Monday, August 22, 2011

Elixir of Choice

The forbidden grape.
It is the evening, and the Husband is off at a weekly men's meeting. The Baby is asleep. And I am enjoying a glass of wine, together with some bits of gourmet chocolate foraged from the pantry. The trick is to take a sip of wine while the chocolate (preferably dark) is semi-melted in your mouth. The flavors run together like a river of decadent pleasure, and the caffeine and alcohol kiss and cancel each other out.

Today we went to the pediatrician's for Olivia's bimonthly checkup. Since I am breastfeeding and my husband gives me The Eye every time I pour myself a second glass of wine, I took advantage to ask, "And if I have a glass of wine, does the alcohol enter into the milk?"

The doctor, bless his dear heart, said, "Of course not."

Feeling heartened, I asked, "What if it's two glasses of wine?"

"Tampoco," he said. (That means, "Not either.")

Thinking of last Saturday, I asked, "And what if I have a mixed drink with a hard alcohol, like with vodka?"

"Not a problem," he said.

"What if I have several?" I asked. Like Moses, I didn't want to press the issue too hard. But I had to know. And more importantly, The Husband had to know.

"Don't you worry at all," he said. "The alcohol doesn't pass into the breastmilk. The only thing your baby might feel is a bit of a hangover the next morning."

Something tells me (OK, the La Leche League tells me) that that's not quite right. But it gave me ample occasion to give my husband a big grin of "See?  I was right all along!" And the enjoyment (followed by instant remorse) of his sheepish grin.

I will regulate myself as I usually do. I'll probably stick to one glass of wine, maybe two. Hard liquor, not so often... and Baby will get formula if I go too far on a given night. But still, it's nice to get a carte blanche to drink what I want, especially when I know another pregnancy will leave me drinking V8 while everyone else is enjoying a Cabernet Sauvignon.

And so it was that a few hours later, with JC away and the baby asleep, I was busily planting a corkscrew into a bottle of Merlot, watching its silver arms rose like Moses standing vigil over a battlefield. When I pulled the arms down, the cork went "pfft!" and then "glug-glug-glug" into the waiting tulip glass, fat and rounded with expectation. I waited a bit, then took the first sip of burgundy heaven, letting the warmth course down into my stomach.

Silence, a bit of time to myself with my Elixir of choice... what more could a woman ask for on a Monday night?

One day, when I am rich and no longer need to work, that question will be accompanied by a few hours of leisure time, free from the weight of pending work from the day, free from the prospect of translating while buzzed on chocolate and wine. I cannot ever fully relax. But I like to pretend that I can. Mothers who work must take their rest when they can, even if it is in media res.

1 comment:

Fr Matthew Green said...

I just read this, a little late with respect to the date of publication. I really love your images! The arms of Moses being raised... the caffeine and alcohol kissing... I was laughing out loud. You should really write something to publish professionally.