I Shouldn’t Have Brought My Child to Your Cocktail Party

Hindsight is 20/20.
save article
profile picture of Boomdash
By Boomdash, Boomdash
Published November 3, 2017
Baby sleeping in tuxedo outfit
Image: Aleksandra Jankovic

The following story, “I Shouldn’t Have Brought My Toddler To Your Cocktail Party” by Alyssa Shelasky was originally published on Boomdash.

Are you a “chill mom"?

I’ve always identified as one. I like to think my lack of neurosis makes my daughter light-hearted and cool.

Last night, however, it only made us jerks.

Here’s what happened. I was co-hosting a cocktail party with some friends, and I could not get a sitter. It wasn’t a party I could skip in good conscious, and I was out of options. So I brought my daughter, Hazel.

Because…who doesn’t love an 18-month-old in a Zara frock?

I’ll tell you who: literally anyone trying to have a glass of wine and an adult conversation, surrounded by glimmering candles, great art, and meaningful things from around the globe.

The party was at my friend’s gorgeous apartment in Chelsea. I asked permission to bring Hazel in advance, and my friend, a Great Hostess, said, “Fun!”

Of course, asking permission doesn’t make everything okay…it doesn’t make it a good idea. Though “Fun!” is what I told myself as I piled the two of us into an UberPool at 6:00 pm, half an hour shy of Hazel’s bedtime.

We arrived at the party unfashionably early. The apartment looked exquisite. Velvet-upholstery-and-crystal-goblets exquisite. I’ve been to her place before but, Jesus, it never looked this beautiful—and breakable.

Hazel busted right in. “Hiiiiiiii,” she said in her little squirrel voice. Adorable. She helped Great Hostess with some final preparations. Precious. She ate some radishes and Chèvre and called them her “num-nums.” Aw. She said please (“peas”) and thank you (“tank ya”) and called everyone, “Babyyyy.”

And then Great Hostess went to light the votive candles, but not before asking if I was okay with that. And because I’m soooo wild-hearted and whimsy, I said, “No probs, Lady.”

Related Video

Here’s another word to describe me in that moment: STUPID. It only took 30 seconds and a near catastrophe to realize that I put my daughter in danger. What was I thinking?

So when Great Hostess wasn’t looking, I blew out all the votives and ditched them in unreachable locations. And so began a long night of moving, hiding, shifting, and destroying the evidence of, well, freakin’ everything.

Wherever trouble lurked, Hazel found it. Artisanal steak knives; rare books; Bvlgari perfume. Forget the uncut grapes, unfinished cocktails, and unlocked iPhones she tore into. She wasn’t naughty, she was just…18 months old. But hey, we’re the happy-go-lucky mommy and baby team. Right??? Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I deeply regretted bringing her. I wanted to socialize. There was an editor there whom I’ve tried to write for, forever—there was never a minute to approach him, but Hazel did cuddle his lower thigh. My best friend showed up from LA and I had hoped to introduce her to work contacts. But it was impossible. My head throbbed. There was prosciutto in my bra - and I don’t eat pork.

So I pulled the ol’ Irish exit, and got us out of there STAT. I didn’t thank Great Hostess. I didn’t Instagram the Georgetown Cupcakes—which my girlfriends, the owners, sent over as a favor. I didn’t clean up the stinky cheese that was smeared on the plush couch or the cashews that were sprinkled in the slippers. I bounced.

Uberpool couldn’t come soon enough. And that was another saga.

Needless to say, I woke up feeling like crap. Embarrassed. Why didn’t I bring her toys and books? Why doesn’t my kid sit still? Why didn’t I bribe a friend to babysit?

My mother likes to remind me how well behaved my sister and I were. And it’s true, we were. But we weren’t toddlers trying to hang with New York sophisticates way past our bedtimes. We weren’t waiting on UberPool in itchy tights after a full day of baby Jazz and rainy playgrounds with no afternoon nap. We were probably, like, six, eating challah French toast and watching Care Bears.

