Got it, Thanks.

Mother’s Day 2011 was a success. We took a train towashington D.C., a city I love. I love the history, the eccectic mix of people and the architecture. I don’t even love architecture that much, but the Supreme Court building? The monuments? Oh, how I love the monuments. I get choked up when I go to the Vietnam Memorial because my Dad fought in that war. The moument to the soldiers that’s off to the side also makes me a little sad. These soldiers are SO YOUNG. Some kids sent off to fight at 18 years old. Vietnam Memorial Statue

We had a fantastc day of sightseeing and hanging out. The train ride home was also pretty relaxing. Except for this one Lady Full of Advice!

Marshall loves playing with water bottles. When ever we have one, we let him gnaw and play and enjoy it. Poor husband was on the aisle with the baby and LFoA speaks up, “He shouldn’t play with that; he’ll swallow the cap.”

Husband does his litle, “Thanks,” smile and continues to let the baby play with the bottle. Then LFoA comments, “There’s lots of germs on bottles. That could be dangerous.” Husband doesn’t smile this time, but just nods. Then, my cheerful husband turns to me and says, “If this lady doesn’t shut up, I’m gonna choke her with the bottle cap.” Husband’s hide is rarely chafed, but this lady really got to him. Inevitable, as it always does, it led to socks.

Look. My kid does not like wearing socks. I don’t know why. My grandma told me last month that I didn’t like wearing socks. (I still love being barefoot.) (I also adore flip-flops) Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe most babies don’t like socks because it’s harder to interact tactile-y with the world. I don’t know. What I do know is when we put socks on the baby, he kicks them off. This, apparently, is like hanging a kid off of a balcony. It invites comment and advice.

“Ma’am, your baby isn’t wearing any socks.” I know. He kicked them off somewhere in the last five blocks. I walked back two blocks to find it, no luck.

“It’s too cold out here for that baby not to have socks!” I get it. I’m a bad mom. Look at his smiling, cherubic face- see how abused he is?

Ugh. Unsolicited advice is lame. If he’s naked and crying and cut, sure, speak up. If however, he seems fine but with a massing sock or playing with something in full sight of BOTH of his parents, maybe let it go. I undersnad people want to be helpful, but how helpful was it for you when you were a young parent? Do you give advice to everyone you see on the street?

“Ma’am, you’re missing about 5 inches on that skirt.”

“You probably shouldn’t be smoking. It’s full of toxins.”

Oh wait, that would be obnoxious. When people help me, Im grateful. Like the woman who offerd to help to look for his sock? Briliant. The guy who found his sock at the zoo? Big shout out. But just critisizing without a better idea? Lame.

In NYC you’re always on the street and aroud people, so maybe that invites the advice? I already hear tons of advice from my family, and I listen and sometimes follow. Strangers though? Please. Let me see how your kids are doing, first. I need a sure-fire response other than, “Okay. Thanks.” That makes me feel like I’m affirming their advice giving and they will feel empowered to dole some out to other parents. I could tell the lady that a few germs are okay for the baby to ingestt and builds his immune system. That babies learn by putting all manner of junk into their mouths. That the cap is screwed on tighly and we keep a hand on it to make sure it doesn’t go too far it. But then I sound like a jerk. This should be in baby books. Maybe I’ll just say, “Our pediatrician encourages ________.” Or maybe a polite head nod. Or, “Got it, thanks.” (But with an attitude so they know I don’t got it. Cause it’s dumb.) Whatevs. We’ll see. It’s spring, so the people will be out.

I do invite compliments on how cute his knees, smiles, curly hairs are. Keep those comin’.

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