If there’s one thing brokesters can appreciate across the board, it’s bar-time — that special time, whether it’s at 11pm or at 11am, when we forget about work, our tiny apartments, roommate troubles, bills or student debt and argue passionately about whether the dad from Teen Wolf is the same actor as the main bad guy in Lost Boys (he’s not). So it’s easy to see why certain neighborhoods and their bars get flack for allowing families with children in their hallowed halls during prime drinking hours (read: opening to closing).
But just like we childless folk will do anything to allow for the relative extravagance of liquor, parents have to contend with babysitter costs whenever they want to go out. Parents living on a budget need a drink, too, but they should understand the etiquette first. Here are a few solid tips that will not only have your kids be tolerated by your fellow drinkers, but might just make you legendary within the establishment.
Don’t: Play the “No, you don’t really want to try my beer…ok, just one sip, but I promise you won’t like it!” game with your child.
Yeah, not cool, not legal. No one wants to worry about whether your toddler’s going to need a designated driver to get him home on his Big Wheel.
Do: Make your child the designated shot waiter for your table.
Who is more revered in a drinking situation than the guy who comes over with a bunch of shots for everyone? No one, that’s who. It’s a perfect fit, if you think about it. Why else would God invent shot glasses, if not for tiny, underdeveloped hands?
Don’t: Make every other patron in the bar the babysitter you didn’t hire.
Entertaining your child is a job that belongs to you or your iPad. And every kid is only cute for about five minutes, so don’t expect that anyone is going to want to be around him/her for an extended period of time. You barely want that, and that’s your legacy.
Do: Make your child the ultimate wingman.
Train your child to go around to men and women who look like they might be making a love connection and facilitate things. Any affection he/she can have for the man, to make him look like he’s great with kids, works wonders. Even a little, “If you two were my parents, I bet I’d be even cuter than I am now,” will go pretty far. No one’s going to hate being around your kid if you’re getting them laid.
Don’t: Let your child provoke other children, dogs, or adults.
Do you really want your kid to be that asshole kid at the bar?
Do: Sign your kid up in a child-level MMA match at the bar (where available)
Sure, some people will tell you MMA is kind of bullshit, especially when it’s a lot of grappling, but I feel like the size of the contenders alone will be enough to keep everyone’s attention. And you know what’s better than sitting around drinking? Drinking and gambling on bloodsports!
Don’t: Bring a bunch of food for your kid.
Most of these bars also have a menu. If the adults can’t bring in food, why should your mini-adults be allowed to? There’s a reason why buffalo wings come with carrot sticks and celery.
Do: Bring awesome kid snacks (if you are going to bring any food)
Everyone loves Gushers and Fruit Roll-ups. Pass that shit around and all those Yelpers complaining about kids at the bar will be so jacked up on their sugar high that they won’t even remember to be whiny and entitled. And if you think grapes or apple slices are going to do the trick, I think you know how to show yourself out.
Follow Eric to find out about his secret beer diaper: @PrimeSilver.