Unsolicited Advice—Why Is My Baby Your Free Pass for Intrusive Behavior?

We’ve had a rough few days around here. Bean is not a happy camper, and has taken to throwing epic fits that are reminiscent of Demon-Baby. I finally dragged my semi-hysterical self to the pediatrician yesterday, and came out with a revised feeding plan, reflux medicine, and a definitive timeline for testing the theory that Bean has tummy troubles. If that doesn’t work, I’ll suck it up and accept the dreaded colic explanation.

Prior to my desperate doctor visit, I’ve learned that every Tom, Dick and Harry I pass on the street thinks they know more about my kid than I do. To add insult to injury, they feel compelled to share with me their infinite wisdom on how to fix my crying baby, using their Google medical degree.

Case-in-point #1:

Right about check-out time at Target the other day, Bean erupted into full-on screaming. The lady behind me, who clearly was a mother who had been in my situation, kept her mouth shut and simply offered to load an unwieldy box into my cart…God bless her. However, between the check-out line and the door, I was stopped by no less than five people to inquire about my screaming infant, then offer me their arm-chair diagnosis of what she needed.

“No, my baby is not hungry.”

“Why yes, she is pissed off. Thank you for that astute observation.”

“No, she doesn’t need her diaper changed.”

“No, she is not in need of a nap.”

“Yes, I’m sure *insert zany advice here* worked well for you, but I’ve got it covered…thanks.”

“No, I don’t want to hear about your pregnant daughter-in-law.”

“Can’t you see that you are blocking me from getting my screaming infant out of here???”

Yeah, I was about to end up on the news after that gauntlet. What is it about a baby that makes perfect strangers forget all boundaries, manners and common sense?

Case-in-point #2:

After a night of endless fussing, I took Bean to the park with the hope that fresh air and a few laps in the stroller would do us both some good. Not halfway through our first lap, she let loose with her guttural screams of “nothing you do will make me happy.” Of course, I turned to head back to the parking lot, only to get stopped by three people along the way.

“Somebody must be hungry!” Um, I fed her 10 minutes ago, but I love your insinuation that I’m letting my baby starve while I take a little stroll.

“Did you pinch that baby?” “No, but I’m tempted to pinch you right about now.

“She must be tired!” WHY didn’t I think of that??

Maybe it’s the sleep-deprivation talking, but I’ve had enough unsolicited advice today. To my armchair baby whisperers, please reengage your propriety filters, or you may draw back a nub next time.

*This public service announcement was brought to you by me, the soon to be mayor of Margaritaville*

4 thoughts on “Unsolicited Advice—Why Is My Baby Your Free Pass for Intrusive Behavior?

  1. I just found you through MAry Janes Farm’s Girl Gab and I just wanted to say YOU are HILARIOUS. I could read your writing all day long. And everything you’ve said is true about unsolicited advice. Babies make strangers forget all boundaries. Been awhile since I’ve had a little one, but I do remember being totally caught off guard the first time a total stranger put her hand on my giant baby belly. Um…excuse me? Do I know you? Would you be groping my belly if I were unpregnant and in a swimsuit on the beach? 🙁 Sometimes I don’t get people. GREAT POST!

    • Thanks for stopping by! I need to start crafting some responses for all the inappropriate comments and inquires I’m getting, because my manners are running on empty!

  2. I googled “unsolicited advice about my coliky baby” and it brought me here. THANK YOU!!! I hope you dont mind I share to give a subtle hint!

    • Absolutely Jen! My first child had colic so bad, I swear he screamed for the first five years of his life. I wanted to become a hermit, because every Tom, Dick and Harry just HAD to tell me what the problem was and how to fix it. I know how frustrating that can be!

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