Harriet had an awful day today.
Cranky all day. Crying needlessly. Just really testy.
Didn’t want to play. Didn’t want tumny time. Screamed to be fed, screamed on the boob. Didn’t want to be held. Didn’t want to be put down. I mean friggen hell kid you’re either held or you’re not held…please pick one!
The situation was made worse by the fact I currently have a migraine and her constant shrieking was driving me up the wall.
Don’t get me wrong I absolutely adore her and everything about being a mama. But I just needed someone with me today to help out a little when the throbbing in my head became too much.
So this afternoon when my mother said she was going to do the grocery shopping, I said I’d come too because quite honestly I couldn’t be alone with the crying for a few hours. Not with my head pounding like it was.
So my mother went into the supermarket and I sat outside to wait. Harriet was sitting on my lap wrapped up in a blanket to ward off the last remnants of the winter chill.
Harriet was finally in a good mood. Alert, cooing, looking around at everything.
She loves to be in the thick of things. She’s not a laid back or easy-going baby, she enjoys (read: demands) constant stimulation.
After a few minutes an older lady approached. She was maybe late 50s, with her grown up daughter beside her.
“Oh what a beautiful baby!” she gushed loudly. “Such a gorgeous, beautiful baby!”
And then she rushed over and started patting the big black dog that was tied to the metal leg of the bench I was sitting on. She had been talking about the dog the entire time.
Suddenly she noticed me.
“Oh how awkward,” she said. “You probably thought I meant your baby was beautiful. You probably thought I was talking about your baby.”
Not knowing what else to do I simply smiled at her. I assumed now that she’d put us both in this weird situation she would at least acknowledge Harriet.
I knew all this lady needed to do was make eye contact with Harriet and she would melt into smiles and giggles. She was certainly in the mood for it.
But what happened was entirely the opposite.
“Well that’s just very sad for you and also sad for your baby. I feel bad for you.” the lady simply said before her daughter sniggered and they both walked away laughing.
At first the incident meant nothing to me and I brushed it off. But it’s been 12 hours and now it’s really starting to eat away at me.
The truth is I don’t feel bad for myself, I feel bad for my baby.
She deserved a little bit of attention from that old lady. Even a quarter of the attention the dog was given. She deserved it because she’s beautiful too.
She deserved it because after a shit of a day she was finally in a good mood and she would have loved the interaction.
She deserved it because all babies are beautiful and even though she couldn’t understand, I know one day she will. And I don’t ever want her to feel like she isn’t worthy of affection.
She deserved it because she gets loved all over by her mama and her nanna but her father barely looks in her direction and my baby deserves all the attention she can get.
She is my miracle. She’s stronger than that old lady will ever know. Strong enough to manage an impossible conception. Strong enough to survive 9 months in a uterus filled with fibroids. Strong enough to cope during her first days, all alone without her mummy’s touch because she was stuck in an incubator on oxygen.
My miracle baby was shunned today outside a supermarket. I can’t believe I even have to write those words.
And yes it all means nothing. That old lady probably doesn’t like babies and I’m still full of hormones that make me a blubbering mess. I’m aware that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.
But I’ll be damned if anybody ever makes my kid feel like she isn’t beautiful when I’m around to prevent it.
My baby is a beautiful, special little miracle. End of story.
Actually that’s not the end of the story…
When that lady leaned down to pat the big black dog today it snapped at her. Well ain’t that karma!
My Harriet – I am so proud of you and your fierce, sassy little attitude. Don’t ever let anybody make you feel unworthy of attention or affection. You’re my little superstar. Shine brightly always.