Do you think having a baby is all hard work? Ha! You must learn the tricks of the trade, son, in order to fully exploit the advantages that come with producing offspring.
Here are a bunch of ways in which you can use your infant child to make your own life better. Aside from the obvious things like the joy and love etc they bring you, of course. But who needs to hear any more about that stuff?
1. Getting out of commitments
Probably the bluntest social weapon of choice for fathers, and the first one you’ll use. You don’t even have to try with this one.
“Come and see your band play? Shit, I’d really love to. But kid.”
“Handmaid’s Tale night at yours? Sorry. Kid.”
“Work on Friday? Nah I’m heading to the coas… I mean, kid. Sick. Kid is sick.”
2. Leaving any function early
Likewise, a baby is a FREE PASS to leave any event. Nobody will ever question you.
Remember how much shit your friends used to give you if you tried to leave early? Not anymore. Because anyone who raises doubts that you need to go now is a monster worse than Hitler.
And they don’t even have to be crying or injured or anything.
Your infant can literally be sleeping blissfully in the corner and you can get away with saying, “righto, gotta get this one home!”
Two minutes later you’ll be celebrating your escape like Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption.
3. Passive-aggressively speaking to strangers
Now we’re getting into the more nuanced art of weaponising your small child. You will learn to do this at home with your partner, but once you get a bit braver it works very well in public.
Parents constantly chat to their children, even when they can’t respond or don’t understand, and after a while this becomes almost like an internal monologue. You’ll soon learn that it can be a handy way of saying something you never would have said out loud before.
Baby: “Bwa bwa bwa bwa.”
You: “What’s that? The man in front of us is walking very slowly? Yes he is, isn’t he? And he’s blocking the whole path too with his ambling crab walk so we can’t get past him.”
You: “I know, I know, it’s taking forever. That’s because the nice lady in front of us is asking some very specific questions about the menu even though the answers are obvious if she just read the fucking menu properly.”
4. Cutting queues
Even though you’ll become adept at carrying the chub bub in one arm, you can still make a massive fuss about how much trouble you’re having when lining up at Woolies or the Fish and Chips shop. People will let you push in.
Just remember you’re then obligated to exaggeratedly roll your eyes in a “what is this crazy parenting caper I signed up for?” kind of way.
5. Appearing more responsible than you are
Nothing gives you more gravitas than keeping a kid alive. Despite being just as dumb and prone to errors in judgement as you were a couple of years ago, now people have to show you more respect because you are a father.
Getting into an argument with some lady at the dog park about who’s mutt is causing all the trouble?
Clearly it’s not YOUR fault as YOU have a baby strapped to your front and are therefore a pillar of the community who is beyond reproach. Heck, you might even be mayor of this town one day.
6. Getting discounts from shop ladies
Take your child shopping by yourself, with no mum in sight, and middle-aged shop ladies will act like you’re Nelson Mandela sacrificing your own personal freedom for the greater good of humankind.
“Ooh mum’s at home is she? Giving her a break? Oooh cluck, cluck, cluck!”
They will do whatever they can to help you, including special discounts, chucking in freebies and possibly offering to do your washing.
7. Bring your infant to work
OK, not technically a social situation but this is about helping your career, so stop complaining.
This is an extension of the ‘gravitas’ point above. Take your goblin in to work and it will make your colleagues realise you’re no longer just that dickhead who can’t use Outlook properly, now you’re that dickhead who can’t use Outlook properly WITH A CHILD, who demands some level of respect and maybe even a promotion.
8. Social media cheap likes
A photo of you at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro with your shirt off, holding the head of a polar bear you killed with your bare hands on the way up*: 11 likes.
A photo of your baby with snot and yoghurt all over her face: 63,000 likes.
*May not accurately reflect the ecology of Tanzania