments) to order discounted items from the Kid’s Menu. If it’s a late-night bender and the kitchen is closed, threaten to halt your child’s consumption of salty bar nuts and Coke—the ensuing temper tantrum will motivate any reasonable-minded bartender to score those Kids’ Menu nachos for you in a flash. And you can happily report to your spouse that little Bradley has been fed.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel January 15, 2009 at 7:42 am

Love this: “(What? He’s not old enough to drive? Well he’s not old enough for bars either—and that didn’t stop you.)” You could also get the kid to pan handle outside so you can cover your tab. Teaches the value of the hard-earned dollar early on.


Father Knows Worst January 15, 2009 at 8:03 am

@Rachel: Panhandling as a bar tab fundraiser? Pure genius. We’re not worthy!


Playing Daddy January 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Great Blog. I keep telling my wife I am bringing the baby to the bars with me on the guys night out.


anonymous waitress January 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm

I’m a waitress and this post cracks me up. I’ll see couples go on double dates with other couples and bring their little shit brigade of kids along. Instantly I know two things:
1.They are shitty parents who will get drunk and irresponsible.
2.Whatever tip they leave will not be worth cleaning up after their snotty kids.


Mathew January 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Perhaps bringing them to a bar as a child is a great way to show your children that drinking is really no big deal – a great way to reduce teen drinking!


Father Knows Worst January 22, 2009 at 8:16 am

@ Mathew: It’s funny you bring that up. One of our first rules (ok, the first rule) of parenting is to drink with your kids. You’re clearly ahead of your time.


Sarcastica January 23, 2009 at 11:09 am

Hmm, perhaps showing kids that drinking really is no big deal would reduce teen drinking…I think scientists should do a study on it haha


Pattiellen January 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Coke? It’s actually always been orange soda. Kids who would never drink orange soda ALWAYS order it in a bar. go figure!!!


Marilyn_Res February 8, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Actually my grandfather Pop-Pop used to take me and my cousins to bars. I loved the smell and the cool darkness. He’d buy us Cokes and pretzels. The Coke would fizz my nose. I loved going there with him. When my grandma Nana found out she was furious.


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