The following was syndicated from Woke Dad for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at TheForum@Fatherly.com.
My wife and I attended a friend’s wedding this past weekend — without the girls. After surviving my first month as a stay-at-home dad, I decided to tie one off. I planned on front-loading my drinking, so that I’d be sober by the time we relieved the babysitter. On such occasions, I prefer to have a couple drinks before eating … to get a good buzz churning. However, I did not account for champagne to be flowing during the ceremony itself. I then enjoyed 2 Negronis at cocktail hour — the rest of the evening was a blur. The next morning, I got an earful from Clementine.
“Daddy! I’m so mad at you!”
“Huh? I’m sorry sweetie, daddy’s a little groggy. I haven’t had my morning coffee.”
“Do you even remember what happened last night!?”
“Yes, I do! — Your mother and I spent 8 glorious hours away from you and your sister.”
“I don’t doubt that daddy. And that’s fine by me. Penny and I had a stupendous evening with our friend Sally Ann.”
“That’s wonderful, sweetie. There’s nothing better than the friendship experience.”
“Whatever daddy. I’m well aware of the financial arrangement you and mommy have with Sally Ann. — But the love she has for me and Clemmy is real! On the other hand, I’m not so sure about you, daddy. You went straight to bed last night … without even giving me and Clemmy our goodnight kiss!”
“Oh, I’m sorry sweetie. Is that what this is all about? I can assure you that it was not intentional — I was just so tired.”
“Tired?! I’ve seen you tired, daddy. This was something else entirely. It’s like you weren’t even daddy.
“You’re right, sweetie. I confess: Your daddy was as drunk as a skunk.”
“I’m not familiar with that expression, daddy. But you reminded me of myself on the day of my birth. — As flimsy as a wet-noodle.”
“Again, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get that drunk. Plus, it’s not like it happens every weekend.”
“You should never ever ever get that drunk, daddy. Not as long as you’re raising me and Clemmy. You must be able to take care of us 24 hours, 7 days a week. What if I was gravely ill or if you had to provide CPR?”
“I’d feel terrible, sweetie. But your mom was sober last night, and very capable.”
“Well daddy, what if someone broke into the house? You’re supposed to be the protector of the realm. Our knight in shining armor!”
“Home invasions are extremely rare, sweetie. But I’m pretty sure my adrenaline would kick in under those circumstances.”
“Daddy, you have a clever retort for everything don’t you? Well, answer me this: Why do you get drunk? What are you running away from?”
“Oh sweetie, you’ll understand one day.”
“Don’t just condescend to me, daddy. I want a real answer!”
“Honestly, sweetie. Your daddy is extremely shy. I used to get drunk to get the courage to talk to woman — Now it’s just fun to cut loose at weddings and other special occasions.”
“Come on daddy — how special could it be if you’re passed out halfway through the reception? Do you plan on getting wasted at my wedding?”
“No, sweetie. I wouldn’t do that to you.”
“So, if you think about it, daddy … you didn’t just let me down. You also let your friend down.”
“Hmmmm. I don’t think my friend minded … if he even noticed. BUT to be honest, sweetie, I definitely let myself down.”
“I’m so glad you could acknowledge that, daddy, because friendships fade and children leave the nest … But you have to live with yourself for the rest of your clever little life.”
Fans of Dean Masello’s sly wit and deadpan demeanor might be surprised to know that the former attorney struggles daily to control a variety of ailments, including anxiety, sleepwalking, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. While these traits wreak havoc in his personal life, on stage, he harnesses his unique worldview to create the brilliantly insightful social commentary that has made him one of the industry’s most respected young talents. In his spare time, he’s a stay-at-home parent for his newborn twin girls.