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Parent to parent 

Your baby and me

This year I've welcomed two friends into The Club. It's always a thrill, a laugh, a temptation. They know so much, so suddenly, and my heart almost bursts with vicarious thrill. I've laughed as they frantically learn to balance what they've called life with full responsibility for another, the oh-my-god of the first health concerns. I remember.

Seeing that contented glaze in my friends' faces, there is temptation. Three? Why not four? But a back injury reminds me of our age, and 10 years of diapers has been plenty. Time for the next thing, yes.

Anyway, it's not about me. What to do for new parents? We all offer to do whatever they need, but new parents are often too embarrassed to actually ask for help. Some piece of spectacular, modern baby gear, perhaps? Most are luxuries, really. Diapers are expensive and a long supply is usually appreciated, sort of: "Oh. Diapers. Thanks."

We like to bring a meal. New parents are a bit like children, taking some time to remember how to take care of themselves. They eat poorly or not at all, or spend too much on takeout. A complete meal delivered ready to eat --- better still, one that will provide another meal or so in leftover form --- is always appreciated in a deep way. Yes, that's a food writer speaking, but trust me.

Do it in the first two weeks. Or get a group of friends to each agree to a night apiece. Plus, it gets you into the house briefly to see that baby and feel all that stuff again. And then you can leave and get on with your own life.

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