Monday, 18 April 2011

Should I be made to feel uncomfortable?

There is one thing that I have a real issue with when it comes to taking Mads out and about.

If she cries...

Unfortunately she is a ticking time bomb and can cry at any opportunity.  She generally is a good little girl but like all babies, can occasionally have grumpy days.  (Can't we all!)   

The other day I went out for lunch with my Mum to a nice pub.  I don't get to spend much quality time with her so I was really looking forward to relaxing with a glass of wine and having a chat.  As soon as we walked in I noticed that it was rather busy.  Mads was asleep in her pram and we sat down opposite a large group of about fifteen older ladies.  Straight away I clocked them and mentioned to my mum that I hoped Mads didn't wake up.

We received our main meals and unfortunately Mads did wake up.  However she woke up in a great mood and was smiling and giggling away.  She was due a feed and fortunately I had bought a bottle of expressed milk with me, so as I was having risotto and my Mum was having a salad, she said she would feed her while I finished my lunch.

She wolfed down her bottle and then I think she got some trapped wind.   She started whinging a little, literally just a small amount.  I am perfectly happy to admit when she is being a terror and she can scream the house down when she wants too, but this literally was the tiniest whimper which lasted about three seconds.  I was facing the group of ladies and as soon as she did it I turned my attention to them because I could see them all looking at each other.  I noticed that a couple of them tutted and rolled their eyes.

I felt so uncomfortable and said to my Mum that I would take her outside.  She told me not too, that she was fine and she wasn't making a noise at this point.

I carried on eating my lunch and Mads was as good as gold perching on my Mum's shoulder.  My Mum then went to move her on to the other shoulder and she whimpered again and then stopped.  Again I saw the same couple of ladies in the group look at each other and tut.  One actually whispered 'This is enjoyable over lunch,' it was loud enough for me to hear.

I got up and took Mads while my mum finished her meal and as I stood up I caught one of the ladies eyes.  This actually was one of the nicer ones who had smiled at me when we arrived.  I turned to her and apologised if we were disturbing their lunch.  She smiled and said 'Oh don't worry at all, she is being a very good girl, I haven't heard a peep out of her.'  She then started chatting to Mads and cooing over her.  They then all started asking me about how old she was, what was her name etc.  The two women that had tutted then at least had the decency to look down at their dinner plates.

The whole situation made me feel really uncomfortable and really made me wonder about these ladies.  I am a polite person and would never even dream of saying something to anyone but they made me really cross.  I am sure that they had children or grandchildren themselves and I wonder how they would feel if someone was making their daughter feel uncomfortable.

Doesn't a baby have just as much right to eat her lunch as they do?

I could understand if she was screaming the place down, but she barely made a whimper.  Unfortunately there are always going to be people like this around and I think that we all need to remember that we were all babies once.

Rant over!


nikki said...

rant all you like chickadee, we all as parents have been made to feel uncomfortable at some point, i think older generations forget what it was like when they had young babes, or they just like to be plain rude!! i once had an old lady tell me that my son would go blind if i didnt keep a hat on him, he was going through the mommy puts hat on, baby takes hat off phase, i used a parasol to keep him shaded but she still felt the need to comment, i told her if she could keep his cap on him for more than 30 seconds, i'd give her £100, she tutted and walked off!! lol

HELEN said...

ahh, that's a real shame that you had to go through that. I find that the majority of people are nice when you have little ones, it's just a shame that those that are miserable and having a bad day have to try & ruin yours too.

Sarah @ ExPat Bride said...

They are probably jealous that you have this adorable little bundle and they are post-menopausal!

Mrs E said...

Thanks ladies, I don't know why some people want to make you feel uncomfortable really. Not very nice!x

Claire - PR Mummy said...

This takes me back to a time my friend (with a toddler and baby) and I (with a baby) were confronted by a woman in a coffee shop. She asked us why we weren't at home with the babies, where we should be and why we were interrupting everyone's day. At that moment, my friend was breastfeeding her baby, mine was asleep and the toddler was playing nicely. I asked the lady if she had children and she did! I was utterly shocked by the situation. Don't mums have a hard enough time as it is?

Sarah is probably right - they were probably just jealous.