We met at Panera Bread, which is always a nice spot with a cozy ambience. We were near the fireplace, which was great, because we live in the Chicago area, and it has been freezing. As we wrapped up our time together, the baby started to wake, so I got a chance to hold him, and he is simply too adorable for words. Since my girlfriend had parked a ways away from the location, because the parking lot was full at the time she arrived, I kept my eye on the baby while she left to pull her car closer to the entrance, and that's when it all happened.
I had this little baby cradled in my arms, with his little face twisted in a manner that was trying to settle on going back to sleep or awakening fully. Of course, it's no surprise that when you do have a little bitty baby in your arms, you draw the attention of others who want to look and fawn over the little miracle. However, these people can also overstep boundaries, which someone did.
There was an unassuming lady who walked over. She started her comment with a compliment, stating how cute the baby was. She then inquired the age of the baby, whose name by the way is Ethan. I shared with her that Ethan was not my child, and that I believed him to be six weeks old, at which time she chimed in a disdainful manner "oh a newborn, in this weather?". At first, I smiled, because I'm thinking to myself, when is suppposed to be an appropriate time for a baby to be out? If he is dressed appropriately, what difference doese it make? However, her comments didn't stop there, she followed up with, "his pacifier looks to be too big for him too."
Okay, this is the first time I've experienced this, because I don't have a child. However, I had a taste of what my girlfriend must get on an infrequent basis at best, and I didn't appreciate it. When my girlfriend came back from parking her car, I shared with her what was said, and she seemed to be unmoved. Which, on a different note, made me think that perhaps I take things too personal. Perhaps, I do, but I don't think that was the case with this woman. I was offended!
I was offended, because I believe she saw me sitting there, with this baby, and assumed I was some young thing (I look younger than I am, at least I like to think so, lol) that was a single parent. Oh, by the way, this was not an old woman, I would put her around 40ish. Anyway, I think she had some preconceived ideas regarding who she thought I was, and quite frankly that really upset me. Nonetheless, if I had a "Do Over", I would have told the Peanut Gallery this after she made her comment:
"Do you have children? Well, as a Citizen Of the World I can unequivocally state that women are
birthing children all over the world regardless of climate. And, considering you know nothing regarding this child or his family let me inform you, the parents of this child are married 30 something plus year old, formally educated people who also have an older son. And, I am certain this child is being raised in a happy loving home with the same upbringing as his three year old brother.
If this baby were my child, he would be my first, and your statements would have made me feel inadequate as a parent. Words hurt, and you don't know what state of mind an individual is in when you make them, especially when it comes to their child. Although your opinions are yours,
the're just that...YOUR OPINIONS! So, unless solicited, it would be suggested you keep them to yourself. As someone who has served this country as a service member, I learned that your opinion need not be heard unless you are going to offer a solution. And, unless you are going to
aid in the rearing of this child or any other that is not yours, save the snarky comments.
They are tasteless, and display a lack of class...
Unfortunately, I didn't say anything to this woman, who made her thoughts known with several other strangers in earshot (again we were at Panera Bread) garnering unwanted attention my way. I was caught off guard, and quite frankly shocked at the audacity that total strangers think its okay to tell you what's best for you and yours. Now, that I've experienced this, I definitely will be prepared with a quick reply should this ever happen again.
I have to say, normally putting pen to paper regarding things like this help to make me feel better, but I'm officially still ticked.
Till next time...