#1 Forget the humdrum of Friday nights, desperately trying and ultimately failing to taxi your teens and tweens to different clubs all at the same time. Instead, book Grandma nice and early to transport you and your best parent friend in crime to Suburbia.
#2 Demolish two bottles of prosecco (who gives a fudge that the afternoon bubbles will go straight to your head?) Then, like the true former goth and metalhead you are, banter, curse and giggle as you establish that for the mumbie love of all things TNG, where you’re headed on this Friday night, Suburbia is highly unlikely to be a place that likes to keep up appearances, and it definitely won’t be the home of Jesus as implied by Green Day.
#3 Realise through your prosecco haze that embracing the next phase of life as a parent of TNG (especially when TNG is a wannabe rock star), you now qualify for duties usually associated with roadies and groupies - lugging, promoting – er – bragging, moshing, buying toxic rounds and merch etc. Such thoughts of course, will fill you with euphoric terror, but yes - this is actually happening – Suburbia awaits – a mosh fest in an eclectic nightclub, bursting at the seams with locals and students, all decades younger than yourself.
#4 Arrive early and unashamedly provide alternative, outdoor entertainment for the few other lesser spotted TNG’s who also happen to be queuing and therefore witness your embarrassing humming attempt to revive that classic 1986 hit by The Pet Shop Boys.
#5 Prepare to bask and blush in the moment when you get asked for ID. Because you see, beneath all that hair, the beanies, the snapbacks, the piercings, the hoodies, the backpacks, the twixing explicit t-shirts and tattoos, contrary to popular belief, TNG can really be quite courteous and charming.
#6 Marvel at how young everyone is – especially the bassist from the second act who looks just like your son – oh - hang on, it is your son. Maybe removing your glasses for vanity, and health and safety moshing reasons is not such a good idea after all.
#7 Remember to slurp on a few pint-sized, pretty in lethal pink, slush puppy cocktails better known as the Donkie Kong and more the fool you if you don’t mentally prepare yourself for the added brain freeze bonus.
#8 Always look on the bright side of life, even when TNG ask if you want to puff or not to puff. Whether you’re tempted, alarmed, disgusted or distraught, at least acknowledge the positive - that TNG are not all backward in coming forward and happy to share. I mean, be grateful, what better attributes do parents pray for?
#9 Pretend like you know everything there is to know about music, without sounding like some dodgy sommelier (I’m getting heavy… no - thrashy vibes… punky… with a hint of poppy? It’s… metal... flimsy?…) because your fellow moshers will be awkwardly mortified. Keep thoughts about melodic tones that resemble the uncanny sound of sticky tweenie fingers squeaking on windows, with a rhythm that reminds you of Hot Wheels colliding with the skirting board to yourself, and under no circumstances, don’t let on just how utterly mysterious and fudging indecipherable this whole ‘growling’ malarkey really is.
#10 Have shameless disregard for the Mario themed bar and TNG who protest loudly that the current bright blue (the new pink), pint-sized cocktails you are now somehow slurping and reordering is called a ‘Bowser’ - and not a twixing ‘Smurf’. Beg to differ, order another ‘Smurf’ and hey ho! The lovely bar staff will present you a ‘Smurf’.
#11 Embrace photobombing and insist on trying to capture lots of group selfies. Sod the bags for life under your eyes and the wrinkles that rather unkindly map your parental journey so far – you can smuckle, despair, airbrush and delete tomorrow.
#12 Just push. As petrifying as it is to know that physically you can’t beat those who mosh, there’s no harm in joining in. It really is quite liberating to witness the expressions of TNG who are male when they realise they’re in a mosh pit with two women old enough to be their mothers. And not just any mother of course, but a mother (like many) who years before have excelled at the art of deliberate pushing. No upper body parts required.
#13 Be prepared to blush again (and bask a little as well) when you realise that it is still unwittingly possible to physically attract TNG – and you better believe it - the female of the species is more bolder than the male…
#14 Say your fond farewells and leave before you outstay your welcome, unscathed and with all your faculties in tact. Respond wholeheartedly to those cravings for pizza, a kebab and chocolate (only a little hypocritical after steadfastly ignoring the drunken 3.am pizza pleas of TNG, a few weeks ago) but hey, do you really give a twix? You’ve just smashed the world of TNG.