Resisting the Concern Troll Within

3 May

Now that I’ve had the experience of giving birth to a baby and being a parent for all of fifteen weeks, I feel myself succumbing to smugness and nosiness. It’s a terrible feeling, to be that woman. Oh, now I know all about childbirth, you know! Let me tell you how I did it without any drugs! My baby is reaching a few of his development milestones early! He totally reaches for things and grabs them all on his own!

But the worst is the raised-eyebrow feelings I get when I see other parents not parenting their babies the way I think it should be done. Yesterday, I was in Target and the sound of a newborn crying attracted my attention (OK, it also made my boobs go a little crazy). There was a teeny, tiny — I mean, tiny — little girl in a huge stroller, flailing and crying in that piteous newborn way while her mother nonchalantly looked at clothes. I think the mother saw me looking, so she briefly leaned over the baby, said, “Ohhh,” and went back to shopping. My mind began racing. Tiny babies only cry like that if they really, really need something! Why is she in that huge stroller? Newborns need to feel secure! Oh my god I just want to pick her up! Lady, pick up your baby! Pick her up! She’s hungry! Feed your baby, woman!

I said nothing, of course, because I didn’t want to be that woman. And anyway, Brian was wheeling Mateo around the store, so I didn’t have my chubby little drool machine as proof that I totally know what I’m doing with the baby stuff. I hurried to Brian to tell him about it, though, and we both watched in silent judgment later as the same woman passed us at the greeting card section, her baby still crying, her face impassive. We watched her until, finally, as we were checking out, we saw the baby’s grandmother take out a bottle to feed the baby in the food court.

Now, I’m sure this baby is just fine, even if, as Brian pointed out, the were giving her formula. (Gasp!) But that urge to be nosy, it is so irresistible! I wonder what other women think of me when they see me with Mateo.

Speaking of Mateo, he likes to pretend he’s a grown-up sometimes.

Reading the fascinating tome Squishy Turtle and Friends


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