Dear Father Hood: what should I talk about at baby classes?
What a ridiculous question. It’s a free country, so you can talk about anything you like, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong. Sure from the outside a baby class looks all bubble machines, musical instruments and open arms, but don’t let the catchy sing songs and introductory smiles fool you. This is a female gang hut. And if anyone in possession of a Y chromosome wants to learn the itsy bitsy spider dance they need to adhere to the following commandments.
THOU SHALT NOT MOAN ABOUT BEING TIRED
And rightly so. After all, what does some Johnny-come-lately know about being tired? These women carried their child or children in their womb for nine months, went through labour and had to wake at all hours of the night to feed their little bundle of joy. And now you, a man who inflicted this woe on one of their fellow females, wants to grab a slice of their pain? Don’t even think about it.
THOU SHALT NOT TRY TO GET THY NAME KNOWN
For the next 40-45 minutes you will be ‘Jane’s husband’ or ‘Oliver’s dad’ and you will be absolutely okay with that.
THOU SHALT NOT MENTION, OR ATTEMPT TO STOP, THE KID WHO APPEARS TO BE BEATING UP ALL THE OTHER KIDS
Even when his mum is clearly not watching, she is watching and she thinks the way he plays is cute. So it is cute. Or to put it another way. Nosebleeds heal. Kids stripped of their ‘creativity’ by a busybody bloke don’t.
THOU SHALT LAUGH WHEN THE TEACHER FORGETS YOU’RE THERE AND CALLS EVERYONE MUMMIES
Judging by the perennial guffaws from other attendees, this really is the gift that keeps on giving.
THOU SHALT KEEP CONVERSATION TO BASIC, NON BOWEL-BASED BABY TOPICS…
Comparing your offspring’s nappy to Santa’s Sack on Christmas Eve might get the NCT dads rolling in the aisles, but Hartbeeps is not the arena for such gutter talk. Instead, stick to beige, but wholly inoffensive subjects like nurseries, weaning, dummies, teething gel, soft play etc. etc.
THOU SHALT KOWTOW TO YOUR WIFE ON ALL DECISIONS REGARDING THE ABOVE TOPICS
If a dad makes a suggestion in a baby class and he doesn’t use the precursor ‘my wife thinks’ or ‘my wife says’ does he ever really speak at all? Spoiler alert: the answer is no.
Got all this ? Good. Now go out there and get yourself through the next whole ten weeks of baby classes without becoming the title of the mummies’ latest Whatsapp group or getting your partner and child de-invited to Jack’s 1st Birthday Party.