Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Little Neighborly Visit

At 6 pm tonight, the doorbell buzzed.

It was a neighbor--not sure from what floor of the building (there are seven). I don't know her name; we just kind of nod in the elevator. She has a 12-month-old son. A few months ago, she came over to ask if I wanted some extra formula. I have no recollection of what I said; it was probably something along the lines of, "Thanks, but I breastfeed." I have no idea how she found me because I'd have to ask the doorman to find her.

So today, as I was lamely attempting to get Miss M to eat cold elbow noodles from a cup as she wandered around (a more traditional dinner had already been picked at and rejected), she appeared at my door again. I opened it holding AM. She asked if he was "on formula yet." I said no, and said I didn't plan for him to have formula. (Her son is turning one on Sunday; I assume that he will be put on cow's milk immediately, and she is looking to unload her leftovers.)

Somehow this conversation then devolved into a discussion of my kids' (failed, in her view) developmental milestones. She "told" AM that he was a "bad boy" because he wasn't sleeping through the night, although she only asked his age later. She told me that Miss M really should be using the potty, and I should buy her pretty underpants because that would work. I don't know if she knows exactly how old Miss M is. Based on her size she might be mistaken for closer to 3. But even so! She asked if AM was sitting up. I answered truthfully, which is to say pretty damn close (sits and uses his hands for support); ditto for crawling. Both of these are ahead of the curve, according to "the books."

She's proud that her son is walking and talking. (Dare I say, "talking," because he's 12 months!) I have no issue with that. But don't come to my door when you don't even know me and tell me what my kids should be doing and imply what kind of mother I am. All you really know about me is that I don't use formula! (Proudly.)

I wasn't even really paying attention to her because she had interrupted me while I was nursing. Miss M kept saying "Come in, come in!" and then tried to escape down the hall in pajamas and bare feet. Because I was holding AM I basically had to trip her in the doorway to prevent her from scurrying to the elevator. All of this made me look, I'm sure, as harried as I feel, given the not sleeping and all that crap.

Only later, as I was tandem nursing (eat my shorts, formula lady!), did I come up with some good rejoinders. Like, "I really could do without changing Miss M's diapers for another year, but she is sweet and kind to her baby brother, shares toys with her classmates, helps with chores, and is smart and funny. Everyone eventually uses the potty. Not everyone has a heart of gold."

(Where is that razz icon when you need it? And should I kick her ass for calling my sweet baby a "bad boy" for being, oh, I don't know, A BABY?! As frustrated and angry and strung out as I get with Miss M, I have never, ever, ever called her bad, even in jest.)

GRRARR! Mama bear on the loose!

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