Any parent with more than one kid can attest to a universal truth regarding second babies: You are much more chilled.
It’s true. On everything from public meltdowns to eating crumbs off the floor, I’m just more relaxed with my second daughter. When it comes to what other people have to say about how I raise my children, I roll with it even more. No more worries about what friends/in-laws/books/experts might say about our family’s choices.
I was not so calm the first time around. A casual comment from an older woman at the Whole Foods sent me into a spasm of self-doubt that lasted for weeks. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but I love to imagine that I had summoned the gall to give a snappy retort.
Things I wish I had said to the busybody in Whole Foods who said, “I hope you have a hat for that baby!”
Ignorant. “Hat? What’s that for?”
Ageist. “Hats are for old people. Get with the internet age, crusty!”
Protective lioness. “Back off! And don’t let me catch you staring at my baby with your creepy eyes again, you child-stealing weirdo!”
Buck passing. “If you feel so strongly about it, maybe you should raise her.”
Immigrant. “In my country, we teach children that people who wear hats cannot be trusted.”
Sarcastic. “Thank God! If not for your wise counsel I would have surely let my offspring perish due to sun/wind/cold exposure! I had no idea that I could prevent such a catastrophe! Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving me with your miraculous advice!”
Developmental psychologist. “The application of a constraining containment on the cranium limits bloodflow to the cerebral cortex.”
Adolescent. “Hats have cooties.”
Guilt trip. “When you were a young mother and you doubted every choice you made, did anyone ever publicly challenge your parenting, thereby shaming you into weeks of self-flagellation? Well, that’s what you just did to me.”
What I really said: “Huh? Er…oh…um…okay…”
(Feel free to post a comment with your own snappy comeback!)