A Single Nerd’s Guide to Friends With Babies [Single White Nerd]
When you hit your mid-30s and friends start to have babies, you have a choice: find new friends or find ways to cope with the fact that your friends’ lives will be incalculably altered by the new life that they thrust into the world. Find ways to remain relevant in their world, a world consumed with burp cloths, sleep cycles, baby monitors and diapers. Find ways to, you know, be cool with infants and friends who have become zombie-like.
With this in mind, I proudly present: The Single Nerd’s [brief] Guide to Friends with Babies!
1. All babies are cute
Let’s face it, some babies aren’t cute. Actually, many new babies aren’t cute. They’re slimy, wrinkly, bug eyed little creatures. They mewl and piss and puke on everything. Sure, they have soft skin, but you leave them in the sun for ten minutes. . .see how long that lasts.
The key here is that no matter how potentially uncute your friend’s child is, don’t cop to it. All babies are cute. If you’re constitutionally unable to lie and find yourself tempted to let your friends know exactly how uncute their baby is, try one of these handy phrases:
“Wow, look at that baby!”
“S/he looks so little!”
“Who has little hands? You do! Baby does!”
Of course, if the baby is cute, feel free to tell your friends.
2. Your friends will look like crap. Don’t tell them that. They know.
The first time you see your friends after they have a baby, they’ll probably look strung out. They’ll stumble around and talk in fits and starts. They know they’re a mess. Don’t do what I did recently and blurt out “Holy crap, you look like shit.” That won’t go over well. It’s probably best not to acknowledge any change in appearance. Or if you do, just say something along the lines of “Don’t worry, you’ll get some sleep. . . in 18 years.” Then laugh heartily.
3. Bring presents for your friends…like a pastry or something.
When people have babies, everything in their life focuses on the baby. Any presents that enter the house are baby related. Even if they’re ostensibly for the parent, the presents are for the baby’s benefit. Here’s a fun trick that will endear you to your friends forever: bring them something just for them. A pastry, a bottle of bourbon, some porn. Whatever it is, make sure that it’s something that the baby could never possibly use. Your friends will light up all Christmas tree-like and you’ll get to share the bourbon!
4. Mini-vans. Don’t make fun of them.
So let’s say your friends have twins. And let’s say that they trade in a cute and sassy Jetta for a less sassy mini-van. Don’t make fun of the mini-van. Mini-vans are practical and functional and good for carrying things and sort of like Air Force One for parents, a traveling tactical parenting base. I mean, yes, they look stupid and bring back weird 80s memories, but your friends know this. They may not, however, know that the mini-van is being rebranded as The Swagger Wagon. I know because the internet tells me so. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUG3Z8Hxa5I
And now I want a Swagger Wagon.
5. It’s not about you. Really.
So you’re 35 and your friends are growing up. They have jobs and houses and, now, babies. You know what they don’t need? They don’t need you going over and being all insecure about the fact that your life is progressing along a different course. They don’t need you sitting across form them as they juggle monitors, diapers and various other parental implements whining about how that girl who you liked got back together with her ex or went on a bender and is now a groupie for a Guns n Roses tribute band (though, actually, they may appreciate a story about that last one). Fact is that your recently enparented friends’ lives are extremely busy and hectic. They may be hanging on by a thread despite declaring, loudly, that their lives have never been better, dammit. The fact that they find time to spend with you at all should be flattering as hell. And the fact that they are including you in their evolving family life is kind of an honor. So leave the insecurities at the door, bring in the pastries, tell them how cute their babies are, and help load up the swagger wagon.
Then go hang out with your new 25 year old friends at the bar. They’ll understand all about insecurity and lack of direction.
featured image credit: outdoorPDK