Dear Stranger From the Park,
Do you know how many times I’ve told a complete stranger to politely F off since having a child.
In the form of a smile and awkward shruggy movement.
Because strangers often ask me: “What birth control are you on to stop this?” or “maybe he just needs more food he’s a big growing boy?”
So many times.
And frankly I’m sick of it.
I’m sick of feeling like I’m not a magical, mammary, mothering unicorn.
I just wanted to get this off my chest.
Because I’m so quiet about everything else. HA!
So I’m sitting at the park the other day and a woman takes one look at my one year old eating dirt and says: “Oh isn’t she walking yet? That’s odd, and she’s getting dirt inside her mouth.”
Now at this point I’m almost positive this woman isn’t aware that I'd had a total of 45 minutes sleep in a week, that I had just drank my second cold coffee in 14 minutes and I had managed to get four children out of the house and to the playground clothed.
Because I’m fairly certain if she had have known all of that information she would have just handed me my gold medal and sash and got the on with her day. I stared right back at her face and said nothing. I said nothing for so long that se scuttled of awkwardly.
That was probably for the best. She probably thought I was crazy.
She’d be damn straight. I have six children, and they’re all mine out of my special bits and then I made the brave decision to take four of them out with me in a public place where people could see us.
All I am saying is, I would not fight me in a bar.
So here it goes, annoying park stranger (just to clear things up):
Number one: There is nothing “odd” about my daughter not walking.
Number two: Hello, complete stranger that has only been sitting here for four seconds and knows nothing about myself or my daughter, how can I help you with your enquiries?
Number three: She hadn’t eaten yet this morning so dirt seemed better than nothing and I planned to offer her some water to go with her dirt if you just gave me a second; I’m not a complete animal.
But lastly and honestly: SHUT UP. Just shhhhhhhh.
Look I get it. Your uncle's sister’s aunt’s daughter has two perfect children who sleep through the night and eat only what they’re told. They are reading novels at five months old while using the potty and are on the wait list for Harvard.
And when you tried to feed them a french fry, they politely decline and asked for tofu.
What Einsteins, aren't they so spectacular.
Listen: Our parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess, on everything on being a mum or dad.(Post continues...)
And then you’ve got my children.
They scream at the shops at some high pitch frequency which makes my face go pink and my pits start to sweat.
They’ve figured out how to take their nappy off and pee into a cup but can’t quite figure out how to walk yet.
They like to wake up at approximately 11pm just for a quick “what's happening” sesh and only speak in full sentences when no one is around, making me think I'm going bat sh*t crazy.
So, Park Stranger.
I just wanted to get something out of the way if I could, for all of us mums who have tried everything always.
Who don’t need any answers and certainly cannot cope with the questions when we’re so sleep-deprived we’re not even sure who drove the car to where we were.
No, they are not too cold.
No, they are not too hot.
Yes, they are dry.
Yes, they are full.
No, they are not teething.
No, they do not have a temperature.
No, it is not a leap week.
No, they don’t walk.
Yes, I’ve tried Panadol.
Yes, we’ve tried control crying.
Yes, we’ve tried more love.
Yes, we’ve tried less love.
Yes, they have enough food.
No, they don’t have too many naps.
YES, they are getting enough naps.
Yes, we’ve taken them to a doctor.
No, it can’t be fixed.
And we can’t give them back.
But just finally, my answer to all of your questions, ALWAYS, is; “She’ll be right mate."
Enough is enough, so this is just a little message from us, to you.
Shut up park stranger.
You are not helping anyone.
This post originally appeared on Eight at Home.