Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New babies

Most Saturday mornings I’m up around 7, so I can get to the farmers’ market before it’s overrun. This past weekend, I set the alarm for 6, much to DP’s disgruntled surprise.

“Why are you getting up so early?” he grumbled.

“We’re going to see the new baby today,” I responded, in my best “duh” tones.

“Huh?” he said, but then fell back asleep before I could explain that I was getting up to implement my three rules for visiting new babies and their parents:

  1. Bring presents for the baby. I aim for two: a practical one that the parents will like, and a fun one that the baby will like. (We brought two Australian standards: this Bonds Wondersuit to help Mum and Dad build the autumn wardrobe, and this instant classic to entertain the baby.)

  2. Don’t stay too long. This one requires some judgment of whether the parents’ need for adult interaction outweighs their and the baby’s exhaustion, or vice versa. This visit we stayed for 90 minutes, which was on the long side for me, but then I have been known to depart after 15 minutes – usually because the mother looked ready to drop and I didn’t know her well enough to say, “Give me that baby and go take a nap!”

  3. Bring food. Ideally food that can be pulled from the fridge and devoured with one hand when ravenous but still baby-wrangling. I brought:
-       a batch of my favorite pasta salad, with a few handfuls of shredded parmigiano Reggiano thrown in to add protein and make it a more complete meal; and
-       this Upside-Down Polenta Plum Cake from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now – I substituted a mixture of cranberry and peach jam for the plums.

All of the above were well received, and I even got some baby-snuggling time, so that's a win-win in my book on etiquette and enjoyment.
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