Why is it that strangers think that you cannot possibly parent another minute without the aid of their unsolicited advice? One of the things they should teach you in the prenatal classes is how to shrug that stuff off. Since they don’t, our next best option is to share the crazy things people have told us – and laugh together. I read this article on the Bump about the worst parenting advice mothers have ever been given, and it made me think about some of my favorite stories of bizarre advice given to me.
As Mr. Lindstrom and I, proud first time parents were riding the elevator on our way out of the hospital with our not even 48 hour old firstborn safely buckled in her carrier car seat, we set our beautiful daughter (IN HER CAR SEAT) down on the floor. An older woman who was riding the elevator gave us the “tisk tisk” look. “Don’t you put that baby down on this floor. It’s dirty!” As though we had all just rolled around in mud, and then started eating bugs off each other. Only minutes later, as I was sitting by the front door waiting for Mr. Lindstrom to pull the car around, another lady asked me if the baby was a boy or a girl. When I said “she’s a girl!” her face turned sour as she did the up and down look, you know the one because you’ve seen it on the Real Housewives, and said, “well, you dressed her in yellow. Don’t you know to dress baby girls in pink?” WHAT KIND OF AN IDIOT AM I??? I cannot believe they discharged me with that sweet baby girl dressed in yellow. Rookie mistake.
Recently, I’ve been haunted by a woman at a place I frequent with the Twinstroms. This woman is a grandmother of a child around my four year-old’s age, and a mother of (now adult) twins. Bless her heart (it's proper etiquette to intro with 'bless his/her/their heart' when you’re about to talk some serious smack about someone), but she feels free to regularly advise me on my twinfant parenting skills. On a recent rainy day, she was very concerned about how I was going to transport my children to the car. “Those babies are going to get wet if you take them outside.” I considered all of the possible solutions; I could have waited the storm out (in retrospect, it turns out we would have had to wait for a day and a half), or driven the car directly INTO the building, but what I did do (because my inner monologue is broken), is say, “I did not know that babies cannot get wet.”
…and all of this has prompted me to create this sassy t-shirt.