"Oh, I love it when their backpacks are almost as big as they are. It hurts my brovaries," said a friend of mine recently when I showed him a photo of my son. "Someone's a bit clucky," I said. "Well, maybe a little," he admitted.
While female cluckiness in all its ovary-clutching, newborn head smelling glory is an oft-discussed topic, the male variety is less celebrated. But men get clucky too!
As I walked my little boy, clad in his Iron Man costume, through the airport a few days ago, I've never seen so many broody men in all my life. There were brovaries exploding all over that domestic terminal. Kids in superhero costumes, hey? It made me wonder, what other little things make men clucky?
So I asked a number of men - some already dads and some hoping to be fathers someday - exactly what makes their brovaries tingle.
Here's what they told me ...
"Seeing (my daughter) smile and giggle. Chasing her around the room crawling. And when she sleeps through the night!"
"Building Lego with my nephew and getting very technical advice about what piece is an engine and what heads are allowed on which torsos and why. And when he grabs my hand as we come towards a road, because he trusts me."
"When I see newborns sleeping (not so much the screaming ones!) and having fun with my son makes me clucky for another. Seeing old videos and photos of him also makes my brovaries ping."
"Lying down with my nieces and nephews as they go to sleep. And holding their hands."
"Seeing other dads having fun with their kids. And seeing friends on Facebook and the cool stuff they were doing with theirs."
"For me, it literally is babies. My wife calls me the baby whisperer. For some strange reasons, most babies love me - and I adore them."
"Seeing cute pictures of my nephew and nieces makes me feel a little clucky, as well as spending time with them."
"Coming home from work and having the kids get so excited to see me. Big smiles, clapping hands, dad-dad-dad, hugs and kisses. Also, when they're crying in the middle of the night and I go in after (my partner) has had no success and they recognise me straight away, stop crying, start laughing and want to play. Anytime they take that next developmental step. And seeing them enjoy things that I like too."
"Seeing a dad and their toddler sharing a laugh over something silly. Watching a couple with their small child, just enjoying a serene moment as a family together. Seeing a little bub smile as I walk past. Feeling the hand of my sleeping infant reach out to feel for me when they are sleeping next to me …"
"My niece and her friends. Not babies so much - they make me nervous."
"That thing that arises out of love: the desire to see that unique someone who would be the product of that love, bearing the qualities of us both in its own unique way, with the added magic of its self/soul/character. I like the idea, more and more, of having a little pal, a companion, a fellow traveller. Someone to re-inject the child-side into life, and someone to nurture …"
"Babies in cafes. And when babies are clearly learning things or seeing things for the first time."
"The final episode of How I Met Your Mother when Barney holds his baby girl for the first time … that totally made my brovaries tingle."
Is anyone else feeling ridiculously clucky all of a sudden?