This is my "special snowflake." I love her very much. You probably don't and I don't expect you to. But newsflash: she's a person too. And I think all people can expect to be treated with common courtesy, even if they are pint-sized.
I rarely take to the soapbox, but in light of the recent diner fiasco in Maine, I'm going to ask my friends to do me and other new parents a favor. Choose kindness over impatience. I'm not going to take a stand on what happened in Portland, because I wasn't present in the moment. But I can remark on an incident that happened to me and the Bean this morning.
Listen up, being a new mom is HARD. And awesome, and magical, the best thing I've ever decided to do, and far more difficult than I ever thought it would be. So difficult that sometimes I feel like I just can't do it, that I'm going to melt into a puddle of hormones and sleep deprivation and seep into my hardwood floors and never be human again. My sanity check comes in the form of some lovely new mom friends, and a semi-daily walk to coffee up and enjoy the planet Earth a bit.
Today, myself and a few of the aforementioned moms took to the streets of Charlestown to indulge in a quick caffeinated bevy and to enjoy the weather before returning to our homes where we spend the majority of the day alone with mildly insane (but adorably cute!) little creatures. We purposely chose a locale with outdoor seating to minimize friction in the event of a meltdown. Upon sitting at our chosen cafe table with three currently noiseless babies, the patron at a nearby table felt the need to let us know that we were not welcome in her presence. "I'm here for quiet time," she said as she pulled the headphones out of her ears. We insisted we wouldn't let our babies disrupt her, and she chose to move her seat. But not before doing her well best to make us and our little ones feel like social pariahs.
Story over, we went about our coffee drinking, but not without the residual sting that we too often feel when people or a place of business give us the sideways glance or make us feel unwelcome. I get it, you don't want to bear witness to my kid in fussbutt mode. Here's a secret: I don't want you to either. My pulse quickens, I sweat, I lose minutes off of my life, and then swear I'm never leaving the house again. I know not every parent reacts the same as myself, but it seems a small ask to avoid jumping to the conclusion that all parents are going to allow their kid to go off the rails in public. During the transition into new parenthood, all a girl (or guy) is looking for is a little support from those around them.
So if you're into "small kindnesses" and know someone close to your heart who has brought a child into this world; a friend, sister, brother, cousin, dang even your own mother, maybe you can think of them when you see a new parent out juggling a much needed coffee and a teeny time bomb. You could do a solid and help out a person who is likely struggling with a new lifestyle. One where they must put a miniature, nonsensical being ahead of themselves. Holding the door for a stroller is such an easy thing to do. That small kindness, hand to God, makes a big difference in my day. If you don't want to sit within 20 feet of a baby, I understand. You can move your seat without making a group of people + littles feel as if they're not accepted in society. A bit of patience goes a long way.
If none of the above resonates, then try this: you were a kid too at one point, and I'm sure you had your moments. We all have to start somewhere.