The Monday before last, I made what is perhaps my most dubious parenting decision so far: I brought Little Dude to his first blind tasting. He’s already attended a few of my own Le Metro wine events around town and toured a handful of wineries – he even learned all about sparkling wine production at Gruet when we visited New Mexico. But this represented his first academic, sit-down-and-swirl-and-totally-geek-out kind of event. I hadn’t tasted with this group in months – since before he was born, in fact – and I’m constantly testing the limits of what I can and can’t get away with in my new life as a father. So I figured, what the hell.
For one thing, the timing of this particular scenario turned out to be less than ideal. I’d thought that my guy’s sleep patterns were regular enough to anticipate a 9:00 nap (mistake #1). I also thought that by showing up late to the tasting I would be able to quietly join the group with my (slumbering) son in his stroller (mistake #2). Instead, I arrived as the table was being set, and in the very moment that my little angel woke up starving. Of course.
So my friends began tasting one by one, and I moved myself to another table so as to distract them as little as possible while I gave the baby his own beverage to enjoy. Then I had to burp him, and we took a nice little stroll around the restaurant (which was still closed and therefore empty, thank God). When my own turn came to taste, my hope was that he would hang out on my lap relatively quietly as he often does at home. (Mistake #3.)
Luckily our host and my good friend Maurice DiMarino is as gifted a dad as he is a Sommelier, so I did get a bit of a reprieve. He took the dude off my hands for a bit so that I could give my presentation, and it actually looked like Micah was having more fun with Maurice than he usually does with me.
But the fun was to be short lived. Fussiness quickly progressed into a total baby melt-down, which led me to a frenzied bathroom-floor diaper change and a rather dramatic exit. Covered in sweat and with a shrieking monkey in the stroller, it wasn’t my finest moment.
I love bringing my baby where he is least expected, and to be honest I often get a real kick out of watching people’s reaction to him. I enjoy pushing my own boundaries as well as others’, but I’m certainly not out to make folks uncomfortable, and I try to quit while I’m ahead. If there’s a point I’m trying to prove it’s more about gender roles than anything else: If Mommy can bring the baby wherever she goes, why can’t Daddy? (This of course assumes good behavior on the part of the baby, without which none of us should be there.)
Granted, I don’t expect many mothers OR fathers are crashing practice tastings for the Court of Master Sommeliers‘ exams with their four-month-olds, but you know, we’ve all got our own thing. I do think I’ll wait a couple of months before giving it another shot, though.