“Such a grumpy baby”

Lady at the grocery store: “Squeeeeeeee! It’s a baby! I love babies. So cute, this one is. Hi, baby! Gimme a smile, baby! Wave hello, don’t you? Say something. Go on now, say something!  Well, she’s a grumpy one. Don’t talk yet, huh? Can’t wave yet, huh? No smiles, huh? Such a sour face on this one. She’s such a grumpy baby. Guess it’s time for a nap. She’s so grumpy.”

My response: “She’s just taking you in, watching and learning. Well, gotta go.”

What I wanted to say: “Actually, my daughter just woke up from a nap, which is why we are shopping at this time of day. Until you invaded her personal space and assaulted her senses with your loud squealing voice, overly dramatic gesticulation, and overpowering perfume, this girl was the world’s happiest child. She was happily waving at other shoppers and calling out, “Hi! Hi!” as we passed them. On more than one occasion she attempted to share the contents of our cart by cheerfully trying to pass items to those within arm’s reach. She was grinning and putting her hands up in the air like she was on a roller coaster every time I turned into a new aisle. She was smiling at other children and trying to play peekaboo with the woman who was quietly stocking the shelves. Right now she is choosing not to smile or interact with you, and I don’t blame her, because I don’t want to interact with you, either. Perhaps if you could get out of her face it would look a bit less sour.”

I just wanted bananas and almond milk, not a confrontation with a stranger, so I quietly exited stage left.


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