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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

advice. you know, the kind you didn't ask for...

It's a funny thing, having a child. I'm learning that some people see it as an open invitation to advise you on how to properly raise your child. Now, I'm all for advice when I've asked for it, or when I'm having difficulty with something and people offer suggestions on what worked for them. That kind of advice I'll take. But, I won't take the kind of advice that comes from people who a) don't know what they are talking about and b) who have only spent 0.98482 seconds around my son. Case in point:

While I'm sure the man I was sitting next to last week was only trying to be nice, I did not appreciate him telling me NOT to help my son stand as he struggled to pull himself up. In hushed tones this man TOLD me to let Blake do it on his own. And then when Blake eventually pulled himself up to stand, this man looked at me and said, "See! He can do it. You have to let him do it himself." And this is the point at which I wanted to say some not very nice things to this person. It's very simple, you see. I spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with my child. There are rarely times when I am away from him for more than an hour. I see him stand up on his own, lose his balance, then catch himself before he falls. I know what he is capable of. I know that he can stand on his own. I also know that sometimes he needs a little help.

I guess what upsets me more than someone telling me what to do in regards to my son is that this person thinks because of him, Blake stood up on his own. Newsflash: he's been doing that for about a month now. And it had nothing to do with this man...at all.

Something else I've learned with having a child is that sometimes people make really weird comments. Comments that aren't meant to be offensive and shouldn't be taken as such, but just make me stop and wonder, "Why would you say that?" Case in point:

My almost 10 month old son likes to growl. I don't know why. He just likes to make a low growling sound sometimes when he's playing. It's probably my fault. I like to play with him (heaven forbid) and sometimes I make a roaring sound if I'm chasing him. To me his growls are cute, but I know sometimes people look at him like something is wrong with him. So when a lady who was sitting near me said to someone sitting nearby, "He sounds like something from The Exorcist," I wasn't sure what to think. No, that's not true. I thought, "Why would you say that?! What is wrong with you? Even if you really thought that, couldn't you just keep the comment to yourself?" Maybe I'm just being a little over-protective of my child. I don't know.

But I do know that while I will probably smile and take unsolicited advice kindly, in my mind I'm generally rolling my eyes and trying to figure out ways to avoid this person in the future.

6 comments:

RedBarn said...

What, your kid growls...you should probably get that checked in to...HAHAH! Kids love growling and the way it feels in their throat, and the reaction it gets from people. I'm probably an offender of unsolicited advice, but I think in general, people are just trying to be helpful or get a conversation going. Just know that it will never end...and try to refrain from beating people (see, there goes more advice, haha)- Chelsea

Whitney said...

I think what really upset me was that I felt like this man didn't think I was competent enough to know how to take care of my child. And it's those situations that really annoy me. I always figure if I write about something on my blog people will write about their experiences and offer advice. And I'm fine with that. It's just the "let me tell you how you should be doing things" attitude that I can't stand.

Tori Wilding said...

Agree...and agree. Why would that lady say that? How could that have possibly been taken positively? Or, I should say, NOT offensively? Some people. Remember that old lady at the pool that one summer who made me swim without my nose clips on? Leave me alone, old lady. It's not like I was going to be an olympic swimmer, anyway!

WhisperingWriter said...

I hate unsolicited advice. I always want to tell the person to shut their traps.

Natalie will sometimes growl. Or meow like a cat.

Lindsay said...

Maybe it's because I've been raising my kids here, but sometimes I think Brooklyn has more than its fair share of unsolicited-advice-giving crazies.

Two Normal Moms said...

I think it would have been hilarious if you had followed her comment with a growl of your own. Ha! Seriously, though, unsolicited advice can be so hard to put up with sometimes. Especially when it comes to small children. Everybody's an expert on YOUR child. Grrowwl!! ;-)