6:00 p.m. I open a beer because it’s the end of the workweek, darn it, and I am still entitled to unwind with a drink even though a twenty-month-old may or may not be currently pulling all of our pot lids out of the cabinet and slamming them onto the kitchen floor over and over and over again in a headache-inducing manner that indicates she may have superhuman strength. We should really move those lids.

6:01 p.m. Upon seeing me take a sip of the beer, my toddler immediately decides it is the only thing she has ever wanted in this life. All the books and toys we purchased for her are meaningless detritus. The beer is everything. She demands I give it to her and refuses my peace offering of a plastic bottle of milk instead. I become paralyzed by terrifying visions of her descending into alcoholism at a young age, so I hide the beer, which only makes her more upset. But at least she stopped slamming the lids.

6:15 p.m. My toddler has forgotten that the beer existed and moved on to eating one bite of her puréed sweet potato dinner while smearing the rest onto any surface within a five-mile radius. I slink over to the top-secret place where I have hidden the beer (the refrigerator) and sneak an additional sip. It turns out my toddler was right—it really is everything.

6:17 p.m. I decide it’s probably fine to keep holding and drinking the beer, given how enraptured my toddler has become with her sweet potato art. The fates are eager to make me pay for this act of hubris.

6:20 p.m. My toddler has once again noticed the beer and resumed deciding it is the only thing she wants in this world. This is bad. It is somehow worse than before, even, as if her memories of not getting it the first time are adding fuel to the fact that she is not getting it now. The fact that she is not old enough to form long-term memories yet is only making all of this more terrifying. Maybe we should have just gotten a ferret.

6:25 p.m. I hide the beer back in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, my toddler sees me open the fridge this time and is now infatuated by all the possibilities for consumption it contains. She has decided to stand in the open doorway and stare at its bounty. Any effort to close the door and explain to her that I’m pretty sure leaving it open is terrible for the environment is met with screams. I hope she keeps this in mind when she gets old enough to blame my generation for climate change.

6:35 p.m. I get her away from the refrigerator by bribing her with a Bluey video. My relief upon closing the refrigerator door is immediately replaced by waves of guilt for calming her down with screentime rather than a game of make-believe or backgammon. Is this the type of household I want to encourage, where we all just stare blankly at screens instead of talking to each other? Given how often I’m sure she has already seen me looking at my phone, is it all my fault? How are you even supposed to raise a… oh, hang on, this next episode is actually pretty funny.

7:15 p.m. We have made it to the nursery. She is getting ready to sleep. I have a vague, distant memory of trying to drink a beer at some point, but who can really keep track of such things? It was so long ago that I might as well have been a different person.

7:35 p.m. She is asleep. Also, it turns out I forgot to put my beer inside the refrigerator the second time. But it really doesn’t taste that bad warm. Anyway, I look forward to repeating this process with my cup of coffee in the morning.