Having blown my early twenties drinking and partying, I had resigned myself to the idea that when it came to starting a family, I was going to be a late bloomer, if at all. Lucky for me, my future wife and her two children from a previous marriage made up for lost time. Jumping into a family so quickly was not without its challenges, and a big one was breaking bad habits, especially the not so obvious habits. For example, drinking tequila on the rocks like it was water? Bad habit. Drinking water to hydrate? According to my future step-daughter, also bad.
If this little girl was thirsty, she had to have juice. Apple juice, orange juice, grape juice, fruit punch, it didn’t matter; as long as it was juice she had to have it. Now, as a functional alcoholic, I had two things in my fridge: beer and water. One of those I couldn’t offer her (and expect to stay with her mom). The other, well…she wasn’t having it. She hated water. Unfortunately for her, I hate juice. Actually:
I hate products that are labeled as juice when really the closest they come to fresh fruit are the pretty pictures painted on the label.
So I took a stand. No juice. If I couldn’t get buzzed then neither could she. You know what happened? My seven year old daughter grew up to love water. This didn’t happen overnight. But rather than sugar water, which, honestly, that’s what most juice is, I quenched her thirst with…water. Thirsty after a day at the park? Water. Thirsty in the morning? Water. Thirsty after…you get the idea.
We’re parents, we are our children’s last line of defense when it comes to their health. If my child is thirsty my duty is to hydrate her…not use water as some kind of vessel to sneak crap into her body. Because sugar, in the doses found in juices, turns into crap. It’s scientific. Look it up. Now I know what you’re thinking. Does that mean that my children can never bask in the glow of a cool, refreshing soda on a hot afternoon?
Heck no. How else can I justify the occasional tequila?