A complaint I’ve heard from fathers – especially the primary caregiver sort – is the degree of scrutiny they sometimes receive from strangers of the female persuasion. Though I had never experienced this myself, it sounded quite credible to me.

Today is the first time I experienced it. There was an older couple of ladies behind me in line at the supermarket making goo-goo eyes at the baby. When we were outside, one of them informed – not in those precise words – that I was handling the unloading process wrong.

My process is: Take the cart to the car, unload the groceries, return cart, take baby from cart and carry her with me back to the car.

Her order was: Put the baby in the car, start the car with the air conditioning or heater on, unload cart, and then return the cart.

The concern, I suppose, is that the baby was cold while I was unloading the cart. The weather outside was actually quite pleasant, though. Starting the car is something I might consider doing if it were -20 or something, or the weather was just miserable, but I haven’t seen a need to do that just yet. Otherwise, the baby is more likely to get upset at my absence than she is at the temperature.

Like I said, she didn’t precisely tell me that I was doing it wrong. She just told me how “mothers” do it. She then asked if my wife did it that way and whether or not my wife knows that I do it that way. En route to telling her the story of this encounter, she now knows that I do, in fact, do it that way. And as to whether or not she does it differently, she doesn’t get the opportunity to because taking the baby while going grocery shopping is something I do and she does not have to.

Category: Market

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2 Responses to Unsolicited Advice

  1. Sheila Tone says:

    I don’t leave a car on when I’m not in it.

    Any system is OK that doesn’t involve leaving either the cart alone, or the baby alone in the cart (because carts roll). While baby in car pre-grocery-unloading makes it easier for the parent to put away the groceries, it also requires you to take your hands off the cart while fasteneing in the baby (thus, rolling potential). Also, soon the baby may begin protesting that arrangement, because she wants to be in on the action, not relegated to a car seat while you work with fascinating objects behind her. Has she begun wanting to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt yet? That sounds cute, but it’s actually quite awkward.

    And no one has ever given me unsolicited advice about handling a baby. I somehow doubt it is because I was such a natural at it.

    • trumwill says:

      I don’t leave a car on when I’m not in it.

      Back home, I didn’t either. It wasn’t until I moved out west and out of the Big City that I found out that it’s not that uncommon a thing to do.

      I agree with all of your reasons to do it the way that I do. Honestly, I don’t consider it much less convenient for me, either, to have the baby with me instead of sitting in the car.

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