By FRANCES FARADAY
OMG you had a baby!
That’s pretty sweet. You actually grew a human and pushed it out and now it’s a thing. Awesome job, well done you.
The thing is, I know it’s a big job. I know it’s life changing.
I know you’re tired from being elbow deep in vomit and poo and frustrated with a fussy eating regime.
I know you haven’t slept properly in a year until finally you tried controlled crying and it worked. I know you’re now enforcing a strict routine that is really working.
I know the patch of eczema on his neck is a worry but apart from that, he’s really relaxed. He’s actually smart. Mega smart. He knows colours already.
Know how I know?
You told me.
You told me at a party. I had glazed over. You didn’t notice.
So, I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but parenting has made you officially the most boring person in the world.
Is there something that happens in the child-rearing process whereby parents forget the skill of balanced conversation that spans across different topics? Where they don’t recognise a stiff smile or eyes that desperately shift across the room?
Parents: this is going to be hard to hear but you need to know it. Much like when someone has spinach in their teeth, I’m not being cruel by telling you, I just think on balance you’d rather know.
There are more things going on in the world than your baby.
So please. Can we find something else to talk about?
Yeah yeah, so I don’t have a baby. I don’t know what it’s like and I can’t tell you what to do or say and how dare I and I should just shut up my stupid face etc etc.
But here’s the thing that everyone is too scared to tell you. There are 255 babies born every minute. You may think yours is special, you may think your child is one-in-a-million. It’s not. It’s one in 7 billion.
Babies have been a thing since, you know, Adam and Eve. You were one. Your partner was one. Everyone in the room was one. Sure they’re special and great and magical and brilliant but when you talk to people as if yours was the first one to grace the earth they’re going to tune out.