Baby Small-Talk

I spent 45 minutes in a waiting room with Dylan today, waiting for my doctor’s appointment to get started. I walked out with a prescription that will (I hope) help me be happier. But this story is not that story. This story is about how every single thing that people said to Dylan was amazingly annoying and offensive. When people talk to Dylan in public, I don’t want to get tense every time and communicate to him that there’s something wrong with people. So, to distract myself today I got out my phone and started taking notes on what people were saying.

First, there were a multitude of variations on, “He’s such a boy! What a boy! Oh, you can tell he’s a boy!” Joshua says I had that one coming since Dylan was dressed all in blue.

Next up for sheer repetition was, “He’s going to be a linebacker!” This one was repeated by more than one person. The one person who said, “He’s going to be a quarterback,” was corrected by someone else. Linebacker! They even discussed what team he would play for.

One person leaned over and said, “You take care of your mama, don’t you?” I said, “No, I take care of him.” This didn’t stop her, though. She said, “Oh, but one day you’ll take care of your mama.”

Another time, one person was talking to Dylan and he looked away over at another woman. The first person said, “He sees a pretty girl! It’s too bad she’s not his age.” Um. Because then what? They’d start getting it on here in the waiting room?? Sometimes I feel like a weirdo for finding so much fault with what is clearly normal small talk about babies. But seriously. I’m not the one who just suggested that it’s too bad that the full grown woman isn’t 3 months old, since Dylan finds her so pretty and all. This was quickly followed up with how I’ll “have to use a bat to keep the girls away from him.” Vomit.

Also, I’ll give you a helpful hint about talking to strangers and their babies. If you and I are chatting about my baby in a waiting room, and you explain to me that you had a son but you lost him, you should not then come over and stand over my baby saying, “I could just take you home.” Because that’s really, really creepy.

Note that with the exception of the woman wanting to take my baby home, all of these statements revolve around gender and sex. Why is it so important to brand Dylan a football-playing boy who takes care of women? Does that have to be so rigid? And can’t it wait a little longer than 3 months before we start studding him out?

I’ve got to develop some comebacks for these things, because I know this kind of small talk is going to continue to follow me around.

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