We returned from our cross-country venture last night. This morning, Fuzz and I strolled over to Trader Joe’s to pick up some staples. We all know how much I love this place, but sometimes, I encounter people that instill violence in me.
For some reason, at the Joe, people feel like they can say whatever they want, right to your face. It’s like the Joe is a place where no one’s feelings will get hurt. Suddenly everyone is an authority about everything. Take parenting, for example, or babies in particular: People often comment on Fuzz’s adorability, and some will just leave it at that. Others will tack on their take on whatever the hell they feel like saying that they have no business saying.
Today’s gems were related to Fuzz’s hiccups.
Fuzz had been hiccupping our way through the aisles of the store when we encountered a pregnant woman. We exchanged a few words. She remarked at Fuzzball’s cuteness and told me about her recent sonogram (she told me, I didn’t ask). Then she said:
“Ohhhhh, he has the hiccups. That’s because it’s cold in here.”
Then she gave him a look like she felt sorry for him because he had the hiccups.
Moving on, we came upon an employee of Trader Joe’s. This gentleman was genuinely concerned about Fuzz’s hiccups and even scared him to try to get rid of them.
This was the most awful thing I think I have witnessed since Fuzz had his blood drawn like a big person. I wanted to reach out and smack this dude, or at the very least scream at him. The image of my baby being scared by him will be imprinted on my brain forever. But, I didn’t want to burn any bridges at this Trader Joe’s, especially since it’s a 6 minute walk from my house. So, after his technique failed, I calmly told him that babies regularly get the hiccups and it’s completely normal and harmless (unlike the psychological damage YOU just caused). I didn’t say that last part, but I wanted to, I really did.
Another time, a couple of months ago, an elderly woman said to me: “Oh, he’s such a friendly little guy! Was it a natural birth?”
What I should have said:
“What the !@#$ kind of question is that to ask a stranger in a grocery store?”
What I said instead:
“No, he was a C-section.”
I think her question took me by such surprise that I just blurted out any answer without thinking. But in retrospect, I wanted to punch her in the face.
Have you ever been in such public situations where people think they can say or do whatever to you and your baby?