I spent years in customer service, 6 of those years in call centers alone. (No, I’m not one that called during dinner to ask you if you wanted to upgrade your cable.) Being in the “professional communication” business for so long, I’ve heard a lot; lots of funny things, silly things, smart things, and downright stupid things. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a stupid question. However, nothing could have prepared me for some of the stupid crap people would start spouting at my offspring once he made his arrival. *insert facepalm here* Here are some of my (least) favorite.
Did she pinch you?
Yes. Because I enjoy torturing my child. (Hint: that's sarcasm.)
Is she starving you?/Mama’s starving you to death!
This was said – nay, repeated – at my most vulnerable. Bean was not even a month old yet, and we were still working on the whole breastfeeding thing. Even though he was weighing in well and gaining to his pediatrician's delight, I was still terrified that I wasn't doing it right. While I knew that the family member saying it was obviously joking, it still felt like a sucker punch to the gut every time either phrase left her mouth. It's something you don't ever say to a parent of a new baby. Just don't.
I'm not native to this area. I'm still learning the local dialect. For example, where I'm from, to "wear someone out" means to make a person tired. Here, it means a good spanking. So if I told my mom I was taking my sisters to the park to wear them out, it would make sense to her, but if I told my neighbor the same thing, they'd be worried for my sisters.
I believe "isyewagooboi" means "are you a good boy," but I'm not entirely sure. However, and I say this with no disrespect, I cannot talk to my child like that and expect him to learn to speak properly. So don’t be surprised if you use baby talk with my Bean and see me visibly cringe.
Isn't your mama so mean?
Again, yes, I just loooooove to make my child cry.
This has been said to him multiple times when I’ve needed to lay Bean down for some reason, typically for a diaper change in a public restroom. I would think that being a mean mama would be to make him sit in his own filth for extended periods of time, not removing him from it. Of course he’s going to cry, he’d much rather be held. But the sooner you get out of his face telling him that I’m being mean to him, the sooner I can get him back in my arms.
You’re too pretty to be a boy!
Why does being a pretty baby negate his gender? Of course he’s gorgeous, he takes after his daddy! But being pretty isn’t simply a feminine quality, just as handsome is not a strictly masculine quality. I can understand this one a little better, though. I’m totally jealous of his eyelashes, too.
As the non-confrontational passive aggressive person that I am, I generally smile and nod while avoiding eye contact, and then write about it. What are some of the craziest/silliest/weirdest things people have said to your infant/child? What was your response, and what do you wish you had said?
Mama Bear of one Baby Bear, Bean, who both love Papa Bear, and live in a crafty, gluten-free cozy den.