Oh hey, my name’s Ted and for the last few days, I’ve been in a maternity ward with my parents, surrounded by clued-up midwives who attended to our every need. Clean sheets, warm showers and a little red button to push if something went wrong – it’s been awesome.
Now I’m home and they’re freaked out, bone-tired (because I like to party between 1am and 5am) and worried they might accidentally kill me.
Mum is also unaware of the large streak of poo across her face (mine, sorry) and the house looks like a dump – but everyone wants to come over for a visit. Everyone.
Here are a few things I want you to know before showing up and scaring them even more:
I know you want to meet me (who wouldn’t), but mum hasn’t slept more than three consecutive hours in seven days. Her brain is like cold mashed potato, she’s slumped on the sofa in a milk-stained t-shirt and I’ve vomited on her three times (again, sorry mum). Please check if there’s a good time to visit, and don’t be late. Her brain can’t cope with any more unexpected surprises.
Be that friend.
Text my parents a few hours earlier to ask, “I’m going to the shops – can I bring you anything?” Chances are, they’re running low on something essential (wine or chocolate).
Show up healthy.
Wash your hands and keep the snotty colds in your own houses, people. I haven’t had my major vaccinations yet and am basically defenceless.
Tell me I’m cute.
Even if I have the face of a shrivelled monkey, say I’m gorgeous. My adorability (in my parent’s eyes) is their only coping mechanism for the sleep deprivation.
Tell mum she’s cute, too.
She cannot remember the last time she showered. She’s leaking from weird places, her boobs feel like two sacks of rocks and her stomach resembles a withered balloon. She’s finally mustered the energy to comb her hair and squeeze her ass into a tracksuit. Tell her she looks great. She knows you’re totally lying, but doesn’t care.
Don’t forget dad.
Okay, so he doesn’t have engorged boobs and a foo like a bag of red ribbons, but dad needs plenty of lovin’ too. Give him a big man-hug, and ask how he’s doing.
Don’t say you’re tired.
Unless you’ve had a newborn, you have no concept of tired. I’m like an alarm that goes off at random intervals, sometimes stopping after a few beeps, sometimes not switching off for hours. My parents lie wide awake, wondering if it’s safe to go back to sleep because any minute now, I’m going to go off again. Even if you’ve pulled four all-nighters in a row, do not say you’re tired. Ever.