What I’m saying is, none of this was Hazel’s fault…it was all mine.

All I can do is learn from my mistakes. There’s a nice way to balance chill and responsible. And most of the time, I walk that line. But no more slipping up. It’s not “fun!” The only thing that matters, ever, is my daughter’s well-being—and while exposing her to an electrifying livelihood is certainty a gift, so is a 100% safe environment.

I texted my best friend from LA this morning: “Do you think anyone from that party will ever speak to me again?” A second later, she wrote back, “What are you talking about? Hazel was the life of the party. You handle motherhood with such grace.”

What?! Grace?! REALLY?!

We beat ourselves up as moms. We are tired and overwhelmed and sometimes we feel things that aren’t real. We think everyone hates us. We think we’re screwing it all up. We think we need to back up the truck, and do it all over. And then again. More rules. Less rules. Be smarter. Stonger. Softer. Wiser. Better.

I still want to tighten up my game. And I still regret bringing Hazel to the party. But mostly, I wish I drank the Champagne.

save article

Next on Your Reading List

funny tiktok video of dad gentle parenting
One Dad's "Gentle Parenting With Malicious Intent" TikTok Goes Viral
By Wyndi Kappes
costumed creepy easter bunny
15 Hilarious Photo Fails of Kids Meeting the Easter Bunny
By Ashlee Neuman
close up of lit candles on a birthday cake
Mom Hilariously Opens Up About Celebrating Son’s Birthday on the Wrong Day
By Nehal Aggarwal
This Reddit Thread Is Celebrating Moms and All Their #MomFail Moments
This Reddit Thread Is Celebrating Moms and All Their #MomFail Moments
By Nehal Aggarwal
Annoying Things Almost All Parents Say
Annoying Things Almost All Parents Say
By Elena Donovan Mauer
20 slides
20 Funny Baby Onesies for Future Jokesters
20 Funny Baby Onesies for Future Jokesters
By Emily Platt
you're mom illustrated humorous book cover
Liz Climo’s New Picture Book for Adults Is the Content Parents Need
By Nehal Aggarwal
amy schumer with her bay son and husband walking in the park
The Hilarious Reason Amy Schumer Changed Her Son's Name
By Nehal Aggarwal
celebrity chrissy teigen
Chrissy Teigen Just Wants a Few Minutes Alone and Every Mom Can Relate
By Nehal Aggarwal
amy schumer walks in rainy city street
Amy Schumer Shares Hilarious Parenting Hack on Her YouTube Channel
By Nehal Aggarwal
babies dressed up for valentines day in a chocolate heart box
Babies Dressed as Valentine’s Day Chocolates Are Too Cute to Handle
By Nehal Aggarwal
parents nap on couch at newborn shoot
Exhausted Parents Adorably Fall Asleep During Baby’s Photoshoot
By Nehal Aggarwal
Happy baby wearing a onesie thats "born awesome."
25 Reasons Babies Rock
By Lissa Poirot and Sarah Yang
elf on the shelf fails
The Funniest Elf on the Shelf Fails of the Season
By Christin Perry
chrissy teigen holding her toddler daughter
Chrissy Teigen Says No One Takes Photos of Her and Moms Can Relate
By Nehal Aggarwal
toddler holds envelope addressed to santa
18 Kids Who Wrote the Cutest Letters to Santa
By Holly Pevzner
baby monitor with red filter
Scary Baby Monitor Image Is Going Viral and the Comments Are Hilarious
By Nehal Aggarwal
little girl sitting on steps with pumpkins
Moms Are Carving Pumpkins to Replicate “Mom Life”—and It’s Hilarious
By Nehal Aggarwal
Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse available to rent on Airbnb
You Can Stay at Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse—for Only $60 a Night
By Nehal Aggarwal
dad laughing and watching tv while holding baby
Watch This Toddler Hilariously Interrupt His Mom’s Live TV Segment
By Nehal Aggarwal
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List