I want a shirt like that for my child.
This is my sweet Caia.
It’s hard to tell in that picture, but she is small for her age. I just have small children. That’s just how they come.
At two weeks early, she weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz. I’m told that’s small even for two weeks early. I have no frame of reference for “average” baby size as my first was a week late and only weighed 6 lbs 2 oz.
I’ve seen the stares when I take her out to eat. I am keenly aware of the odd looks other mothers give me when they see my child snarfing down table food.
But today, we got to actually hear some of the nasty comments that until now, I only knew people were THINKING.
We were at Arby’s with Jon and Paula. (That’s Stephen’s brother and his girlfriend.) As I came back from the bathroom with McKenna, I noticed two older ladies at a nearby table, staring at Caia.
And it wasn’t that, “Awww, she’s cute” kind of stare. It was the kind of stare that seemed to imply that she felt that SOMEONE needed to be attentive to this child, because obviously her parents were clueless and didn’t know what they were doing.
Paula looks at me and says, “Don’t turn around, but those women keep whispering and staring at Caia.”
Jon then tells me that he heard one of them comment, in what I’m sure was complete horror and disgust, that they couldn’t believe we were feeding that tiny baby table food.
It gets to me when other women try to parent someone else’s child. Please. Unless you know that child and you know that situation, just back off. That sounds harsh, but please.
What works for my kids and what works for your kids may be totally different, but should that give me cause to judge you and your child-rearing abilities? Unless someone is harming their children, physically or emotionally, I don’t care.
And I certainly don’t care what you feed your children. Just feed them SOMETHING, and I’m good.
I do have harsh words for those that belittle their children in public. Stephen and I both do. And if you’d like a really good example of this, just go to Wal-Mart on any given day, and you’ll see someone yelling at their kids to “get their a** back over here”. Throw in some name-calling here and there, and you’ve got yourself a fine parenting example.
Back to my Arby’s experience.
I said to Paula, hopefully loud enough for these women to hear, “Yeah. It happens a lot. People think that she’s younger than she is. But nope. She’s nine months old. And her pediatrician is okay with it.”
Paula made me giggle.
“Seriously. What if it were like ‘Little People, Big World’, and she were really like, four? What would they have to say then?”
Why do we, especially as mothers, want to assume the worst of another mom? Do these women really believe that I am giving my five month old baby chicken nuggets and french fries?
Just for reference, I asked a friend later on in the day, if she saw my child and didn’t know how old she was, what she would guess her age to be. She said five or six months. She’s right.
When Stephen finally picked up on the conversation taking place, his answer to the situation was this:
“Well, let’s just go ask her, since she’s such an expert, if she thinks it’s okay that we don’t have a car seat for her.”