Leave me and my daughter alone, judgmental old women!
“Your little one sounds like she’s hungry,” the woman in line behind me at the drug store volunteered without provocation.
“No,” I smiled. “She fed half an hour ago. She just doesn’t like sitting still in long lines. Thank you, though.”
I’m new to this parenting thing, and when it comes to good advice, I’m all ears. I may not be the type to call for censorship, or to shelter my kid from different lifestyles, but I still believe it takes a village to raise a child. I’ve been grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve gotten from random parents, and especially from fellow dads.
But there’s a certain demographic – for lack of a better name, let’s call it “every older woman in my neighbourhood” – who sees a crying baby in the company of a man and thinks “This guy’s in over his head.”
“Did you bring a bottle with you?” this particular woman insisted.
“Nope,” I said. “She fed half an hour ago, ma’am. She’s not hungry.”
“Okay, she shrugged, with a little bit too much “if you say so” for my liking.
I appreciated her concern, don’t get me wrong. Besides, as intrusive strangers go, she was pretty tame. Consider, for example, the woman who heard my kid crying a few weeks ago at the exact same drug store, and helpfully told me “She needs her mum.”
The list of things I wish I’d said to that woman instead of “Thanks” is pretty long. My brother deserves all the credit for the current winner, “You’re gonna need your mum in a minute, lady.”
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