Unhelpful: "Oh, someone (your baby) isn't very happy!"
Response: "Is that what all that screaming and crying means? Gee, thanks, Baby Whisperer, for helping me understand my baby!"
Brain dead response: "Stick it, jerk!"
Helpful: "Hello, nice weather we're having. (packs bag for me) $8.50, thanks."
Unhelpful: "Your baby doesn't sleep 12 hours a night, yet? Both of ours did from day 1; not one night of interrupted sleep"
Response: "'That's abnormal. Weren't you concerned that it would impact on their development? (child runs into wall). Hmm. Guess not."
Brain dead response: "LIAR!"
Helpful: "Not sleeping through, huh? Let me make you a coffee and tell you what hell our first year was."
Unhelpful: "Gee you look tired"
Response: "Really? I think 5 hours of broken sleep a night gives me a certain Marla Singer* appeal that really isn't appreciated in our society"
Brain dead response: "Coffee"
Helpful: "Look at you! You look amazing!" or if you don't feel comfortable lying: "I love your scarf/hat/shoes/pants/nappy bag/whatever"
Unhelpful: Touching my baby's face or stomach when you don't know either of us.
Response: Start touching the person's face. See how long it takes them to object.
Brain dead response: "Get your hands off my baby, you damn dirty ape!**"
Helpful: Serving me, then serving the man waiting behind me, in a professional and timely manner.
Unhelpful: Coming over and razzing my baby up an hour before bedtime.
Response: "'It's a shame we don't see more of you. Oh well. Life, hey?"
Brain dead response: "Oh thank you very much. It's not like I wanted to sleep tonight or anything."
Helpful: Washing my kitchen floor while I cuddle my baby.
Unhelpful: "Oh, he's fussing! It's reflux, sit him up."
Response: "'Where did you say you studied medicine/midwifery?"
Brain dead response: "Stick it, jerk."
Helpful: Tell me my baby is cute, give me my change and hold the door so I don't have to struggle with a pram and shopping while my baby yells at me.
*If you don't know who this is, put down the baby and go and rent Fight Club (note: take the baby with you to the DVD store). If you don't like this movie, I can't help you.
** Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston. Rent it while you're there, even if you have seen it before (unless you own it. Then props, you legend).