I know it's none of my business but...

Rule #1 in the guidebook on how to avoid being a total deuchebag... if what you have to say needs to be prefaced with, "I know it's none of my business but..." then you should probably just keep your mouth shut. Otherwise it is guaranteed that you WILL turn into a deuchebag. A big, stinky, hippy, deuchebag. Okay, you probably won't turn into a hippy, but my recent deuchebag encounter was one. I mentioned on facebook that Z and I were given a little unsolicited parenting advice a few nights ago. It's a story worth sharing... so here we are.

Friday night Z and I were out to dinner celebrating a friend's birthday. After driving around the block a few times looking for parking we finally found a spot. It was Keelin's normally scheduled time to eat so after parking I hopped in the backseat to feed her. For some reason she was too distracted to eat so I decided we should go ahead and join the rest of our party and I could slip out and feed her if she started getting fussy. Her schedule has been changing a bit within the last few weeks so I wasn't too worried about feeding her a little later than normal. The restaurant we were at had a great outdoor seating area complete with snappy background music and fans to keep us cool! It wasn't the type of restaurant where you sit quietly with the sounds of slight murmurs, cool jazz, and clinking forks accompanying your meal. It was on the louder side, relaxed, and fun. As if by clockwork, the SECOND we sat down at our table Keelin started crying. NOW she was ready to eat. She has such impeccable timing! So, I quickly looked at the menu, gave my order to the hubs, and slipped out to feed the bean.

Before getting back to the table I headed into the restroom to change Keelin's diaper. It was there... in the restaurant restroom... that the waterworks truly started flowing. As soon as I put her down on the changing table she started wailing. Between cries and cloth diaper snaps I heard the woman in the stall next to us let out a lengthy, "Awwwwww" at the adorable and/or heartbreaking sound coming from my tiny girl. She calmed down during the trip from the restroom back to the table but only lasted a few more moments after I sat down before she was fussy again. It was one of those moment where you REALLY REALLY wish your infant could talk so she could tell you what is upsetting her and you could make it all better.  However, being the cool and collected mom that I am {at least on the outside}, I was happy to pass her off to some of the other folks at our table who wanted to hold her... tears and all. She would go in and out of crying but it was clear she was not having it. Since I knew she wasn't hungry and she had already given me a nice BIG burp I could rule out hunger and gas. So, I decided that it was a mix of being in a new place, seeing a lot of new faces, having a stuffy nose, and NOT wanting to take a nap. Combine all of those things and you have a cocktail of screams and tears, my friends. The thing was, even with the crying, she wasn't all that loud. Had we been inside I'm sure her volume would have carried over the other tables but because of all the noise outside, it really wasn't that disruptive.

At one point the birthday boy's mother had hold of her and had managed to get her settled for a few minutes. I look up from my glass of water and see that a very 'hippy' looking woman from another table, holding her 3 or 4 year old daughter, had come up to Keelin and was asking questions to our friend's mom. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but it looked like the average inquisition. How old is she? What's her name? Etc. Nothing out of the ordinary, and she went back to her table.

After Keelin started back up again I took her to try to calm her down. Again, she was breaking in and out of crying with my friend Leah {the birthday boy's wife} stood from the table, took her from me and insisted that I sit so I could eat. She's such a sweetheart. I happily agreed and carried on finishing my meal, which was delicious by the way. At this point there were very few breaks between Keelin's cries and Z got up to go make funny daddy faces at her to see if a familiar smile would help calm her down. {I realize now that the image in your head probably makes you think of jumping beans how we were all getting up and down to try making her happy... and you're probably right} Right as Z walked over to Keelin and Leah, the same hippy lady, still carrying her daughter, was stretching her neck into the situation. Because I was sitting at the table I couldn't really hear what was being said but I could tell by the looks on Leah and Z's faces that they were not interested in hearing what this lady had to say. She stayed near them for a minute or two and then walked back to her table. I had a hunch that she had just given parenting advice so I watched her as she went back to her seat where she proceeded to talk about Keelin to her family members, looking back at her with THAT LOOK. I'm sure you all know THAT LOOK. THAT LOOK that people give you when they think they are above you or when they think you're wrong and they are right. Yeah. THAT LOOK.

I whipped my head around to Z, who had since gotten Keelin fastened back into her car seat. Swinging calms her down so when we're not at home to utilize the standing swing we have, daddy becomes the swing. I leaned over and LOUDLY blurted, "I'm sorry, am I not being a good enough parent to my child?" I admit I was hoping the hippy mom would hear me.  It was then that Leah informed me of what the hippy mom had said to them. It went a little something like this...

Hippy Mom: Um, I know it's none of my business {GAH! Breaking rule #1} but, I have TWO children, and I think that baby might be hungry. Leah:  Actually her mother just fed her, so I don't think she's hungry. Hippy Mom:  Well, with babies, sometimes even after you feed them they are still hungry. She is crying because she is still hungry so she needs to be fed again. Leah: She's fine, thank you. 

SERIOUSLY LADY???

Thank goodness I was out of earshot when the actual conversation happened because if I were I would have probably responded with something along the lines of:

You're RIGHT, it IS none of your business. I see that you have two children, because I've been watching them throw rocks and climb up the walls since we sat down. Maybe they are hungry too. Because, you know with kids, when they act like complete idiots it might mean that they are hungry. So how about you go back to your own table, get your own kids under control, and stop trying to parent mine. Thank you *obnoxious grin*.

First of all, it was far too loud on that patio for her to have been all that disturbed by Keelin's cries. Our table was much closer than theres and everyone else was carrying on with their conversations just fine. Secondly, mom to mom, if you're going to stick your nose where it don't belongs PLEASE don't also dish out advice that calls me out as not knowing anything about my own daughter. Thirdly, take a look at your own kids' behavior before questioning someone else's. Especially when your kids are 4 and 6 years old and not 4 months. My child cannot tell me why she's crying, where yours are old enough that when they are told to do or not do something, they SHOULD listen. Is there a reason you weren't keeping your daughter from throwing rocks in the air while waiters are walking around carrying trays of food? Is there a reason  you weren't telling your son NOT to jump and climb on the raised hedge walls, right behind another party's table?  Or how about the reason you were letting your son pull on your daughter's legs while she was riding you piggy-back? You must be an EXPERT so I really want to learn your wise ways oh hippy mom! Your kid's screams were louder than anything Keelin was dishing out, and yet you didn't have a problem with it!

After learning about my little "lesson" in parenting, you can bet she got my most evil of evil eyes. AND STILL, after Keelin had settled down thanks to Daddy-Swings-A-Lot, she would still look over, point, and talk about her. Seriously lady? I know my daughter is beautiful and hard not to stare at but should you really be putting that much energy into telling me how to raise my child when you've got 2 hyperactive future hippies running a muck? Priorities people... priorities. I basically stared her down until they left the restaurant. It was fun.

A lesson to all parents. Unless you see a mom or dad really struggling with their child with a look of desperation in their eyes as they seek assistance, please resist the urge to voice your opinion and just focus on your own kids. I know you may think having one or more babies means you're expert on everyone else's kid... but you'd be wrong.

Sheesh! So that was my rant, and now it's over, and I feel so much better!

Until next time... Tell me about your most unfortunately unforgettable experience with unsolicited parenting advice!