Weight Watchers

what-to-eat-during-pregnancyOh whatever.

It’s become something of a pastime for women in Starbucks to tell me I’m a terrible mother. I mean, at least that’s the way I’m interpreting the comments. Last week I had three separate women at three separate Starbucks remark on the baby’s size then follow it quickly with a variation on the first one’s statement: “Guess you must have eaten whatever you wanted while you were pregnant.”

When the first one said it I was mortified and almost snorted my iced decaf skim (that’s right, lady, SKIM!) latte all over her. By the time the third one was blathering at me like Dr. Oz later that week I was trending toward an inner eyeroll and a “Yeah, I used to eat butter straight out of the tub with a spoon.” (For the record, the baby is perfectly proportioned, according to her doctor.) (Oh and also for the record I was at Starbucks three times in the past week because when you’re a new parent Starbucks becomes your outpost, allowing for interaction with the outside world, yet not requiring the commitment of sitting down at a table with a menu and a waitress and surrounding customers who will be annoyed if your baby screams and you don’t leave immediately.)

Now, longtime readers of the Bird blog trilogy know — thanks to a smattering of bordering-on-WASPy-in-their-vagueness references — that I have had a somewhat complex relationship with food and body image in the past. (Booyah! Did it again!) Suffice it to say, the funhouse mirror reflection into which pregnancy converts one’s body has been difficult at times. Specifically, at times when blabby ladies of a certain age are implying my Cadbury Creme Eggs are coming home to roost.

And while there is a measure of temptation to do my best neck circle and finger wave and Jerry Springer-stage-ready “You don’t know me!” I am instead realizing in these last few days that I need simply to add this to the list of boneheaded intrusions new mothers must suffer. Sort of makes me nostalgic for the days when it was just an unauthorized belly pat. Also makes me feel for that chick in China who just gave birth to a 13.75-pound baby. The comments she must be getting. Hopefully she’s just thinking, “Yeah, I used to eat red bean paste straight out of the tub with chopsticks,” and rolling her eyes.

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14 Responses to “Weight Watchers”

  1. Sioux Says:

    You know, this just reinforces for me the notion that people (men and women alike) just open their mouths and say the stupidest things when they’re in the presence of a beautiful woman!!

  2. Libba Says:

    Ditto, Sioux! Or maybe people are just angling for a chance to get near the baby, and (as we say in Texas) they have no good bullshit. Can you say IG-NERNT?

  3. Michelle Says:

    Good grief! What idiots. What’s wrong with a big baby (not that she is, but even if she were)? Doesn’t that imply health, e.g., you did something right?
    They’re probably envious that they restricted themselves when they were pregnant. Next time, just say, “That’s right, I did. It was awesome! Soooo liberating.”

  4. Luna Says:

    I HATE the comments about how big and fat my baby is! And he’s not even that fat (70th percentile)!! I always respond, “better healthy and big than skinny and sickly, right?”

  5. Jaime Says:

    People have something to say whether your baby is skinny, chubby, or perfectly proportioned. That something is usually idiotic – but what can you do? I think you’re right though, you’ll have to add it to the list and be long-suffering, because I’m sure these comments will continue. I can only imagine “My, your daughter is wearing Lilly to the playground? Isn’t that expensive?” or “Heavens…how linguistically developed she is – do you just make her do English lessons all day long? Don’t you know playtime is important?”

  6. Lisa Says:

    It’s shocking how free people feel to opine on pregnancy and babies. And really, big and healthy is desireable – do they not know that? Plus, looking at you, you clearly did NOT gorge while preg. I say tell them to eff off next time.

  7. Tiffany Says:

    I think Jaime is right. and I’ve got one word for ya. Jealousy! it’s ugly. you have a beautiful little girl and people want to make you feel insecure. so wrong. I gotta say, when i ran into you last week, i had no reaction to baby bird’s size (only that she’s a doll), but WAS secretly thinking, can’t believe how great momma bird looks. B#tch! 🙂 you both look mah-va-lous. tell the “ladies” at Starbucks to stuff it!

  8. Amy Says:

    What percentile is Sabine?

  9. Skyalker Says:

    Sioux is absolutely right! As is Jaime! I read this in horror. Listen from the little I read of the “Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy” – don’t expect miracles overnight which is realistic. It takes 9 months to get this way and you cannot expect to look like Heidi Klum in 3 months (then again she doesn’t look like Heidi Klum either after her fourth child).

    It sounds like you were minding your business and you were accosted by some mean women who have no consideration or mouth to brain filter. Next time, pull a line from the Real Housewives of Atlanta and say either “you gonna check me boo?” or “I’m the boss B#tch!”. Shut it down!

  10. lemmonex Says:

    Id be tempted to say something along the lines of “Quite the contrary! I actually purged every day in order to keep slim while pregnant to avoid comments like yours. Guess it didn’t work, but I still have hope I can teach my daughter to be obsessed with her weight..

    Or something like that.

    FWIW, and I hate to even counter such comments as I think bodies are bodies and we should all just keep our thoughts to ourselves, I think you looked fabulous, happy, and healthy through out your pregnancy…and that is all that really matters.

  11. Phil Says:

    I like to comment to new mothers how great their tits look, to make them feel good about themselves.

  12. Jessica Says:

    This makes me want to have a Blogger “Baby” Hour where we drink a beer and eat a maple donut while breastfeeding. Are you in?

  13. babybird Says:

    Thanks, all. The whole thing has been pretty eye-opening. Wow, people really are that insensitive.
    Jessica-absofreakinglutely.
    P.S.-Phil, creepy. But notice I didn’t say unwelcomed.

  14. lacochran Says:

    Amazing. I am often astounded with the stupid things people say but it seems to especially be the case once you get pregnant/give birth. It’s like a game of “how rude can I be?” Unfreakinbelievable.

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