A Plea To Young Parents

I am knee-deep in presents today. I’m laying them all out nice and neatly under our Festivus pole for the big exchange on Friday. So today my practically-Aunt Ellen (she’s actually besfrinn Cameron’s aunt but who’s splitting hairs?) is here to entertain you with a little holiday PSA. Enjoy and I’ll see you Friday! -Emily

Once again it is the festive time of the year. There will be conviviality. There will be good cheer. For the health and well-being not only of yourselves, the parents, but for the safety of your young ones—Please Do Not Drink and Drive. The consequences of doing so could be severe and everlasting.

I myself have followed this wise maxim for years. It is only recently, however, that I have discovered an excellent unintended consequence of a strict adherence to this regime. My children are older now, and they often have to be ferried to and from various events at later and later times of day—or I suppose I should say night. And guess what? I don’t have to do said ferrying because I don’t drink and drive.

Herewith I offer for your delectation some real life examples. Quaff your preferred alcoholic beverage as you peruse.

Situation #1

Time: sometime after 6 pm

Son: Mom, may I spend the night with Andrew?

Mom: Sure! His mom will have to pick you up, though. I’ve had a glass of wine, and Daddy isn’t home yet.

Son: OK.

This exchange exemplifies with laser-like precision how this premise operates in the field.

Situation #2

Time: sometime after 6 pm

Daughter: Mommy, will you take me and Zoe (sic) to the store for ice cream?

Mommy: Nope. I just got through having a glass of wine with dinner. Maybe tomorrow.

Daughter: Rats! Okaay…

This episode earns double points as  children were saved from their unhealthy snack urges!

Situation #3

Time: Approximately 6 pm

Mom: Son, what time will the wrestling match end?

Son: I dunno. Around 8.45 or 9 pm, I am guessing.

Mom: Well, you’ll need to find your own ride home unless you want to wait for Daddy to get out of his meeting. I’ll be putting your sister to bed, and I know I will be having a glass of wine then.

Score triple points for this encounter. Maternal bedtime duties remain sacrosanct while affording an adolescent the opportunity to take responsibility for his own life!

Free at last! Free at last! After all those long years of mommy taxi duties, I am free at last!

I promise this approach can work for you too. It will not be effective, however, to suddenly develop this good driving habit when your child reaches the cynical age of 9 or 10. No. It must be drilled into him from a very early age that Mommy (Sorry, dads. You’re on your own) does not drink and drive. This way your calm statement that you cannot drive them to or fro will be accepted as calmly as it was stated. For so many reasons, I urge you now not to drink and drive.


About Ellen: Ellen is a total bookworm and bibliophile completing her first semester of library school in the great state of North Carolina. If you live in or near NC, please check out the North Carolina Literary Map which has all kinds of links and info all about the literary life of the state. For those of you wondering whether you can trust the advice she offers in this blog post, it is based on 21 years and counting in the trenches!


  1. Did you go to NC Chapel Hill? I was a systems librarian at NCSU for a while – t’was my first job after Library grad school!

    I never drink and drive – I’m right there with ya.

    1. I will have to check with Ellen, but I think she went to the University of Memphis. Howevs, even though I know you didn’t love living in NC, ohmagosh to be on the Chapel Hill campus everyday? Heavenly.

      1. No – but I LOVED Chapel Hill!!!!

        1. We’re going there this weekend :D

            1. ellen gordon · · Reply

              Emily is correct. I went to the Univ of Memphis. Now i am in school at UNCG, and I wish it were as sexy a campus as Chapel Hill!

  2. It’s never to early in a child’s life to start laying the foundation for this rule. Doing it early in their young lives means they’ll confuse it as their own belief!! Win/win!!
    Of course, I’m just a non-drinking Mormon gal, what do I know? haha!

    1. And yet another fantasy falls away! No getting you drunk then, I guess. Oh,well. HF

      1. We’ll have to peer pressure her at the Festivus party. ;D

        1. I’m down with that! HF

    2. Good point! I am all about confusing C early. She does it enough to me. Thanks, Lisa!

  3. I actually prefer being drunk on the bus.
    Or on a blog.

    1. Yes, the bus is a very exotic place to get drunk; it’s one of my favorites as well. You never know where you’ll end up, or with whom.

      1. You realize that your comment just begs an entire blog post explanation?

      2. ellen gordon · · Reply

        Y’all must live in the metroplolis where going places by bus can actually happen!

    2. You mean some people DON’T blog intoxicated?

  4. Teaching a valuable lesson and, getting a glass of wine, and avoiding the ferrying job. Win! Win! Win! Love it!

    1. Ellen is the best and wisest.

  5. Once again we can rely on Ellen for wise maternal advice. Of course it is too late for me, because my children are adults now, and looking back on their teenaged years I see the error of my ways. Oh how many excursions could have been avoided had I only known? I guess I’ll just have to go up to Ellen’s house so I’ll be able to say to her children, “And I can’t take you either. Your Mother insisted that I drink this small glass of wine!”

    1. Y’all are all my favorites. You do realize that you’re up next for guest-blogging here, right? When all is said and done I want every single member of your entire family to write for me.

      1. ellen gordon · · Reply

        I will be happy for that scenario to take place in real life :)

  6. Too late for me. BUT, my son is constantly telling us that it is unsafe to drink and drive. Unfortunately, since I drink very little, I wind up driving home ’cause dad has a glass of wine most nights of the week. Can we change the rule to don’t drink tea and drive???

    1. I think that would work. You could just say that you anticipate having to use the bathroom in the next hour.

      1. ellen gordon · · Reply

        Emily is spot on. I was just going to say that the advice is don’t drink and drive. That could be any beverage, right?

  7. Teaching by example–the best way to go!

    1. Ellen is very wise ;)

  8. krugthethinker · · Reply

    Yay! Emily and Ellen in the same place is like an explosion of awesomeness! Also, I am filing this away for future use!

    1. I know, right? I think Ellen could be my parenting mentor.

  9. Ok, so the plan is to stay totally drunk and either never go anywhere or get rides from people. Duly noted.

    1. And always have a bottle of wine on hand when you have kids. I can speak to the wisdom in this.

      1. And benedryl to spike their juice.

  10. I totally hear you… Fortunately, I don’t drink. Great post, Auntie!

    1. Ellen is the best ;D

  11. I love that the glass of wine is the centerpiece of each option. Priorities are important.

    1. Every mother should receive a membership to the Wine of the Month Club at her baby shower.

  12. BRILLIANT! Fantastic, and true :) See, this is why I haven’t had kids yet, so I can gather all this brilliant knowledge!

    1. I wish I had started reading blogs before I had kids. There is such a wealth of knowledge to be had!

  13. I need to have children just so I have an excuse to drink more wine.

    1. WORD. PS, Sorry I haven’t been commenting as much on your blog lately; once Festivus is over I will resume my stalkage.

      1. Never apologize! We all get busy and have lives. I never take it personally :)

  14. Great examples: it takes just one to hurt someone we love.

  15. ellen gordon · · Reply

    Wow! Now I see why people have blogs! What a thrill to see all the likes and comments. Continue to pass on all the wisdom ! Ellen

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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