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Oh, the Silly Things Strangers Say to Moms

I don’t know what it is about babies and baby bumps, but they have a strange way of disabling people’s filters. They also seem to remove common sense and courtesy too. Now, strangers (and even non-strangers) aren’t always rude, but dang, do they hear what’s coming out of their mouths?

I know most people are well intentioned and I used to care a whole lot more about what they said when I was a first time mom. Like when that random woman at Home Depot insisted my baby needed socks on even though I was wearing her in our ERGObaby carrier.

Those types of comments used to make me upset and even question myself. But now? Now I find them to be silly while I smile dumbly back at them…and wonder if they’ve ever been around babies or children before.

Okay so occasionally they can still get to me, but nothing like when I first started navigating motherhood.

Here are some of the encounters I experienced just today!

After breakfast we ran some errands then had lunch at Culver’s. Rissa is now eating too much to reasonably share one of our meals, but not enough to finish a kids meal yet. Normally she eats about half which we are fine with. My favorite part about her kids meal? It comes with a token for a free scoop of custard.

We do expect her to eat a certain amount of her food before getting “the treat.” Most times Rissa doesn’t argue it too much. Like any normal toddler, she tries to get out of “one more bite,” but we try to encourage it. Today was a very mild back and forth before she took her last bite.

While Brian went to go get our dessert, Rissa kept saying it was all for her.

“All mines, mommy!” all the while she played with her plush Muno doll.

I shook my head. “We are sharing.”

“No! Rissa take away! Rissa take ice cream!”

We went back and forth, me reminding her that we always share when we are there. “It’s Rissa’s, daddy’s and mommy’s.”

Usually Rissa gets excited about us all sharing, but today she started whining that it was all hers. “If you keep whining and don’t want to share then you won’t have any….Share or none.”

She didn’t get out of control…she just was being a little whiny. Brian returned and Rissa tried to take the dish away, proclaiming it was “all mines.” but she got over it and happily took a spoonful as it was offered to her.

Then, an elderly woman approached our table. She said she overheard and wanted to give us a token for a free dish. (seems nice enough, right?)

“Just get her her own dish to have…even if you end up having to eat it.”

Wait, excuse me? Give it to her because she whined a little when I was reinforcing our sharing experience? Way to try and undermine mom, lady. Besides, she won’t finish it all and will make a huge mess with it. Sharing is the most practical situation for us.

And you know what? After that lady walked away, Rissa was no longer asking for her own because she was content to share. We didn’t say anything though… just pocketed the token she left on the table.

The initial gesture was nice…but yeah.

Next up…Target.

Brian dropped Xander and I off at Target while he and Rissa went to another nearby store. Xander slept the whole time until I got in line at the check out. It was a short trip overall but when the cart is at a standstill he’s not too happy.

And the kid is not fooled by a little back and forth action either.

He starts fussing as I put my stuff on the belt. It’s his little “I’m annoyed mama! Snuggle me please” cry. It’s quiet, as far as baby cries go, and lacks urgency. He’s not crying uncontrollably or anything. I talk to him and making shushing sounds as I try to rock him back to sleep.

A Target employee (maybe in her 20s?) comes over. “Oh, he must be young. His cry sounds like a little baby.”

“He’s about a month old.” For a moment I’m not even sure I have his age right. With Rissa I always knew exactly how old she was as a baby. She’s 5 weeks and 3 days old!

“Oh, so little! Is he hungry?”

“Um, no. He doesn’t like that I stopped the cart.” we all know that strangers think we never feed our children since that’s the first thing they assume is wrong. It’s a fair guess, but if I thought he was hungry if feed him not rock him back to sleep.

“Oh, is he colicky?”

WTF? Is what I think in my head. Fortunately my mouth says, “No.

“Oh is it just today then?”

At this point I’m baffled. No he’s cried other days. Has she ever been around babies before? I just stopped responding because I couldn’t think of an appropriate response since No, he just hates standing in line and listening to stupid questions probably would have been considered rude.

I understand she was probably trying to be helpful when she heard him cry. However, opening another checkout lane would have been helpful, not trying to diagnose him. I mean, I wasn’t the least bit concerned. I wasn’t frazzled. I was CALM.

Maybe that scared them.

What’s the most ridiculous thing a stranger has said to you about your kids?

Liza @ Views From the 'Ville

Sunday 20th of January 2013

It's amazing what people let come out of their mouths. It's not excusable, but I can kind of understand some things: before I had a child I probably would have said "oh my gosh, you let your little child stay up until 1 in the morning!?!?". But after having Bubbles who is a total night owl and refuses to go to sleep before 11:30 p.m. I no longer think what other people allow their kids to do is odd, weird, etc. You do what works for you!


Monday 14th of January 2013

I don't think I have ever had strangers say rude things, but there was a daycare teacher who used to say the strangest things to us. Benjamin didn't walk until 20 months (probably because we never put him down) and she used to give me all kinds of strange advice and say that something was wrong with him and so on. She also told my husband that Benjamin was being rude (at 18 months old) because he cried every time the new girl was near him. The new girl was black and this lady thought Benjamin was being racist. Um...I'm not quite sure that he knew the difference. We found out later that she was taking his toys from him. :(

Darcy Zalewski

Monday 14th of January 2013

Oh geez, that lady doesn't sound like she's fit to work with littles!

Julie Ghrist

Sunday 13th of January 2013

Nothing like that but one time when we were out to dinner, my son was only a couple weeks old and sleeping contently. I had a lady come over to the table and tap on my shoulder and ask how old he was. She then proceeded to ask if her and her mother could hold him. I was dumbfounded and had no clue what to say. I tried to just be polite and said, "sorry but I would rather not" when I wanted to scream Are you kidding me! What would make u think that I would just hand my new born baby over for some stranger to hold! I found it to be just the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever asked me!

Darcy Zalewski

Monday 14th of January 2013

Oh my goodness! That took some guts. Who would do that?! Well clearly those crazy ladies lol


Sunday 13th of January 2013

Of course it scared them. Calm mothers are extremely frightening critters!! Didn't you know this??? You can't ever tell when they might lose it...

People are weird. That's all.

Darcy Zalewski

Monday 14th of January 2013

Lol calm moms can be an unnerving sight!


Sunday 13th of January 2013

Where do I start... I was opening a bank account about a year ago. It was the end of the day and the kids were cranky, of course. They wouldn't stay still at all. A man kept hanging around the door of the office I was in--rude, right? Then he suddenly said something about how my kids were bad and they'd give me a heart attack. I told him off without cursing somehow.

Darcy Zalewski

Monday 14th of January 2013

Wow what is wrong with some people??