When you first have a baby your friends are great. They come to see you with bucket loads of cuddly toys and coo over your bundle of joy. They will offer to babysit ‘whenever you need a break’ and refer to themselves as Aunty/Uncle….
Enjoy this for about three weeks.
Then the honeymoon is well and truly over.
- Never go anywhere later than 6pm. If you do go out always make sure you are back by 5pm. The ‘routine’ must not be messed with.
- Do not leave the house before 9am.
- Never arrive anywhere on time. Then always leave early.
- Blame everything on teething. Tantrums, crying, lateness, missing appointments, unruly behaviour, tiredness, vomiting, weeing on the floor. I am pretty sure if World War Three started tomorrow it would somehow be teething’s fault.
- Always cancel any evening plans you made during an after-coffee high. The pub? At night? With people over the age of two? What was I thinking?
- Post the following pictures on Facebook on a regular basis: a) Your baby smiling b) Your baby with food all over her/his face. c) Your baby asleep.
- Change your Facebook profile picture to a photo of you and your baby IMMEDIATELY.
- Always fail to notice that the traffic lights have changed to green until someone beeps their horn at you.
- Ensure your child screams loudly the minute anyone other than YOU picks her/him up.
- THE THREE Ps. Puke, pee and poo. Ensure your baby deposits one, or ideally all of the above on your friends whenever they visit.
- When meeting up with your non-parent friends make your children call them aunty/uncle so that they feel pressure to babysit/buy them presents/be nice to them etc.
- Don’t answer the telephone. Just frown and say, ’who the hell is calling at this time?’ Every time the phone rings – day or night.
- If you do manage to answer the phone, talk for just a few seconds before a child starts screaming/crying/needing a poo.
- Take at least three weeks to reply to a text message or email.
- Forget to lock your mobile so that your toddler can accidentally call your friends at stupid o clock in the morning.
- If you do manage to meet up with friends make sure you interrupt the conversation every two minutes to feed, change or sniff the baby’s nappy.
- When out for a coffee ask friends to hold the baby ‘for a minute’ while you nip to the toilet then DO NOT retrieve the baby for at least half an hour. (Opportunities to sit on the toilet in peace (and alone) do not come often so enjoy it while you can).
- Just when you start to become a little less irritating – have another baby.
So there you have it.
Parents can be a bit annoying. But don’t be too hard on us. We really do try to answer the phone, make it to your birthday party and reply to your messages but it isn’t always that easy. Because babies take up literally all of our time.
They don’t care if we have been up all night and would quite like to sit down for five minutes. They don’t give a damn whether we are supposed to be meeting someone or going out for lunch. All they know is that right NOW they really want a drink of milk, a cuddle or just to run around the kitchen naked.
But we can’t blame it all on the children. We are just as likely to turn up late because the baby said her first word and we spent an hour trying to get her to repeat it. Or, we did something that are made our toddler giggle and lost track of time. But we can’t tell you that can we?
The thing is, it is these moments that make the sleepless nights, the dirty nappies, the tantrums and the tears – all so worth it.
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