Your wife just gave birth to a bouncing baby boy or girl. Congratulations! We know your head is full of questions -- Should we enroll in pre-K? How will we afford college? Could I kill a stranger just for possibly harboring bad intentions if I wake up tomorrow in some Cormac McCarthyian hellscape? -- but we also know that one question stands above all others: Can I take this blanket full of happiness/poop to the bar? The answer is “yes”, if you follow these rules:
Don’t underestimate arm strength Babies develop overall arm strength well before wrist and finger strength -- it’s what ultimately helps them pull themselves up to walk. The barroom takeaway: even though Lyle’s wrists are still too weak to hoist this giant beer, her gun-show biceps are plenty strong enough to yank it off the table.
Don’t get frustrated when they pick up something they’re not supposed to pick up It’s a baby. It picks things up. If you don’t want that to happen, don’t put things within reach.
Bring two kinds of food Sure, it’d be great if your kid suddenly decided it loves this disgusting lentil paste...
… bring a more surefire paste option and spare everyone the whole “watch me force my kid to eat this disgusting lentil paste” routine.
Order soft food Want to expand your baby’s culinary horizons? Then do it with something baby can easily chew on its own, like this plump, delicious weisswurst. Your other option is baby-birding, which is disgusting.
Seriously, don’t baby-bird It doesn’t matter that you’re doing it for pragmatic reasons and not for “natural” reasons you learned from a YouTube video of Alicia Silverstone -- all we see is a wad of gross passing from one mouth to another mouth. Public breastfeeding is less unsettling than this.
Don’t bring toys They’ll end up on the floor, and then end up on the floor again, which will stress you out because you spent $49.98 on that plastic octopus, and you don’t want your investment crushed under some dude’s actually pretty sweet chukkas. Since babies are happy with pretty much anything, just let yours play with whatever’s freely available, like this napkin.
Don’t show everybody pictures of your baby It’s sitting right there. It’s cute. Nobody needs to see it exhibit the exact same level of cuteness in a different outfit, especially if there aren't even any napkins in the photo.
Just accept that what's yours is also your baby's Your ability to enjoy this beer should in no way be hindered by this important lesson on the difference between a fork and a straw.
Don’t do that baby-talk thing Your friends didn’t show up to the bar to listen to you teach your kid to talk exactly like it’s talking now but in a deeper voice -- they’re here because they haven’t seen you in a while, and they want to catch up through some adult conversation. Or completely ignore you while they text “what’s up later?” to people without babies.
Don’t ask people to please keep it down because there's a baby present Most people will be cool, like the dude to the left, and voluntarily modify their behavior, thereby earning the ultimate gift: "napkin". If they're not cool, remember: you have the exact same rights you had before fatherhood, no more, no less. If someone’s being so loud it’s bothering even people with fully developed ear canals, definitely ask them to lower the volume, and threaten to fight them if they don’t. Just don’t make it about your baby, who you brought here, and definitely did not have to bring here.
Definitely assume the random girl who bonds with your baby the same way your now-wife bonded with your dog 8yrs ago is totally flirting with you Because she totally is!
Don’t change your baby in a foul bathroom This is the Catch-22 of baby-bar-going: changing your baby right in front of everybody isn’t exactly kosher, but exposing it to a nasty barroom bathroom where men have been missing the mark since 1973 feels like flat-out child abuse. Just try to find an out-of-the-way, flat surface like this covered foosball table, and work quickly.
Leave right before everybody gets super buzzed That guy in the lightly soiled Cubs hat who said your baby was “awesome” is rounding first base with that girl who was definitely not flirting with you, and, anyway, your wife just showed up from taking care of that stuff she had to take care of. Get your baby out of here stat.
David Blend was voted Thrillist Editor Most Likely To Turn Your Baby Into An International Superstar. Follow him at @daveblend.