Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Luck of the 6.3% Irish

As many of you know (and some suffering from hangovers are trying to forget), yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. It's a golden opportunity for New York City's arsonists and robbers, as most members of the city's police and fire departments march in the annual parade and then head to their local pubs for the day. Those of us who are not into setting fires or robbing stores just mark the day by wearing something green.

St. Patrick's Day did not go unnoticed in our home. There is some Irish blood in my side of our family, as my grandfather was half Irish, and my mother has naturally red hair. Kyle is a sixteenth Irish, but it's a strong sixteenth. After all, his name is Irish, meaning "narrow piece of land" (we thought it fit him well). That's gotta count for something. Kyle celebrated the day by dancing a few Irish jigs in his playpen as his dad played his collection of family-friendly Irish folk songs, which are mostly about drinking, war, and more drinking. The little guy also watched the parade on TV. We didn't want to go see it in person, since Kyle's not yet tall enough to look over the crowds, and we were afraid that some of the over-spirited spectators would have confused him for a leprechaun.

A few days earlier, we took Kyle on a time-honored St. Patrick's Day tradition known as the "Pub Crawl." Our friends had organized the event and we wanted to support them by sacrificing our afternoon to visit several drinking establishments and guzzle down a few Guinnesses. There's no actual crawling involved, especially in the earlier hours, much to Kyle's disappointment.

Some people may think that going on a pub crawl with a nine-month-old is irresponsible. Not so. It would have been irresponsible if we all went on the crawl and then let him drive home afterwards. Though, to be honest, it was more like a gathering of friends, and there were other families there. Having a kid did make the event different than it was last year: I had to get used to asking the bartenders if they had any formula on tap.

Kyle enjoyed the event for nearly two hours, but it all went south when we all broke into a chorus of "Happy Birthday" for our friend Matt, whose birthday happens to be on St. Patrick's Day. Kyle started wailing at that point, apparently because he doesn't like birthday parties. I took note of that (it will save us some money in a few months), and we quickly got our things together. We wished everyone a happy St. Patrick's Day and left.

Overall, Kyle seemed to enjoy his first St. Patrick's Day, though I think he liked the music and parade more than the pub crawl. The only thing missing was the corned beef and cabbage. Too bad Gerber's baby food doesn't come in that flavor.

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