My facebook friends have already
enjoyed been subjected to a short list of the "helpful" comments I've gotten when carrying Frances in the Manduca. The old ladies want to be particularly helpful when I have her on my back. Honestly, I think their intentions are good, but I'm feeling venty.
- I asked a woman who was observing us being chased by a bee if the bee was gone. She said yes, and "that's why it's better to carry them on the front." (Also, you can see if a honey badger is about to fall onto the baby from an overhang.)
- At which point an older man chimed in with "and besides, she's getting a sunburn on her nose." (Right through her brimmed hat - that is intense sun!)
- "Can she breathe?" (No, she holds her breath while we're outside.)
- On a hot day, sitting on a bench, after I took her out of the carrier: "Those marks [slight pink indentations on her thighs] are definitely from the carrier." (Phew! I thought they were from when I tried to BBQ her.)
- From an intensely concerned woman who actually reached out and tried to touch her face: "She's getting poked in the eye!" (Oh, that explains why she is sleeping so contentedly.)
- "Her arms are too cold!" (Unlike humans, babies get frostbite at 55°F.)
- *new, Sept. 13* "Her ear is folded!" (Thank you for reaching out to fix it as I've heard it can get stuck that way!)
- *new, Sept. 16* I am holding the baby in my arms and a old woman with a cane makes a beeline for us, to inform me that Frances's shirt has crept up in the back and ask if she should tug it down. (Look, I know my baby is rotund, but I can in fact still reach all the way around her torso.)
For fairness's sake, one from the stroller:
- When Frances woke up and started fussing, I pulled up the scarf/sunshade: "Yes, it's much better if she can see out." (Oh? I will definitely stop blindfolding her at home, too, then.)
My German is not quite up to snark level, so I usually end up just saying "she's fine" or "it's not a problem" and walking away. I would like to sometime try, "Oh, do you have children? ... Are their [arms warm]? ... Good! [big smile]"
I am going to keep this list updated, so check back occasionally if you need to have a little rage on my behalf.
And finally, in their defense: if I'm putting her up on my back in public, (which I can really handle just fine, although I think it must look awkward) I can almost always count on an offer of help.