I just read a post by Amy over at The Stir ( Here it is ), and it completely brought me back to when I was on maternity leave.
To sum up the article, many parents have had instances where complete strangers have, directly or indirectly, advised them on how to parent their child or have made comments or given "looks" demeaning the parent or the child.
I can't tell you HOW MANY times this has happened to me. I would hazard to to guess it's somewhere in the range of ... Oh... Eleventy billion.
The comments that hit me hardest were the ones about J's cyst.
A little back story: J was born with a dermoid cyst. It was a big bump, right near his left eyebrow. For 2 years, it looked as though he had been bonked, hard, in the face and a giant goose-egg had formed. We were VERY VERY lucky, and the cyst was only filled with fluid. Over the past 6 months, the cyst has almost disappeared. The untrained eye would never know it ever existed. But, when I was on maternity leave, it was VERY apparent.
Everywhere we went, people would make comments about his "bump".
"OH dear! Poor little boy! Did you hit your head? You have to watch them ALL THE TIME, don't you?" (said with an accusing glare).
"Wow. What happened to his face?" (exact words)
"OUCH! That must have hurt!" (Furrowing their brow at us.)
Seriously. All. The. Time. And these comments were from people that we didn't know from Adam. It got to the point where I'd just concede defeat and say "Yes. He hit his head." and walk away.
I know that the opinions, comments and "suggestions" are going to flow even more when J starts with the extreme public tantrums (we've had a few thus far, but they've been mild and easily diffused), and I really feel for parents of children with special needs. It's really gotta sting when uninformed strangers continually question your parental adequacy.
Bring on the tantrumy threes!!!!