Monday, June 29, 2009

Open mouth. Insert foot.

We have all had those moments in a conversation where we say something stupid (or worse) inappropriate. You know the feeling; the words come out of your mouth like your brain’s “filter” had no input in what was just said. I believe, or at least I hope, the woman who I had a “checkout line” conversation” with at Target today, had one of those moments.

Let me set the stage (and I apologize ahead of time for the multiple “quotes” as the conversation went back and forth…

Mallory and I were waiting patiently in line when a woman strolled up behind with a cart that had two infant carriers in it. “Look mommy! That woman has two babies!” Mallory said. I then told her that they were twins, which led me to have to explain what “twins” were. I then turned to the woman and asked her how old her babies were. “Six months.” She replied. “You must be busy” I said. “Busy is an understatement,” she replied. I then noticed she had a few things in her cart (flip-flops and pull-ups) that led me to believe she had an older child as well…so I asked. “Yes I do. A daughter who will be 4 next week.” “Oh so she was about 3.5 when the babies were born. That is the difference between this one (pointing to Mallory) and the new baby.”

Then she had her moment: “Yup. My daughter was 3.5. It was really great having a daughter first. She is really helpful and she LOVES the babies.
I am beaming inside. This is exactly how I envision Mallory to handle the new baby.
"Though it wasn’t that way in the beginning."
Uh oh. Yes I understand that Mallory’s world is going to be nothing short of “rocked” when this baby is born. She’s a good kid, she’ll adjust just fine.
"I asked my pediatrician before the babies were born how this age (a 3.5 year old) does with a new baby in the house and he said the stress level on the child is comparable to that of a parent dying. Just prepare yourself for that kind of stress on your daughter."

I think my mouth may have been on the floor at that point. She was so pleasant in saying it all. Very nice and seemed so happy to share this information with me. I on the other hand gathered up my bags and said something to her to the effect of “Have a great day and thanks for the info!” She replied with a little wave and a happy “good luck!”

The information she shared may very well be true. However, I don’t think telling it to a woman who is near the birth of her second child is very nice. She has to remember the stress she felt the weeks before her second (and third) child(ren) were born. Why did she feel the need to make me feel completely miserable about the upcoming apparent doom that Mallory is about to go through?

I may be overreacting, but I don’t think her “filter” was working properly today. Maybe my hormones are raging. Regardless of what it is, now I feel like I need to buy Mallory a pony or something to make up for the grief she is about to endure...

1 comment:

Amanda Jean said...

Mallory will be JUST fine. She is not your average 3-year-old. You constantly amaze me with the creative ways you work through transitions with Mallory, and with how you let her have so many "real-life" experiences when many mothers would prefer to set their children in front of a tv set and let them learn everything they know through watching, rather than doing. Because you've chosen to give her those opportunities, you've been preparing her all her life for the things to come. Sure, she'll probably be a bit frazzled with a new baby in the house, but won't you and Brent be, too? It will take some adjusting and some extra cuddles, but you are a wonderful mommy and I know you'll find all the right ways to help Mallory feel just as special as always, and as much like an essential part of this baby's life as possible. Don't let a filterless woman in a check out line worry you. She was probably tired and not really thinking. I can't speak from experience, but I'm guessing the filter gets a little foggy after 6 months of twins.