Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Babies Make People Crazy

What is it about babies that makes seemingly normal, sane adults turn into crazies? I don't remember noticing this phenomenon much when Grace was a baby (maybe because I was too busy panicking about all of the things I was sure I was doing wrong as a mother), but lately, I have been noticing what I call The Harrison Effect. My son turns some people into weirdos. Here are three scenarios that have taken place over the past few days to illustrate my point:

Scenario The First (as I was picking Grace up from school yesterday afternoon):

School Secretary: Oh, your poor baby! Having to come outside on such a nasty afternoon! He should be at home where it's warm! *tongue clicking*

My Reply: Oh I know. When is it going to be Spring already?

What I Wanted to Say: Yes, it sure is cold, rainy, and windy outside. However, my son is buckled in his car seat, dressed in a blanket sleeper and a knit cap, and completely covered in a large, heavy fleece blanket. See? And the visor on the car seat is pulled over him so that the rain can't get to him. And also, normally I walk with Harry the half block over here to pick Grace up from school, but because of today's craptastic weather, I chose to pack my son up in the car and drive the stinking half block and then search for a parking spot. And I had to make sure that parking spot was less than a half block away from the school entrance so I didn't negate the decision to drive over here instead of walking. Also, I could choose to leave my daughter here at school another hour so my husband could pick her up on his way home from work, but you all charge for each hour of after school care and I am not working right now, so I don't want to spend the extra money. So yes, the weather sucks and my infant son would probably be better off inside, but as you can see, I have taken all factors into consideration and this is my decision. Thanks for your concern. Also, bite me.

Scenario The Second (as I was picking Grace up from school on Monday):

School Principal (as she was LITERALLY wrestling Harrison away from me): Oh, a baby! Here, let me hold him for you! I can't wait to be a grandma!!

My Reply: Oh no, really, I'm fine! Thanks for offering! I'm in a rush to get Grace anyway because we have an appointment.

What I Wanted to Say: Really, are you serious? Get your mitts off of my child. I know you're the principal at my kid's school and you know how to handle children, but I have never spoken to you in my life and I'm not sure that you even know my kid that actually ATTENDS this school, so no, you're not holding my baby. And you're the principal at an ELEMENTARY school, so who knows what sorts of nasty sicknesses you're harboring after being sneezed on and coughed on and pawed all day by a bunch of young kids. And do you wash your hands after you use the bathroom? I don't know the answer to that, and I only let people hold Harrison if I KNOW that they wash their hands after they use the bathroom. Sorry. Also, we don't have an fact, Grace and I are headed home to the couch to eat Oreo's and watch crappy Canadian cartoons on Qubo, but no matter. You're not holding my baby. Weirdo.

Scenario The Third (occurring virtually daily since bringing Harry home from the hospital):

Random Checkout Line Person/Fellow YMCA Member/Teacher, etc.: Oh, your baby is so TINY!!!

My Reply: Yes, he's a peanut! He was born four weeks early.

What I Want to Say: Oh, but he is so much bigger than he was at birth. And you telling me how tiny he is makes me so mad because he worked so hard to learn how to eat and he is doing so well now. He has gained two pounds since birth, so while he might seem little to you, he looks like a perfectly fat baby to me. And even though my son doesn't understand what you're saying, I do, and my feelings are now hurt enough for both of us. So please keep your comments about how TINY my baby is to yourself. Also, you're fat/your breath smells/your outfit is stupid, etc.

Ok, ok, I know it's possible that I might be a LITTLE sensitive these days, what with the postpartum hormones and the sleep deprivation and the huge life changes, and these people that have confronted me probably didn't have the intent to upset me. But they have managed to bug the hell out of me nonetheless. Of course, I felt much, much better today after I took Harrison to Target to pick up a prescription and the pharmacist oozed and gushed about how adorable my baby is (his perfect features! his beautiful eyes!). I suppose there are people out there who know the right things to say around new mamas.


Carrie said...

you've got me giggling so much i'm afraid i might wake Pebbles (she's sleeping in the office of my parents' house where i'm typing).
my favorite baby insanity memory with her is the way people would come toward me when I was wearing her in the Baby Bjorn, which was pretty much always. There's be the smiling approach, and I'd think, "I must know this person, because they are so friendly!" But then so often the smile would evolve into a cuckoo Jim-Carrey-esque baby cooing session, and I'd think, "Oh, I must be extra nice because you are mentally disturbed or have a huge tic!" Until I would finally realize that all this enthusiasm was aimed not at my face but a few inches lower, at my baby.
But now that I don't have a newborn at the moment, I'm a helpless baby cooer. The word "tiny" escapes my mouth, and believe me, when I say "tiny," it is a euphemism for "scrumptious morsel of itty-bitty adorableness." And also, even tho I have a toddler the size of many 1-year-olds, I can never get over how TINY newborns are, even full-term ones.
However I hardly ever tell moms I want to eat their babies. That's just weird.