Grownups Say the Darndest Things
Hold onto your hats, people, for here comes another REVOLUTIONARY and GROUNDBREAKING observation: new-motherhood can bring out the inner a-hole in those around you. There is just something about a newly-minted mother holding a chubby baby that gives family, friends, acquaintances, and even total strangers the license to unload their thoughtless observations, opinions, and advice. You know, because once you become a parent, you are completely incapable of making reasonable decisions on your own and need said family/friends/strangers to tell you how to do everything otherwise you will surly drop the baby out of a window without their helpful advice.
These unsolicited observations and nuggets of advice are particularly hilarious (and I might add, contradictory) in the cross-cultural context. Wear this pregnancy belt to keep your kidneys warm otherwise you'll hurt the baby! Don't get too hot, you'll hurt the baby! Squeeze and stretch your nipples or else you won't be able to breastfeed! Stay in bed for two weeks after you have the baby! Don't bring your baby outside for at least a month! Your baby needs fresh air, bring her outside every day! Your baby must be freezing, put shoes on her! No shoes! Babies should never wear shoes, even in winter!
Obviously something must have happened when I got knocked up and my body, which was once my own, became fodder for all sorts of inappropriate commentary. And, because I am in possession of perhaps one or two social skills (read I have no balls), upon receipt of unwanted commentary and / or advice, I usually say something noncommittal like, "Oh, hmmm, I see, well, ummmmm...okay...I've gotta go now!" But thanks to the internets, I can now exact my revenge...mwahahahaha!
And now, for your entertainment and mine, I hereby present you with A List of Stupid Things People Have Said to Me Since Having a Baby complete with my imagined responses:
X: After giving birth to my babies, my stomach was never as big as yours. It went back to normal right away.
Well, aren't you special. Thanks for the confidence boost. Nothing like being told you look round and squishy two days postpartum!
Y: You're breastfeeding, aren't you?
Me: Umm…yes,*self-consciously crosses arms in front of chest so as to hide boobies with a gesture that is intended to be sly and casual, but is totally obvious* Why, am I leaking?
Y: No, no, it's just , you know, obvious. *Gestures at my boobs, indicating largeness*
Okay, great. I'm sooooo happy that my knockers are a conversation piece. I'm glad that you feel it's appropriate to comment on their size. Especially since we just met five seconds ago. At my dad's 60th birthday party. Fantastic.
Me: *Bounces and gently sways to keep the baby from a full-scale meltdown*
Z: You know, you really look like a table dancer like that.
Now, this might just be speculation, but I'm pretty sure that table dancers don't do the baby bounce. I haven't independently verified this fact, but, still. Pretty sure.
A: Your baby has such beautiful hair; what a nice colour of red!
Me: Oh, yeah, thanks! The one thing she got from my side of the family.
A: And don't you just love her little red eyebrows? They look like scars or scratches, or gashes across her face that didn't ever heal properly.
Yeah, um, thanks?