Phone a Friend

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I’m frightfully under qualified to offer any parenting tips – I’m more an advice seeker than a giver – however after four and a bit months of motherhood, I finally have a couple of nuggets to share.

1. Sunscreen cures cradle cap.

2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is neither funny or sad. When in doubt, phone a friend.

Having a baby messes with your hormones. A capricious endocrine system can turn an otherwise stoic and sensible woman into a weeping mess, especially when her husband forgets how to work the baby capsule. Fart jokes? Well, they can launch her into pant-wetting, thigh-slapping hysterics.

The thought first crossed my mind when I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding during my first days home from hospital. The dramatic highs and lows played out like an Italian opera. I clutched a damp hanky from start to finish, dabbing tears from my cheeks and snot from my nose with each vaguely sentimental moment and every gag about Greek racial stereotypes.

“What an emotional thrill ride!” I thought to myself.

Hang on a minute. Something seems off.

I text my girlfriend to check in. She confirmed what I had suspected. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is neither funny or sad. It was just the hormones…or the endone.

So, my advice? Always have a trusted friend on standby who can drop some truth bombs when needed. She (or he) is your cultural and sartorial touchstone, a critical link to the outside world who can ensure rampant hormones don’t lead you down a path of poor taste in cinema or disastrous fashion choices. (N.B. It’s still okay to watch bad movies as long as you know they’re bad).

It’s friends like these who, without fear of recrimination, can tell it straight. I will be forever grateful to this same friend for preventing me from buying denim overalls and for letting me know that the mutated skin tag on my neck was becoming freakish.

It’s friends like these, who, without the need for invitation, deliver loads of cured meat and soft cheeses to your bedside because they know that’s what you need.

When I scoffed a plate full of camembert and raved tearfully about how good it was, there was no doubt about whether it was the hormones or the endone. It was the cheese.

It was just the cheese.

Thank you, Nerida.

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