Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Unsolicited Advice

When you have a baby, it's like you just gave birth to a sign that says "please give me advice on how to raise this child." And since giving birth is a personal experience that only those closest to you should be a part of, then only those closest to you should be able to see that sign, right?

I can handle advice from family and relatives, and from our pediatrician, and from friends of ours that have babies, or even friends of ours that have been around babies. Sure, it gets overwhelming at times, but I know they mean well and want to share their experiences and their learnings with us. Most of the time, I'll even listen. But complete strangers is where I draw the line.

I'm not the friendliest person to people I don't know. I know it's hard to believe because I'm like a big soft, teddy bear to those who know me (stop laughing), but it's true. When it comes to holding conversations with random strangers, I'm not the one to keep that conversation going. Mommy is definitely the type of person who can keep a conversation going. She can be walking down the street and someone will just stop her to tell them their life story. I've seen it happen, although we were in a cab in the Dominican Republic. In the 40 minutes it took to get to the airport, she knew enough about our driver that she could have written his autobiography.

Well tonight, we went to the grocery store and since Kaylani had just napped, and just nursed, we brought the Baby Bjorn and let her look out at the world. They say first impressions count a lot, so I'm glad this wasn't her first impression of the world. Here's how it went down. We were in the tomato sauce/pasta aisle, and this lady walked by me, stopped, turned around and we had the following conversation.

Stranger: 2 months?
Daddy: Yep, in just a few days!
Stranger: It goes by so quickly. I have a 6 year old that comes up to here on me (puts her hand at her stomach). I also have a 3.5 year old that's getting real big. It's hard to believe.
Daddy: I bet.
Stranger: She's adorable. Let me tell you something. Make sure you celebrate every month as a birthday. Before you know it, it'll be over.
Daddy: That's a good ide..
Stranger: I'm telling you, you won't even believe it when it happens. Just the other day I looked at my 3.5 year old and my 6 year old and ..
Daddy: *Staring at cans of tomato sauce for a few minutes*
Stranger: Anyways, congratulations again.

Not bad you say, right? Well, the stranger then walked down the aisle a bit more and found Mommy looking for pasta and they had the following conversation.

Stranger: Congratulations!
Mommy: Thanks!
Stranger: Are you a stay at home mom?
Mommy: (Dressed in sweat pants and a shirt with spit up) Yes, can you tell?
Stranger: Is she fussy?
Mommy: Yeah, sometimes but she's pretty good
Stranger: Are you breastfeeding?
Mommy: Yeah...
Stranger: Are you eating broccoli? That gives your baby gas you know and could cause them to be fussy
Mommy: I eat a little bit, just because it's healthy for me
Stranger: Well everything we eat goes right to them. My mom was drinking milk and apparently I was allergic to milk because when it came through the breast milk, it would bother me. Are you giving her infant massage?
Mommy: Yeah, usually every night
Stranger: With what? Lavender oil?
Mommy: No, I normally just use my hand. I don't put lotion on her much
Stranger: Well use lavender oil. And do it at the same time every day. When my 6 year old was a baby, I used to bathe her, and then wrap her up and nurse her while I was sitting on the toilet. Right there in the bathroom. Every night! And afterwards, I would give her an infant massage with lavender oil. That was our regimen. And she wasn't fussy at all.
Mommy: Hmm, lavender oil huh? I'll try that
Stranger: You can get it over in Aisle 20. They have all the natural stuff there.
Mommy: I have some at home. You know, gifts from people and such
Stranger: Don't use Johnson & Johnson, any of their products. They're really bad for babies
Mommy: Oh really?
Daddy: (Starts counting to 10 slowly and breathing deeply)
Stranger: Yeah, real bad ingredients in there. You know, it's not just what we eat that goes to the baby, it's what we put on their skin too. It goes straight to them. I used Johnson & Johnson lavender cream on my baby and she had a rash for MONTHS. Wouldn't go away. All of their products are bad.
Mommy: Okay.
Stranger: Well congratulations, don't forget about the lavender oil, and to celebrate her birthday each month.

When she left, I stopped counting (I got to about 323 I think), we looked at Kaylani (who was sleeping at this point...lucky baby) and the front of the Baby Bjorn to make sure that the "please give me advice sign" wasn't showing. It wasn't, so maybe this lady thought she was a close friend of ours. Whatever it was, it was unbelieveable. I was waiting for Mommy to say "You know my husband works with Johnson & Johnson", but she didn't, and I'm thankful, because I don't like to get into arguments with people like that.

Okay, well that's the end of my little unsolicited advice rant. Sorry for the long post, but I thought it was best if I relayed the entire conversation. Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe I'm not, but whatever it is, it sure makes for a good post. And by the way, if you're reading this, chances are you're someone I know, so your advice is welcome (to a point). And if you're a complete stranger, well you can still give me advice because it's the internet and I can easily tune out written comments! Speaking of tuning things, check out this video of Kaylani and her piano. It's hard to say if she's staring at the lights or at the camera, but either way, Hollywood here she comes!


Rina said...

LOL. That would've bugged me so bad! Harris is a real jerk to people like that. We hate when people compare Conner to their baby. This one lady at Lonestar who had a baby that was half a month older than Conner said, "OH!!! He's SOOOOOOOO tiny! My baby was NEVER that tiny! Even when he was born he was never THAT tiny." And she kept calling Conner a girl even though he was clearly in a boy outfit. Sheesh!

Anyways, here's my unsolicited advice: I read earlier in your blog that other people said you should get professional photos done. Just got Conner's 3 month proofs back, and I agree!! Go look on facebook. Kaylani will only be this small once!

I have to get that piano. Where did you get it?

Mayte said...

Hola Jonathan
These is pretty funny!

JonnyTam13 said...

I did see your pictures on Facebook, and he looks great! I'm pretty sure we've been convinced to get professional photos done.

As for the piano, ours was actually a hand me down gift from my friend, but it's Fisher Price. The closest thing I could find to it was this on Amazon:


I highly recommend it though!

Julie Thompson said...

The unsolicited advice sign is almost as bad as the "I have never met you in my life, but please come put your hands all over my kid" sign. When Kaitlyn was 7 weeks old we were out eating dinner and some lady who was also out eating dinner came over and put her hands all over Kailtyn, even tried to unbuckle her from the stroller to pick her up.

JonnyTam13 said...

Speaking of which, I forgot a story from Disney! When Brendalys was changing Kaylani in the bathroom, this woman came over her and was touching Kaylani's hands and head! In the bathroom! Gross...