Parenting: the strangers who annoy me!

This past couple of weeks have been ridiculously busy. Lily turned 1, it was also my own birthday, we hosted family from around the country, visited family in London and Weymouth, survived our first heatwave, and Lily not only ended up with a chest infection, but also discovered the hard way thay she is allergic to penicillin… oh, and she got stung by a bumble bee hiding in her ball pit! 

I’ve had a couple of blogs to post floating around my head, but on a long walk today it really struck me that I’d gathered some pet hates over the past year with complete strangers. Not just the ones who judge your parenting styles, as I’ve written plenty about those… these are the complete strangers you meet when out in public. I’d generally consider myself a tolerant person who openly chats to anyone, but I’ve discovered that complete strangers who would usually disregard you, often feel the need to pass comment because you have a child. Some of them are nice… they say she’s cute, maybe smile, jingle their keys, then carry on with their day. It’s understandable if she’s grinning manically at them like she does, and I do the same if in the lift with another parent perhaps. Others don’t get the message! I don’t know if anyone else agrees with any of these, but here’s a few of those strangers who have turned me into a hater…

1. Complete strangers who feel the need to touch my baby. They’re usually the weirdos who smell absolutely terrible. Just don’t touch her!! That is all…

2. People who feel through need to make an unsubtle dig at your parenting through talking to the baby. “Awww, you’re hungry/thirsty aren’t you?”x3 (always repeated!) Aka “are you starving her? I think you should feed her.” No I’m not neglecting her. Yes, she’s hungry, but I was currently on my way to find a suitable place to feed her before you stopped me, or, the bus driver would not be happy if sweet potato is smeared on his seats so I’m waiting til we are home… or she’s not hungry, she’s just been fed and she’s tired but I can’t get her to sleep til you leave her alone!! Or maybe she’s just crying because you smell so bad…

3. Those complete strangers who comment on her clothing. Most recently it was “well if she’s a girl, why is she in blue?” and “why does she look like a boy?” The first instance it was a navy blue pocket dress which we had on her for a funeral that day. The second she was in coral shorts with a butterfly tee-shirt… hardly boyish!! We haven’t given her a boy’s haircut, she just doesn’t have much hair yet!! I admit to not always dressing her in the girliest of clothes, but she loves to explore and get messy, so always ends up in something she can go on her little adventures in. Plus what does it matter what she’s wearing?!

4. Living next to a ghetto. People here for some reason feel the need to make alot of noise to, for what I can only assume, make a point they are there. This is generally through a combination of shouting, music and cars. They will sit out the front of their houses and shout at each other/up to windows/ on the phone/ in the street/ to people sitting in cars. They may sit in their cars outside the front of their house doing nothing except sit there and shout at each other over ridiculously loud music. They may drive around revving their very loud engines. Laugh unnecessarily loudly. Or even walk along the road talking to their phone via the loud speaker on maximum volume. Throw in some very loud barking dogs. But mainly sitting loudly outside their houses doing nothing in particular except be loud. Any of these combinations generally wakes up a sleeping baby, or stops the baby sleeping in the first place.

5. People who think that just because you have a baby/pram, you are automatically going to be slower than them. They then a) cut in front of you, b) walk across you, or c) walk a little quicker than their comfort zone allows to get ahead of you. A) and b) are generally more annoying, resulting in you slowing down or stopping in order to avoid a collision… c) however can usually be fairly amusing if you are indeed faster than them, as they will refuse to slow down in an attempt to prove they are faster than you, so you can maintain or pick up the pace to test their stamina. More often than not they will give in and either dart into a shop they’d never intended on visiting, or find something to busy themselves with in an excuse to stop. 

Again, I’d consider myself to be a tolerant person but today I’m particularly exhausted and having come across all of these again in the past 24 hours, I thought I’d get it off my chest 🙂

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