Amazingly tactless things complete strangers say...

(166 Posts)
HollyBollyBooBoo Sun 28-Nov-10 00:56:53

Whilst pregnant

New potential supplier in meeting at work infront of 5 of my team: '...have you put on much weight? You look asthough you have or were you always that big?'
I'm a size 14 and put on 10lbs during entire pregnancy, needless to say the b!tch didn't get the contract.

With new baby (for info DD has a small birthmark on her right hand)

Old man in supermarket: '...what's that on her hand? Did she burn herself on the stove?'
Me: 'Yes I always let my 8 week old play on the hot stove, gotta start 'em young'

Woman doing a food demo in a up-market foodie place: 'Ah lovely baby. Is she hungry?
Me: No, no she's just had 10oz for her lunch!'
Woman: 'Look she's so hungry she's sucked her hand red raw!'
Me: 'No it's a birthmark' (turn on heel and walk off in disgust)

Feeding 5 week old DD a bottle of formula in TK Maxx to prevent her crying her eyes out.
Old man approaches; 'Is that breast milk?'
Me: 'No, formula'
Old man: 'My wife had 5 children and breastfed each one of them for the first year of their lives, so much better for them and cheaper than that stuff'
Me: Cry my eyes out for failing to suceed at breastfeeding despite trying and having counselling.

DD had crying fit for no apparent reason and had eventually calmed down but was bright red and always goes blotchy.
Random old woman in supermarket: 'Is she sunburnt? You really must cover them up at this age for goodness sake.'
Me: Too dumbfounded to even speak to made goldfish impressions with my mouth for a minute until DH came back with the ketchup.

Do I attract the nutjobs out there or what?! Had no idea my DD would be such public property!

MrsBigD Sun 28-Nov-10 01:58:51

poor you, I can so sympathise. Especially older people seem to think they have the imperative obligation to make pointless observations and stick their nose in.

I've had

'your dd is crying' now how's that helpful?

'you need to put more clothes on that kid'... dd was exothermic as a baby and delighted in not being bundled up like an eskimo at 15 degrees celcius but people just assume they knooooow better....

the best one I've had was 'do you feed that child?' she was very slight but very active until recently, and also subsided on healthy food, not liking cream, chocolate etc. (which has now sooo changed that she's at school and 8 LOL) and although I'm no skinny minnie I'm not exactly tall and broad shouldered, so wanted to slap that woman.

The woman that accosted you re the sunburn is unbelievable! I wouldn't have know what to say either as any sarcastic comment probably would her have made call social services grin

I frequently get people coming over to coo over my sons hair, then saying 'Oh, what a shame it's on a boy, eh?'. I really don't know what to say so I just say 'hmmm'. They make it sound as though there's a limited amount of blonde curls available in the world and he's robbed a little girl of the chance to have them!

tinky19 Sun 28-Nov-10 14:39:55

My DS also has a birth mark on his hand. I've had quite a lot of people say
'oh what's he done?' 'Will it go away.'
It's the look on their faces when they say it, as if it is a terrible defect, that surprises/ upsets me. It's only a cm at most! angry

HollyBollyBooBoo Sun 28-Nov-10 19:26:17

I know what you mean tinky19, but it makes me a bit paranoid, I don't even like taking photos of her with that hand in her mouth etc for fear of people then commenting. DH says I need to get over it before DD is old enough to pick up on my feelings about it which I guess is true!

Dexterrocks Sun 28-Nov-10 20:49:25

I know exactly what you mean Holly. Some people need to think before they open their mouths.
My daughter's eyes are different colours. I think it is really beautiful and an interesting feature. However we have had people shout and scream, "Come and look at this!" to their friends and kids at the Zoo point and stare, yelling, "Freak!"
I have also been criticised in supermarkets for having my child out at that time of night, stopped in shopping centres to be told off for my child having no socks on (she pulled them off constantly) etc so you are not alone.
I reckon you can only offer such people your pity for their absolute ignorance.
As for your DD's birthmark, it is important that she views it as an added extra - something special she has that others don't - that they are maybe a bit jealous of. That is if she ever raises the issue at all - remember for her it is as she has always been.
Don't fret and don't respond - just walk on by!

southeastastra Sun 28-Nov-10 20:50:17

someone told me he was sorry that i was pregnant, that was odd and sort of weird

Honeydragon Sun 28-Nov-10 20:56:27

Being told off for not having socks on your child is a compulsory part of motherhood imo. Select members of the public are actually paid to come up to you and state this vital but obvious fact. The most highly paid will also list various non sock related ailments that will occur do to lack of said socks. Without them society as we know it would crumble and heed the end of civilisation.

Honest.

Honeydragon Sun 28-Nov-10 20:57:23

do = due blush

lal123 Sun 28-Nov-10 20:58:53

"Are you pregnant?"
"no"
"Are you sure?"

kitbit Sun 28-Nov-10 21:07:32

I stopped at a pedestrian crossing once and was startled to find an old lady actually rummaging under ds's buggy for socks.

This was in Spain, in the springtime, in 25 degrees.

Spanish villages tend to regard all babies as communal property - I can live with that but Spanish ladies - especially elderly ones - do the cheek pinching thing and ds had lovely chubby soft cheeks so I was constantly literally slapping people's hands away. grrr

HollyBollyBooBoo Sun 28-Nov-10 21:25:36

Dexterrocks - very good way of thinking about it will try and keep that in mind. We just live in such a perfectionist society, even my pediatrician said something along the lines of 'it'll probably go on it's own, if not we can look at cosmetic surgery when she's 16'!! I was quite suprised, it really isn't even that big!!

