Sunday, 17 March 2013


Today I am Zen Mother because I didn't tell two strangers to stick it. The first for telling me why my baby was crying (FYI she was incorrect) and the other for stating the obvious. It got me to thinking: about all the unhelpful things to people say (mostly strangers), what would I love to say in response, and what would have been a helpful alternative. There are also options for the days when you are so brain dead you can barely string two words together to make a vaguely coherent sentence (just like that one).  Feel free to add to the comments below if you have experienced these, or something similar:

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.

I'm sure there's a bunch of other scenarios, but I'm too brain dead today.

*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).

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