Today my friend Jessica from PEPS and I walked around Greenlake. Beautiful day! She was remarking that it’s always such a nice day at Greenlake; maybe it’s a bit of a warm sunny microclimate. I joked that maybe it’s just always so nice to get out and walk around Greenlake that the weather presents as nice even if it’s a huge storm. I was thinking back to the day I killed my iPhone by walking around Greenlake the morning of my baby shower in April, taking pictures in the rain. That was a beautiful day too, but judging by the fact that I irreversibly ruined my phone it was a pretty rainy and blustery one. I have no photographic evidence remaining since I lost the pictures along with the phone.
So, today Jessica and I are walking our baby boys around and it is a truly brilliant sunny day. She has her son in a stroller and I’m using the K’tan baby carrier. We are enjoying our predictable and delightfully satisfying conversation revolving around being new mummies: daycare waitlists, bedtime rituals, baby friendly restaurants and movie theatres (Guild 45th has a private soundproof?!? two seater cry room), Kids on 45th and their dollar rack…
Suddenly this middle aged woman with pragmatically coiffed grey hair breaks her jogging stride and heads straight for me. It first crosses Jessica’s and my mind that she must know me from somewhere. I adore running into old friends, colleagues and acquaintances when I’m out and about in the neighborhoods, and Greenlake is a classic community “center.”
But I don’t know her. She’s headed directly for me with an intensity that’s a bit alarming. She plants herself in my path and launches angrily and aggressively in with
I’m a pediatric nurse practitioner and you can’t carry your baby horizontal like that. He needs to be upright. The way you’re carrying your baby leads to sudden infant death!
I’m stunned. Lake continues to grunt (coo?) non-plussed, seemingly oblivious to how perilous his very life is at the moment. And every day for the past 6 1/2 weeks. I tell her I’m offended by her attack and that I am aware of the risk as it is plastered across the carrier in a huge (scratchy) warning label. He is horizontal because he won’t stay upright. He seems content, but if she would like to show me how to wrap him in a more upright position, I’m certainly open to it.
Well, I work at [well known area children’s hospital] and we see all the worst cases. I’m sorry for offending you.
She seems affronted and spits this out caustically. After this she zooms off in her self-righteous drive-by mummy-shamer cloud of dust.
Jessica and I turn to stare at each other incredulously. Did that just happen? It was surreal in her speed of judgment and pronounced lack of desire to collaborate towards her proported safety aim. No Congratulations, I see you have a little one there. No, would you like some help? No I’m concerned. No Hello, actually.
The death of a mother’s child is absolutely a tragedy at any age. This does not, however, necessitate or justify harassment. Even for low-hanging blog fodder.