You know how it goes – you’re pushing your pram along the street, or in a supermarket, or at the pub (mainly the pub) and you pass another mummy with a lovely bundle inside a lovely pram just like yours.
You smile warmly in solidarity of motherhood and go to pass her by when she stops and peers inside at your little bundle of joy.
Oh crap. She’s going to want a conversation.
So what do you talk about in the street with random mother woman?
Well friend, let me tell you how it goes down…
1. You peer inside her pram at her little sprog and reflect the smile that she offers your baby. Even if you’re shocked at what you find inside, stick to the exact same smile and you’re on to a winner
2. Why would you be shocked? I hear you cry. Because sometimes, however much we want them to be, some babies just aren’t that cute. They look like bald old men called Gary. But you can’t let other mother know you feel this way. So you utter these EXACT words: “oh isn’t he/she (make sure you’re right, or just use ‘it’) cute/adorable/gorgeous/such a squidgy muffin face“. Works like a charm.
3. Of course, your baby is the cutest little f***er in the whole of the British Isles (or wherever you come from) and so you must accept with grace and modesty the pleasantries fellow mummy offers – without conveying your apologies that she wasn’t so lucky.
4. Now that both babies looks have been commented upon (no wonder we are self conscious when we’re older – we start the judgements early!), it’s time for the next step; politely enquiring the age of the child. Not that we give a toss, nor will it enrich our lives in any way, but it’s the done thing to do. And for some tiresome reason, we’re always given the answer in weeks; leaving you to stare blankly at them for 5 minutes while you work out the maths. Surely weeks is only appropriate when your baby has no months under it’s belt yet? Apparently not.
5. Now we know the age, we realise we don’t know the name. This could be awkward if you’re unsure of the gender… what’s it’s name? doesn’t usually go down well. If this is the case, I’d advise to skip the name check – it doesn’t matter anyway. Make sure you murmur approval at whatever name you are offered even if it’s so ridiculous you consider calling Social Services. I’m joking – we’re not THAT judgemental, OK. OK? Good.
6. Finally you have the opportunity in this brief encounter to show off with a piece of fictitious information about how amazing your child is compared to the rest of the baby population – selecting one of the following options: she sleeps so well, he never cries or, (my personal favourite) she’s very advanced for her age. Both yourself and other mummy know it’s probably a load of bull, but you’ll both share these stories regardless, as pretending everything is a’ok is better than bursting into desperate tears in front of a complete stranger.
And there you have it – you are now equipped to go out into the world and meet random women on street corners to discuss your offspring. Once the steps above are complete, you are free to continue your journey with your beautiful baby, safe in the knowledge that yours is still the best.
Of course, your baby may well have just peaked too early and will spend the rest of his/her life wishing they were as hot as old man baby Gary, but what can you do?