I began taking my son with me on small errands when he was 3.5 weeks old. Our first day out just the two of us, we go to the local grocery store. I know putting your baby in a sling attracts some attention, but this was ridiculous. As I’m getting Elijah out of the carseat, there suddenly appears an old lady at my shoulder peering into my car at my son. I’m not one for close proximity to strangers, and this was REALLY CLOSE. As I tried to maneuver my son into the carrier, the lady stays right with me, asking the typical, “how old?” Saying the usual, “So cute,” “Aww”. Then she moves around me to the front passanger side and is looking all over my car, then back at me, very strange. I’m feeling uncomfortable but not sure how to handle the situation. Then she says, “Well, is there anything I can do to help you? Do you need anything?” I thought “sweet, but still a little odd.” I thanked her and said no, we were fine. She made her way inside and I took my time trailing behind her. We continued to run into each other throughout the store, one time she called me out because there was a bag of doritos in the cart and she said “I’m going to have to report you, new mom should not be eating that.” Then she laughed at her own joke. I felt obligated to explain they were for my husband and we had a free coupon. What an encounter.
The next Thursday I’m shopping at the same store, getting Elijah out of the car same as usual, putting him in the baby carrier, when a couple is coming up behind me and the man says authoritatively, “You need to cover that baby’s head!” I thought he meant support the baby’s head, and I was about to get Elijah settled in appropriately so his head would be supported, so I smiled and nodded. The woman says “How old?” I respond “One month.” She nods and smiles and pulls her man along. In the entryway to the store they’re still there, the man turns, puts his hands on his hips, bobs his head with much attitude then makes a clicking sound with his mouth and says, “I told you to cover that baby’s head! It’s cold out here!” (he was wearing shorts and a tee shirt, I wasn’t even wearing a jacket.) I explain in an attempt to sound jovial, “You don’t understand, I have a really sweaty baby!” (I really do, and he has a ton of hair!) The man shakes his head again, the woman says “Don’t pay him any attention, you have a beautiful baby.” And she drags him into the store. I hang back and shake my head, determining not to come back to that store on a Thursday ever again.
Instead, today I am beginning my second leg of clipping coupons and hunting deals. I’m going to try and do better by the family budget by being a more careful shopper. It’s been a tough week with the baby, I haven’t gotten as far as I wanted to be by today, but I’m doing what I can.
Wish me luck ya’ll!!