Monday, March 29, 2010

Everyone's a Critic

Most mothers have the story of the stranger criticizing their parenting style. Every mother in NYC has one. Up till recently mine was rather minor--We were walking around Harlem, and THREE different men stopped me to tell me that Reuben's Shoes were on the wrong feet. Minor, because they were on the wrong feet. Minor, because I didn't care. And minor, because on that same trip Reuben decided to run through the crowd, that I couldn't get through, and a woman stopped him and held him until I could get there. But now, I have a story.

I took the boys out to take some photos, because--let's be honest--that is what I do. These doors are two buildings down from our building, and I had seen the day before that they had cleaned the stairs in front of them with SOAP and a hose, so I thought "perfect" we'll take photos there when its in the shade the light will be great and those doors are interesting. Simeon won't get too dirty, and Reuben can wear his nice clothes without ruining them. I'm taking photos, things are going well, and then my critic come up. I hear her walk past us, then come back. She says, "What are you doing putting that baby on those nasty stairs." I ignore her and continue taking photos. "Lady, I said, get that baby up, those stairs are full of germs." "Thank you for your concern." I say. She says, "I should report you. You don't know what is on those stairs, putting your baby on those nasty things."

"I'm close to my apartment, my child is fully clothed. and its not like I'm letting him lick it." I say--out loud.

She got all huffy and left. I thought, "I have been here too long, I never would have done that three years ago."

The pictures were worth it, and Simeon did not get sick, and neither did Reuben thank you for your concern.


Jessica said...

Some people seriously need to get a life! I love the pictures. They're adorable. I especially like Simeon's expression in the second one.

Sandy M. said...

Brecken, that must have been awful for you! Anyone looking at your children would know that they are very well cared for. I don't know why people are critical like that! I think perhaps that it's out of an honest desire to be helpful?

The pictures are great. That one of Simeon smiling is a treasure :)


Tammy Lorna said...

Emily and I just laughed out loud at your post! We could NOT believe that you said what you said OUT LOUD! Good for you Brecken!

And yes, the boys look beautiful and clean :) Great doors - very interesting!

xo Tammy

PS. When I come, let's take HEAPS of sitting on stairs photos... :)

Morgan said...

that is so great. people in ny are amazing. i get comments all the time about how my kids shoe is untied or they need their coats or hats or gloves on or how they are touching the wheel guard on the stroller or how my kid needs a blanket. geez people, get a life and leave mine alone. way to be a new yorker right back to her!!

Mindy said...

The pictures are well worth it AND you got a great story out of the deal. Looks like NY has been a great help with letting some of your opinions escape your tongue...good job.

emilysuze said...

As Tammy already said, the pictures were well worth the crummy lady on the street--the boys look beautiful, healthy, and very happy so you must be doing something very right.

Erika Hill said...

Let's give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she's got hardcore OCD that makes it unfathomable for her to understand how one could possibly allow their child to sit in a place where a shoe has once been. And I think it's safe to assume that apart from licking the stairs, Simeon's not going to pick anything up just by posing with a picture. He's probably more likely to get sick from Reuben than from the stairs.

And I agree with other readers in that these pictures are well worth it. :)

Heidi said...

Great pics and good job enduring nosey new yorkers comments.

Marsdinis said...

good for you for not just taking it! I can't believe how many people felt the need to correct me or yell or at me, or even spit on me(seriously) for things that I was "doing wrong" with my kids. Gotta love New Yorkers:)

PS-CUTE pics of your family a few posts back!