To My Friends With Kids: Sorry I’ve Been Avoiding You

by Chris Gaffney
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy and Kyle Monk/Getty

Hey pal, hope you’re doing well.

Sorry that I’ve been avoiding you since you became a parent. It seemed like a lot to handle and I didn’t want to get in the way.

Also, I had very little interest in your kids. No interest at all, to be honest.

But now I have my own kid, so that’s changed. Self-interest has made me a better man. We should hang out again sometime!

I’m sorry I haven’t been there throughout your kid’s development. Doing anything social before sundown just seemed like a total drag and you were always talking about “bedtime” as if it were a real thing and not some propaganda invented by Big Business to sell more mattresses.

Remember how I used to run away when your kid started crying? I don’t do that anymore. Now I empathize and try to learn from your experience.

Oh no, your daughter thinks her room-temperature macaroni and cheese is still too hot? That’s such a relatable problem that’s totally worth discussing. Let’s crack open a case of Capri Suns and talk coping strategies.

It’s clear now that I was wrong to make that disapproving gesture after you told me the cute nickname that your toddler has for Grandma.

We’re still trying to figure out what my daughter should call my mother-in-law, so I promise this time I’ll listen.

You go with MeeMee for one and Nonna for the other? That’s adorable, please continue. Since we’re on the subject, when did your kid say her first word? Mine just chokes on her fingers – should I be concerned?

Because we’re friends, we probably went through something together that you didn’t take way too seriously.

Cracking jokes with you about the overly ambitious co-worker, the oddly eccentric professor, or the clueless customer probably helped me get through some pretty boring times. It turns out that was all small potatoes compared to how seriously other parents take themselves. They schedule everything including the time to sit down and make schedules.

I can’t do this alone. I need you now more than ever to help me navigate this minefield of all-natural, BPA-free, kid-friendly society.

I need a pair of eyes to roll mine towards the first time an adult asks me to sit “criss-cross applesauce,” and I hope they’re yours.

I’m a stay-at-home dad now, so I literally have nothing else going on. Jenny goes back to work this week, and I’m scared to be alone. The baby keeps looking at me like there’s something more I should be doing.

The worst part is, I think she’s right. But I have no idea what that something is – Legos, maybe? Could be anything.

Wanna grab a bite to eat? We can go wherever you want, as long as the men’s room has a baby changing station. Restaurants are way less crowded on a Tuesday at 10 AM.

What’s going on this summer? We should walk around a pond together or sit in a shaded part of the parking lot until my baby stops crying. That’s what I’ll be doing, with or without you.

Not to brag, but my local library has a Keurig now if you’re looking for coffee on the cheap. Or we could go to a petting zoo and make fun of the stupid sheep. I’m up for pretty much anything.

I know it’s been a while since we talked, but I promise there won’t be any awkward silences. I could easily talk through a full meal by just comparing butt creams.

Who came up with the color choice for Boudreaux’s butt paste anyways? And why is that other brand butt cream so watery? The last thing our kids need down there is something else that’s runny, right? See, we already have an inside joke!

I’ve seen the error of my ways and promise to be a better friend. At least until your kids become teens. Those things are the worst.

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