Junk food, movies and video games help with that hangover.
Children sense when you're hungover like a lion senses an injured wildebeest. For parents the morning after starts at 5am and there is nowhere to hide.
If you try and sleep in they jump on the bed. Pretend they don't exist and they'll yell and tug your shirt until you engage. Take a 45-minute shower and they'll smash something in the lounge to get your attention. If only the hungover parent could find common ground with his kids? A mutual understanding to get through the day without resorting to the hair of the dog.
It may be easier than you think.
Something magical happens when you wake up from a big night out. Like Tom Hanks in Big, Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday and Judge Reinhold in Vice Versa - you become a kid. You don't actually body swap but your goals become similar to your child's.
The hungover person enjoys lying around, eating junk food, watching movies, achieving nothing and playing video games. That's exactly what kids like.
Instead of seeing a hangover as a parenting disadvantage you can look at it as a gift. An opportunity to interact with your children free from the ambitions of adulthood.
Here are some tips for quality hungover parenting.
Set up a basecamp. To get through the day you will need to spend most of it slacking around watching TV. Try lying on the floor and yelling 'kids we're camping in the lounge!' They'll bring pillows, and the remote control. Simply lie back and relax.
Hangovers make you queasy and agitated so you will need the right entertainment. Films that silence your children but don't drive you mental. Your Pacific Rims, Real Steels and Goodfellas. If you are forced to watch cartoons I recommend The Regular Show and Adventure Time. Great programmes with plenty of violence for the kids and secret adult themes for Dad.
After a big night out you will need a ton of junk food. Getting it into your gob without getting up can be a challenge. But it can be done. Get your kids to order you pizza. Tell them it's a confidence and communication lesson. They'll learn phone ordering, finance and dealing with people. While you get food delivered to you without moving. It's win-win. Until cabin fever sets in.
Around 1pm your children will go insane and try and kill you. The only cure is leaving the house. But how can a sickly dad achieve this without putting his pants on? By organising a drive-thru adventure. After the pizza has settled you will need a bucket of chicken to help with your demons. Sell this chore to the kids as an exciting mission. A race.
Afterwards, when you are accused of being a lazy hungover bum, you can honestly say that you went for a drive. Better still you get another huge pile of food without getting dressed or getting out of the car.
Later in the day hangovers can cause bouts of self doubt. Around 4pm you may suffer pangs of parental guilt. You may question if this is a good way to bring up your children. Let's face it, kids don't become Black Caps or CEOs lying on the floor with their dad covered in grease. Of course there is no way a hungover father is getting up to do anything about it. So run a theory day.
Video games will do most of the work for you. Creative puzzle solvers like Minecraft, Portal 2 and the Lego superhero games are great for kid's brains, while Don Bradman Cricket 2014 will teach your kids basic strategies for next week's game.
The modern parent is going to have the odd hungover day. There is nothing we can do about that. But you don't have be the dad at the picnic sitting inside a giant pint glass. You can be the dad under the duvet in the lounge eating junk food, playing video games and watching movies with your happy children.
The key to quality hungover parenting is finding some common ground between dusty dad and his beloved children.