Kitbit - I swear I am only 5'4 due to the fact that when I was 3 years old my parents took me on hols to Portugal. I had masses of white blonde hair and the locals were fascinated by it (I guess compared to the darker hair their DCs generally have) and continuously patted me on the head! Apparently I slapped them away towards the end of the week which they found even more enchanting!

MrsBowie Mon 29-Nov-10 08:36:23

Young, slim mum at school gates: Ooh, he's lovely! Is that your grandson?

Me: No, he's my son.

YSM : Wow! You left it a bit late, didn't you?

SEETHE!

Simic Mon 29-Nov-10 08:55:08

It's nice to hear it's not just me! I've been accused (quite aggressively) of suffocating child because I had a rain cover on the pushchair in an absolute downpour. I mean, surely, in an absolute downpour you've got better things to do than criticise a passerby with a pushchair - like get into the dry somewhere. But obviously no.
It's amazing how aggressive it can become. There seem to be a fair number of people out there who have a lot of frustration bottled up. Maybe it would be a new "care in the community" strategy to have someone paid to walk around with a pushchair (could be empty, would still probably do the trick) as a stress reliever for all these people to vent their anger. Just I'm not volunteering for the job! - I've done it long enough!
A friend of mine who is a baby massage teacher (who carries a doll round from class to class for demonstration purposes) was accosted for putting her "baby" head-down into a plastic carrier bag! I mean...

CheeseCheese Mon 29-Nov-10 08:56:48

"three boys? that's nice. I had three then one died"

tinky19 Mon 29-Nov-10 08:57:30

shock Mrs Brown you must have been livid.
Holly I too have been told that my DS birthmark will probably go when he's a teenager. I would have been very cross if someone had suggested removing it as it should not been seen as a negative thing.
My biggest fear is that someone says something that makes him feel bad about it.

HollyBollyBooBoo Mon 29-Nov-10 14:06:10

Mrs Bowie - how you didn't deck her I do not know!

Tinky19 - knowing how cruel kids are and the fact they pick up on just anything (ginger hair/wearing glasses etc etc) I just can't see DD not having negative comments made to her by others about it even in a very inquisitive way which when they're little will only be made in an insensitive fashion.

But there we go, life is tough and she'll just have to deal with it!

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 29-Nov-10 14:10:43

MrsBowie - the flipside of that is that when you are a young mum, you have all manner of old crones older mums saying 'ooh you started young, you must have been a teenage parent, ooh you don't look stupid'.

Yes, I had her at 17, yes that means I am a mother of a teenager at 32, yes it is shocking isn't it, yes young parents, scourge of the earth.

<sigh>

Preggersplayspop Mon 29-Nov-10 14:19:13

My ds had a birthmark and it's true other children do ask after it, as they are inquisitive. They ask, what's that? I reply, it's a birthmark, don't you have one? When they say no, I say oh well never mind grin. I want ds to feel ambivalent or positive about his, though I do worry about him being bullied when he is older if he starts off feeling ok about it now hopefully he will let it wash over him as much as possible.

Hohumchops Mon 29-Nov-10 14:19:20

Is the socks thing not people pointing it out in case they've pulled them off and dropped them over the side? That's what I always thought it was.

For some of the rest, I think that it is nice the way older generations do get involved. I think it was better years ago when I were a lass when parenting was done by society (and no, I don't mena leaving it up to the school teacher to do the tricky bits) when kids were respectful and trusting of members of the public and people cared enough to talk to strangers and ask questions.

DS has bad flare-ups of eczema and I was shocked when in a shop a girl of about 7 or so asked me why his skin was red and her Dad just said 'ssh' and pulled her away. Just thought maybe he thought it was catching... But at the time I thought he was embarrassed by her asking. What a waste of an opportunity to explain to the girl.

Just enjoy the strangeness of people. At least they are talking to you - so you don't look scary or a nutter yourself! The elderly have more time on their hands and so much advice piled up and probably nowhere for it to go as their own grandkids live miles away and never see them.

While walking along a pier
Strange Man: Are they boys? (with large smile)
Me: No, girls
Strange Man: Ohhhh (looking very sorry for us)
They were dressed head to toe in pink with a pink blanket over them in the stroller too.

HollyBollyBooBoo Mon 29-Nov-10 14:34:22

I find that whole 'what gender is your baby' thing so odd. I purposefully dressed DD in purple outfit with pink bib to go out shopping the other day and still a lady asked if she was a boy - really in pink and purple??

AmyFarrahFowler Mon 29-Nov-10 14:41:26

Both DDs in double buggy, one 20 months, one 5 months cue a man asking 'are they twins?'
I said 'no, just sisters' and he replied 'are you sure?'
I have since though of a million witty things I could have said, but I just said 'yes, pretty sure'.

Pretty sure ? Why did I say that? I'm certain they aren't twins!!!

KangarooCaught Mon 29-Nov-10 14:47:29

"Cheer up, it might never happen", after the death of a family member.

Being upbraided by a woman at Sainsbury's check-out "I hate to see babies over-heat. You ought to get him out of there. Can't you see how red & hot he is?"....Ds1 cried if the pram/shopping trolley stopped! I look(ed) younger than I am and there was a decided inference I was too young to know better, I felt like saying "but I'm 32!"

I was 38 (and looked it) Kangaroo and some neighbor still saw fit to tell me my DC needed socks on. I pointed out thas as I, and they, are of sturdy English stock, her feeble Californian excuse for a Winter was not phasing us at all.

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