To have visitors come over to see your baby is one thing. But, it is atrociously ridiculous when they pose questions about the baby. It feels like they came prepared with an interview set of questions and they throw them at you when you are totally unarmed. I try to be nice, and smile sweetly, but inwardly the irate me wants to fly at them. You see, I don’t know if it comes from a well-studied behavioral pattern that seems most sacrosanct to them. I secretly think that they are right at times with a certain behavioral pattern, but let me tell them, that I am not in for a Q&A session. I’d rather want them to be prepared for shrugs, frowns, sign language (will be nice to swear at them), emoticons, ‘I don’t know’ and even a curt response to these questions:
1. Does Your Baby Cry Much:
You ask this as if your baby was born laughing! How can a baby not cry when hungry, when sleepy or with the slightest discomfort! Crying is their only way to demand food, to ask to get them to sleep, to help that little one belch, to understand that it’s time for a diaper-change. Did you think he would ASK for it, in finely articulated words, or that he would laugh at his helplessness?
2. Does Your Kid Wake Up In The Nights:
Why wouldn’t he? Having been fed few hours ago, he has been soaking his diaper. Moreover, he doesn’t have the control on the hunger pangs. Yes, I know some babies are night raccoons, but that solely depends on what your sleeping pattern was when you was carrying. So if he is up flapping his hands, moving his legs, is curiously gazing at that night-lamp, cooing all along, it should not be your business unless you want to witness his cuteness through it all.
3. Is Your Child On Breastfeed Or Formula Milk:
I find this too invasive a question. Because if I say, “Yes, he’s breastfeed,” pat comes your next question, “Ok, so is that adequate for him?” I don’t know if I must blurt out a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. A yes would mean this person will be gauging at how much I eat. A no means that she is belittling my body’s ability to make milk for my baby. And whatever I quip, there will be more questions, one leading to the other. And if I say, “Yes, he is on formula milk,” the next string of questions will be like, “Which brand? How many times in a day? How many scoops in each feed? Does the brand suit him? Did you ask your doctor?” Keep this up and I might just have a nervous breakdown.
4. Is He On Solid Food Yet? How Often And What Does He Eat?
You know that most babies are on solid foods by the sixth month or thereafter. You can’t be so ignorant about it! If my baby is already on solids, I will send you a note: “Hey, guess what, my baby is on solids now. Kindly prepare his monthly menu. That will be great help.” I’m sure you will not be able to do that. Chattering is much easier!
5. Do You Get Help While Caring For The Child:
Of course, unless you were vouching for your husband to help me! How did you suspect that I don’t get the necessary help at home? If it were so, I would look disheveled when you meet me, like I have just run up to my savior with beseeching eyes to take me out of that bonded labor camp.
6. What’s That Thing On Your Shirt:
Milk, puke and saliva! The secretions that you don’t use diapers for! The little fellow cannot sit up to burp. Sure I hold him to rest on my shoulder so I can get him to burp. The little bit of milk regurgitates and I can’t catch it. At times, he also pukes out the portions that his body doesn’t need. And the dampness that you see is because my baby dribbles with saliva. And my baby isn’t the only one to do this. Never mind those shirts.
7. Did He Arrive Through Normal Birthing:
A ‘yes’ would be followed by, “How long did the labor last…” and it will go into the details that will be reminiscent of the scary delivery room episodes. A ‘no’ would mean “A C-section? So, no mobility for few weeks? Were you not roomed-in with your baby soon after birth?” And suddenly I feel that this pain in the neck is harder to deal with.
8. Is He On Supplements Yet:
That’s up to the doctor’s discretion. Did you mean you can already tell symptomatically? Oh, I never knew you were a bit more than a jerk. That doc sitting there didn’t qualify just like that!
9. Is He Given A Bath Once Or Twice A Day:
Twice during summers, one time during winters. Don’t ask me again! It’s common sense. Plus he isn’t smelly enough for you to ask that. Get the word for my baby – ‘aroma’.
10. Does He Resemble His Mom Or Dad:
Why ask me? Look at him, and be the best judge. At the moment, I liken him to a white panda cub. (Although I would love to say he has taken more after me). It’s good to be opinionated. So be one, hon.
11. Does He Recognize His Father When He Comes Back From Work:
There is no other man that he knows, by the way. He is awakened by the tip-toeing of his father.
12. Do You Plan For A Sibling For Him:
Either you are mocking at my postpartum body that is taking time to tone down, or you are getting a bit curious with your fetishes.
13. Thank Goodness, You Don’t Have A Pet This Time Around:
No comparison! A pet is a pet, and a child is a child. And caring for a pet is much different from caring for a baby born to you.
Funny, I never have any questions when I watch other babies. It’s just the warmth I feel for them. My advice to those with the nosiness about my baby – come, be the nanny, so I can get help and you can get into the details while caring for my baby.