Thursday, May 7, 2009

Never Talk to Strangers

Daily Specs:

Attainable Goal: Sort through mountain of Gladware on counter.
Grievance: Baby Love refuses to poo. Flat out refuses.
Celebration: I actually baked last night. First time in over a month.

There are many aspects of motherhood that have benefited my social life. Now, the people I have known all my life that are parents are now my friends. It is amazing how one's circle of friends increases when you have kids. You lose touch with most of your child-less friends, but there are so many more people in the with children than without. I care very much for my non-parent friends, but I have to say I am very happy to have people to talk to that are in my situation (or were in my situation at one time).

However, with the world opening up to me, I find that there is a slightly obnoxious side effect: Strangers with children. Henceforth referred to as "Park Mom".

While you are pregnant, you find that strangers in every place you go are obsessed with your pregnancy. They are trying to touch you, make comments on how you look (which usually ends up being really depressing), guess what the gender is by the way you are carrying (also depressing), and giving unwarranted advice. I found that if you do one of the following, people refrain from talking to you about your pregnancy:

- Smack the hand of someone trying to touch your stomach
- Carry the air of, "If you speak to me, odds are you will say the wrong thing and you will soon be the victim of my cutting, below-the-belt comebacks."
- Say, "What are you talking about...I'm not pregnant. Just fat."
- Wear a t-shirt that specifically spells it out. "Do not feel the need to talk to me just because I am pregnant." (I always wished I had made a t-shirt like that)

Woman has now given birth to the children, they are at park. Enter Park Mom. Woman is helping her children up the stairs, swing on swing, teaching them to wait their turn. Woman sees infamous Park Mom on other side of playground. Park Mom eyes Woman, gives smug and knowing smile, begins the overly non-chalant meander to strategically place herself next to Woman. Woman inwardly cringes, predicting the disaster about to occur. Park Mom makes first move:
"Sunny day out today!" (Woman detests pick-up lines about the weather. The Park Mom's bread-and-butter)
"Sure is..."
"So how old are yours?"
"2. And new." (Oh, goodness. Woman made an inadvertent rhyme. That will come back to bite her, she is sure...)
"Wow! That must be quite a busy household."
"Well, boys will be boys." (Obviously an ending of a conversation. To reinforce point, Woman tries to walk toward children, followed step-for-step by Park Mom)
"Your oldest is quite a climber! Mine is, too. I turn around one minute and he has made his way up the bookshelf like a cat! I try to keep him from...(I'm sure she said something entirely enthralling here, but I tuned out)...don't you think?"
"Uh, yeah. Boys are a handful." (Tries again to lose Park Mom by helping children play on equipment)
"The other day, mine was at the doctor and...(insert fantastic doctor's office story here, again, unheard by Woman)...sometimes I don't know what do with him! Does yours get diarrhea, too? Like that real yellow-y green-y liquid?"
"No." (Woman tries not to gag. Reminds herself to vomit later)

...And so the conversation continues until either Park Mom gets hint (rarely occurs), Woman finds clever way to lose Park Mom, or one of their respective children sustains significant injury on play structure.

Why must mothers thrust themselves on other mothers? I love that people want to be parents and want to connect with other parents. However, it is completely unnecessary to throw yourself at another woman just because she is a mom, too. I don't care about your child's digestive habits, special ability to line up pebbles on the sidewalk, or other personal information, and I have a hard time believing that you care about my kids. And in what world would I tell you personal information on my child?!? Maybe I watch too much Law and Order, but there are crazy people out there! Crazy people that can use information like that against a person. So, for the love of Pete, back up, Park Mom!

This only tells us what we all have been told since we were children: Never talk to strangers.


  1. i would like to take this moment to warn all people reading this that you do NOT want to be a victim of my sisters below the belt comebacks. its quite possible she has a degree in smart ass remarks:)

  2. Fortunately, I have grown up/tamed my tongue a little bit since then. Not entirely, but a little bit.

  3. Hmm, a bit harsh. Could be that Park Mom is also starved for adult conversation and is hoping Woman also has that need. (refer to previous posts.) Just a thought.

  4. last post was from your mom. I dont know how I did it, and I dont know if I can replicate transaction without hitting all buttons in frustration. There should be a cheat sheet...

  5. Possible that Park Mom is in need of attention, and is probably very insensitive of Woman to have such distaste for her. I never said I was not a selfish person, and I will be the first to admit I am a bit harsh. I still contest that giving out personal information is dangerous in this world. And maybe I just prefer to think that any stranger that talks to me has some sort of hidden agenda. A fault of mine, to be certain.

  6. i hate women who think you can go to the park to pick up on friends, much like a man goes to the bar to pick up on chicks. sorry, lady. i didn't come here in search of my new BFFL. i came to the park because i don't have the energy to play with my kid. if i wanted friends, i'd find a playgroup.
    but that's my smart ass, anti-social take.

  7. Ava, I am obviously SO with you here.