November 17, 2004

It Takes A Metropolis To Raise A Child

Why the recent lack of posts? I've been a single parent the last few days while my wife is away at a conference. The kid's cold has been getting better, and overall, things have been pretty manageable, thanks in part the eight million childcare experts in the stores and on the streets who have been so generous the last few days with spontaneous advice.

If I haven't thanked you all individually--and believe me, I try, even through a grim smile--thanks, New York City. Now let me give something back by sharing what I've gotten just since Monday:

  • "She looks cold."
  • "She's teething." [No, she just chews on everything.]
  • "She's cute. She looks hungry."
  • "Bugaboo!" [OK, technically not advice, but that doesn't stop people from shouting it out.]
  • "Where's her hat? She needs a hat." [multiple variations]
  • "You know what my daughter told me? 'Dad, never lead with my kids into traffic. Pull the stroller behind you when you cross.'" [huh?]
  • "Doesn't she have any shoes? She's old enough for shoes."
  • "What's his name?...Oh. Why are you dressing her in boy's clothes?" [black is not a boys-only color, ma'am.]
  • "Aww, she's adorable with her hair all in her face like that." [subtler than most]


    I've never understood why anyone would use "him" or "her" with a baby. There's no need for it, unless you like the chance of being embarassed.

    Just use "your baby" or "the baby", people.

    I once got: Why have you got her in jeans? There will be plenty of time for jeans when she's crawling around.

    Walking around New York with the son and heir I attempt to a present a grim demeanor leavened with a tiny dab of psychosis. This tends to ward off any comments by SANE people, which is to say roughly one in a hundred.

    I answer "where's his hat?" with "he ate it," (people think this is a reasonable answer) and "he's teething" with "yes. For Gods sake watch your hands!"

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