Hey, Asshole, My Baby Is Perfect
When it comes to the general population versus my baby, I can get a little...prickly. I hope that most mommas would, because when someone comes for my cub, my hackles go up, no matter how pure that person's intentions.
I've mentioned before that we try to go out every day, for the sake of both our sanities. While we're out, we encounter lots of people who can't help but comment on us. I've come to sometimes dread these interactions because people say the WEIRDEST stuff to and about babies...just like they do to and about pregnant bellies.
What I don't appreciate, though, is the unsolicited comments about Oliver's size, just like I didn't appreciate the unsolicited comments about the size of my belly when I was pregnant with him. I suppose I'm sensing a theme.
SO many people comment on Oliver's size. I think they do it without thinking because they clearly know nothing about babies and what's normal and what's not. I would venture that 50% of the time we go out, someone asks, "How old?" and then says, "Oh, he's so big!" Just last week, we were at a consignment store where the snotty woman deciding the fate of my very nice clothing items took it a bit further and POKED THE MOMMA BEAR a little too hard (mind you, I had been carrying my 20 lb child around the neighborhood for over an hour while I waited for her to buy or not buy my clothes and both Oliver and I were over it, even if he was being a better sport than I was). ANYWAY, after asking how old, she asked a follow up: "Oh, isn't he a little big for ten months?"
I took a beat, shifted my squirmy infant on my hib, tucked my flyaways behind my ear, looked her dead in the eye, and said, "No. He isn't." And I walked away.
Sometimes what I wish I'd done, though, is ask the offender: "How old are you?" When they answer, follow up just like they did: "Oh, aren't you a little big for your age?" And then turn on my heel, flip my hair, and get the hell outta dodge. Another option is to ask, "What do you mean by that?" OR, I could always say, "To me, he's perfect," and hold my head up high while looking right at them. I don't know what the right approach is. I'll probably try a few things, or ignore it entirely.
What a terrible, ignorant question. What a terrible, ignorant person.
What made me feel better, though, is once I got to the register, the decidedly pleasant cashier asked, "Oh, how old? Four months?" And I couldn't help but smile. There are SO many ignorant people in the world when it comes to babies. Hell, I was one of them not even a year ago, but now that I know better, I'm going to focus on complimenting mommas and babies, like the kind woman at Trader Joe's did to me yesterday.
"What a beautiful baby!" she crooned.
"And what a great momma you are," she said in follow up, while touching my arm and making me feel like a million bucks in my bun and yoga pants that were most definitely not heading to yoga.
When I grow up, I wanna be just like her. I want to be the kind of person who looks mommas in the eye and tells them their babies are beautiful and they're doing perfectly. Isn't that all what we need to hear anyway? Just like grown ups, babies come in all shapes in sizes. They're all perfect in their own way. It's an absolute MIRACLE we can create them, grow them, birth them, and nurture them into (hopefully) thoughtful adults that also come in all shapes and sizes.
So, whether the people are calling your baby "too big" or "too small," I want you to know that I think your baby is pretty precious, and you're doing perfectly.