Her parents are typical—very pleasant, but still typical—middle-aged lawyers who love a casual alcohol binge. Sometimes, it seems, they would rather pour it straight from the bottle into their throats, but they usually pour it into the first cup they can find. This time, her mother was in the midst of donning formal attire for a night out on the town. As she rapidly paced back and forth, as mothers do when they're getting ready to leave the house for a few hours, clacking her high heels the hard wood floor and tilting her head to the right, she half-consciously poked a golden metal hoop through her earlobe with one hand. With her other, she decided that she would try to pour herself some Kahlua and milk over ice.
"Kelsey takes her medicine at 7:30 and her bedtime is at 8. She gets to pick which toothbrush she wants to use and she likes to read a book before bedtime." As she spoke, she grabbed a pink cup from the cabinet. The cup of choice in this chaos was a plastic sippy variety with Barbie's face on it.
Kahlua in milk looks a lot like chocolate milk. I didn't realize during this time that I should be on the hunt for potential alcohol-related whoopsies, so when the toddler gulped down what I'm hoping was her life's first shot of liquor, I wasn't aware of it until she puckered her face and said, "I don't think this is chocowate miwk." As I sniffed and confirmed that she had indeed downed something not intended for toddlers, I felt my first of many hybrid emotions I'd eventually experience throughout the duration of this job: guilt that I had inadvertently tainted someone who had been an infant two years ago by not checking for the booze, and slight amusement that I'd have to check sippy cups for booze in the first place.
At least she slept well that night.
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