Every Wednesday, I drop my daughter off at preschool, grab a latte, and then Ev and I head off to do our grocery shopping. We go to a small grocery store that has that small town feel (I grew up in a small town so I love this) where the shelves don’t go to the ceiling, making you feel claustrophobic, and the employees know us well.
Ev is a pretty good little shopper. He enjoys people watching and flirting with the blue haired old ladies who abound on Wednesdays (it’s double ad day!). There are a few employees we see nearly every week that know Ev by name. They have enjoyed watching him grow from a baby to a toddler this last 16 months, and I love how they ask about him! We also are always meeting new people at Gymboree, swim lessons, Target, Costso, at restaurants…and they always seem so enthralled with Ev and are always asking us about him. (I think it’s the ears…)
But…if one more person asks me if he is talking yet…I may explode.
Yes, yes, yes…I know they mean well. I know they are just trying to make conversation. I get it. And most of these people have no idea what I do for a living. I actually prefer to keep that part to myself and watch to see what they say when I say, “Nope….not talking yet.”
And it’s funny. I either get the “Oh he’ll be just fine!” or…the concerned look and the “Oh…really? Mmmmmm…”
When you become a mom…all of a sudden, you start getting a lot of opinions from others about your child’s development, your parenting, what to feed you child and when…it’s crazy. (Ok, so it really starts the moment you get knocked up…but I won’t go there today!) Don’t even get me started on the “mom wars” where mothers tear each other apart for their individual choices in breast feeding or formula feeding, co sleeping or crib sleeping, circumcising or not circumcising, attachment parenting or traditional parenting. If you had thin skin before becoming a mom, you better thicken up, because everyone has an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions, don’t you?
Here are just some of the top questions and comments I can think of off the top of my head that I have been asked over the last 3.5 years as a mother:
- “How long are you going to breastfeed for? You know, if they are old enough to ask for it they are too old…” (Because there are so many kids in kindergarten who are still breastfeeding, right?)
- “You CO SLEEP? You know you will never get your child to sleep alone, right?” (Yes, I will need to go to college with my child, because she will never ever sleep alone…)
- “Wow…what are you feeding her??” (Answer: Breast milk only! My daughter was a CHUNK as an infant.)
- “How is she/he sleeping?” and “Does she/he sleep through the night yet?” (This one is CONSTANT from the day they are born, and for the record…my kids don’t sleep! So stop asking!)
- “You have to let them cry it out…. It’s the only way to get them to sleep through the night.” (Right…because I’m sure my daughter was just trying to manipulate us…not suffering from pain from an invisible disease we didn’t know she had yet. I’m also sure she was faking the night terrors for…the last two years…)
- “Have your tried XYZ for your daughter’s Juvenile Arthritis? I have a friend’s sister’s cousin’s best friend’s neighbors cable guy whose daughter had JA and they used X and now she is cured!” (Nope….but I have been using the research backed treatments, do those count?)
- “Why didn’t you circumcise him?” (Seriously…at two weeks old, a stranger asked me this. Really? You want to talk about my kids junk? I don’t ask you about YOUR kid’s junk!)
And yes…the current one I hear constantly is “Is he talking yet?” Sigh.
No, no he isn’t. I imagine when it’s time to head off to college I am going to need to go with him…because he surely will still be using sign language still and not speech, he will still be nursing and co sleeping, and even though only 30% of boys are circumcised today, he will somehow be traumatized because we chose not to alter his body at birth.
Luckily, I am pretty secure in my parenting and 99% of the time I let these silly comments roll right off my back. But sometimes no matter how sincere the question, you just get tired of answering it. What questions drive you crazy?