“Where are his socks?” The third stranger of the day asks.
I bite my tongue and hold in all the mean things I want to say. “He’s okay.” I say. I force a smile. I don’t tell them that he won’t keep socks on. Or that he has such sweaty feet that he gets athletes foot like a grown man. Seriously.
Why is Mister’s lack of footwear such a public interest? There must be a silent parent war raging. Parents must be competing to see who can be the best, and pointing out other’s apparent mistakes is how they do it. That must be why, when I was talking to another mother about Mister’s sleep difficulties, she decided to tell me that his night wakings were a habit I let him form. One point her. It also must be why, when I talk about some milestone Mister has reached, other parents boast that their baby can recite the ABCs backwards while standing on one foot and rubbing his tummy and patting his head at only two months old. Okay, not really, but you get the point.
But, thanks to a recent discovery, I know the trump card equivalent for baby raising. I plan to use this response when I get unwarranted and unwanted parenting advice from now on. You see, my kid eats broccoli.
Let’s see how that would go:
Them: I exclusively nursed my baby for six months. I can’t believe you let Mister start solids at four months!
Me: Well, at least he eats broccoli.
Them: Mister should be wearing sunglasses. The sun is bright today.
Me: I’ll just take him inside and feed him some broccoli.
Them: Isn’t it too cold for a walk today?
Okay, maybe not that last one.
What kind of unwanted and unwarranted writing advice have you received? What was your response? Or what do you wish could have been?