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Thank you, kind stranger. You may offer unsolicited comments anytime you like.

If you are a parent, or if you’re pregnant, you have already suffered the onslaught of countless unsolicited comments from the prying public eye. You’re huge, you’re due any day now (even though you’re only 3 months pregnant), your beautiful baby boy – oh, what? It’s a girl? Sorry. It looked like a boy.

Sigh. Really, public, did your mothers teach you no manners? I still find myself perplexed when I take Smush with me to the grocery store in a rainbow striped dress with a ruffly bottom and her pink blanket. Why am I perplexed? Because 75% of the comments I received were about my adorable little boy. Really? Really? You see a hairless baby in a dress and pink accessories and you can think one of two things:

  1. What a beautiful baby girl.
  2. I’m still not sure if that’s a girl or boy, so I’m going to say, “What a beautiful baby you have!”
I sometimes think I should write a book. Appropriate Comments to Make to a Complete Stranger When You Just Can’t Help Yourself.
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I understand that people mean well. For whatever reason, they truly don’t know they’re being rude. Okay, I can understand that. Then don’t risk the insult. See that woman who’s hugely pregnant? You know what you should say?

Ah yes, we've met many, many times.

Not, “Oh dear God. Clear the path, people! WIDE LOAD coming through!” Not unless you’re looking for her to punch you in the throat. I’ve always been a fan of, “Wow! You’re 7 months pregnant? You look amazing!” See? It’s really not so hard.

But, despite the senseless and often rude comments I’ve received over the years, society has recently given me hope. I’ve gotten some self-esteem boosting comments from total strangers the last couple weeks, and I have to say, it’s kind of awesome. These were my favorites:
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I was in the grocery store with the three girls. Punkin was pushing the cart with Goo, and I was holding Smush while looking at fancy cheese. A super awesome lady came up to me and commented on how adorable my baby girl was, to which I expressed my gratitude. Punkin came up with Goo, and I told them to stay by me while we put some things in the carriage. Cue Supermarket Lady:
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Oh my, all three are yours? Sweetie, you don’t look old enough to have even one! Good for you. And they’re so well-behaved. You’re obviously doing a great job. Keep it up.
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*Choir of angels sings*
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Not only did she know that Smush was a girl, but she complemented my youthful appearance and my parenting. Folks, that’s basically the. best. thing. you can say to a mom in the grocery store. Or the bank. Or anywhere on earth.
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The second comment came when the Nerd and I decided to do a family trip to a restaurant in celebration of our 8th anniversary. Remember my previous restaurant experiences? We took a break from that whole “family restaurant” scene. Because when your kids behave like rabid wild animals, McDonald’s is the only place you can go where you’re guaranteed to see kids behaving worse than your own.
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But the girls are a little older, and dinner time at home has been easier, so we braved the public eye and ventured out. What’s funny is, I swear we loaded our three adorable girls into the car. But what emerged at the restaurant resembled a cross between the energizer bunny, nails on a chalkboard, and Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka.
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She somehow made it into my car on the way to the restaurant. My children morph into her when they're hungry the way a teenage boy morphs into a werewolf under a full moon.

The whining/dropping things/throwing things/arguing/restlessness that ensued was downright mortifying. Before our dinner had arrived, I had already taken two trips to the bathroom with Goo, and not because she had to go potty. There was one other table near us at the time, with a group of four older adults. Probably parents of adult children, maybe a grandma thrown into the mix. I had issued my second SuperNanny style warning, and was returning from our second bathroom trip when the Nerd leaned over and said:
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While you were gone, that table turned around and said, “That’s how parents used to do it. (Meaning actually following through with discipline. Not always easy.) And really, your girls are very well behaved considering they’re so young and waiting in a restaurant. Good job.”
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*Round two of the angelic choir*
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A man from the table then caught our attention and said, “Make sure you tell Mom what we said, too. Really.”
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It’s true, people. My kids were out in public, acting like children, and people still complemented our parenting.
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Dear Other Table, I love you.
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I will take comments like that any day. The Nerd and I were beaming. We also discussed how refreshing it was to encounter other adults who, despite not having kids with them, understood that it’s really hard for a 3-year-old to sit still in a restaurant for 20 minutes while she wastes away to nothing because she hasn’t eaten since snack time.
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Random Supermarket Lady and Other Table, you have restored my hope that somewhere, there are people who aren’t rude. Aren’t always judgemental. And might even throw in a complement here and there. Thank you. And may I just say, you all looked simply ravishing.
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Image credits listal.com and flixster.com, respectively.
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About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

6 responses »

  1. I just looooove your posts!!! 🙂 and those “WMC”s? Well… at least the MEAN well…:P

    HUGS AND LOVE MAMA!! you and nerd boy are great parents!

    me

    Reply
  2. Another Masterpiece!

    Reply
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