Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Guide to Using Your Baby as a Party Prop

Babies are inconvenient. Except when they aren't.

As expected, having an infant excludes you from many activities. Late nights in bars are out. Fancy restaurants are out. Broadway shows are out.

But the secret truth is that a baby is always a good excuse to excuse yourself from anything for any reason. If you don't want to go to that party or get-together, there's always baby's early bedtime or mama's multiple nighttime wake-up calls to point to as a reason to decline.

Mostly these are real "excuses." But as Edith gets older, we're finding which rules and routines we can stretch. Just last Friday we stayed at a neighborhood barbecue until nearly midnight -- Edith slept on me in the baby carrier for a couple of hours and in the stroller on the way home. It would have been easy to stay home on account of her bedtime, but we experimented. Now we know it can be done.

If you decide not to use your infant as an excuse to stay home, baby comes with another perk: She's an instant conversation starter. People you've never met before will ask about all her vital stats. A baby is the ultimate small-talk conversation starter. And bonus: If everyone is otherwise occupied, I can always talk to Edith. As someone who tends to feel awkward around new people, this is a pretty big perk.

I don't recommend having a baby purely for these reasons, but there's no denying it: A baby is the ultimate party prop.

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