10 Horrible Things Your Baby Does in Public
… And 10 hilarious parenting solutions
But there’s also the not-so-delicious side of babies. They have frighteningly loud sounds, abnormally large amounts of fluid that come out of every end, fingers stronger than full-grown chimps, and smells that make you wonder if you had an accident. The key to getting through the first year is knowing what to do when your precious angel unleashes one of these horrendous acts of God in front of other people. And I am here to help.
1. The Problem: Screaming to get away from Grandma
How to Handle: This is a no-brainer … blame Grandma! This is the perfect opportunity to get her to stop using that perfume that makes you want to scream to get away from Grandma. Here’s what you say: “Oh, boy ... you know what? He did this to the lady at Costco yesterday. Turns out she wears White Shoulders just like you!” And, by the way, how is having white shoulders alluring? (Don’t say that part.) Ask Grandma if she can please switch to something more baby friendly — but not Desitin. This should buy you enough time for the baby to get over the screaming-at-Grandma phase, which usually only lasts for the first few minutes. It’s a win-win!
2. The Problem: Not performing the circus tricks you taught her on command
How to Handle: This one is so hard! People always want to know what your baby can do. “Can she laugh? Can she say Mama or Dada? Does she roll over? Crawl? Eat? Breathe?” You’re like, “Of course she can! Just watch this!” And then she does nothing but sit there with that look on her face that says, “Yo! You pincher grasp the cheerio, Boi!” You immediately think, when did my baby turn into Flavor Flav? You say, “She makes this hilarious face whenever we say, ‘Give us the face.’ Watch. Give us the face! The face. Give Mommy THE FACE!” At that point you need to get a damn hold of yourself. Ask your friend to slap you and take the baby for a minute. Then, go sit in a quiet room and really think about what you’re doing to that baby’s future.
3. The Problem: Not looking as cute as usual when you run into your ex-boyfriend’s family at the mall
How to Handle: Oh, this is an unfortunate day. You and the baby are not up to par — no showers, your heads haven’t seen a comb in days, you have a zit on your nose, baby has a scab on her nose, and you both have spit-up plums on your shirts.
All you want to do is take those jeans back to Gap, maybe duck into the food court for a noodle bowl but, oh-oh, there’s your ex … “Dan?” you say through coffee breath. Dan says, “This is my wife, Kelly, and my children Zach and Alex — we’re shopping for maternity clothes.” Radiant-looking Kelly says, “It’s number 3!” You think you’re gonna say, “Congratulations,” but what comes out is, “I’m still fat from this one.” There’s only one way to make you feel better — remember that Dan and Kelly will have to spend their life savings sending three kids to college and all you need to spend is $4.50 on a delicious, sodium-filled noodle bowl.
4. The Problem: Throwing up on the couch of a friend who doesn’t have kids or pets, but does have a touch of OCD
How to Handle: Remember before you had kids? Your college roommate came to visit with her new adorable baby. You put the baby down on the couch and laid a wine bottle next to her for a funny picture. And then she barfed all over your not-scotch-guarded chenille cushions. Not exactly the hilarious photo you hoped for. And what did you say? You said: “Don’t worry about it, that’s what steam cleaners are for.” Well, when your baby does this to your friend’s couch, and they don’t say the same thing to you, press the “de-friend” button and hang out with people who have leather couches.
5. The Problem: Pooping when you forgot to bring a diaper
How to Handle: Let’s review your thought process before you left the house. “Let’s see, we’ll be gone for the day … What do I need? What do I need? Blankie, bibs, pacifier, rattle, bottle, prescription pills for me — what else? I’m forgetting something. My phone!!!” Then you get so excited you remembered your phone, you forget to put that thing that catches that huge thing that comes out of that tiny thing in the diaper bag. Now the two of you must stew in your own juices. If you’re outdoors you can probably get by for a while without any animals attacking your baby. If you’re indoors — say, in line at Home Goods — sorry, you need to put down the slightly irregular towels and go find yourself a Huggie or a hose.
6. The Problem: Pulling the nice man’s chain off his neck along with some of his chest hair
How to Handle: If you’re like me, you live in an Armenian neighborhood … oh, you’re not like me? Okay. Well, I imagine this happens in all kinds of neighborhoods where men have an overabundance of chest hair and wear at least one gold chain. Or maybe it’s your dad’s friend, Jerry. Anyway, if a man has tufts of hair poking out of his Tommy Bahama golf shirt and wears neck jewelry, he’s begging to be mauled by a pair of baby claws. Guys look so manly with that much fur, but they scream just like girls. There’s only one thing you can do. Hug him and say it’s okay to cry. Then give him a gift certificate to get the rest of that mess waxed.
7. The Problem: Not getting in the car seat properly in the parking lot of Target
How to Handle: We’ve all read the stories about how somebody saw somebody shoving a screaming baby into a car seat and looking like a lunatic. Don’t be that second somebody! First, use the breathing you learned for childbirth. They didn’t just teach you that to get through contractions, they taught you that to get through the next 18 years. Next, look around for God’s sake! You’re in a parking lot! There are witnesses! It’ll look like you’re kidnapping your own child. Stop. Your baby needs you outside of prison. Pick up the baby and calm her by walking her around and whispering, “Mommy wasn’t trying to fold you in half … I was playing a little game … called ‘get in the damn car'.” My motto for this situation: “It is what it is, it ain't what it ain't, don't make it what it isn't.” Okay, fine, they said that on CSI.
8. The Problem: Crying, pooping, needing to be fed, and everything else on a plane
How to Handle: There’s really only one thing you can do when your baby does anything annoying on a plane, and no, it’s not pretend it’s not your baby. It’s also not put the baby in the overhead compartment — some ding-dong did this last year and got in BIG trouble (never mind that the baby slept like a baby). Here’s what you have to do … ignore all the hatred coming at you from the people in back of you, the people in front of you, and the pilot. Just find your third eye and really Gandhi it up. Oh, and don’t be timid, throw a boob out there for the kid.
9. The Problem: Throwing a bottle, spoon, or food at the people sitting next to you at Olive Garden
How to Handle: Luckily, this particular problem is kind of funny. People love a spunky baby! “Ha! Did you see that baby throw his spoon at Uncle Harry? It hit him right in the eye!!!” But next time, when the ravioli hits Aunt Ruth’s fake silk blouse, you’re gonna have to get out the ol’ checkbook — or the debit card if you live in the year 2011 and aren’t my mom. Then, stay clear of that particular restaurant for a good three to six … ah, what am I saying? Never go back. Sure they have delicious bread sticks, but are they worth it?
10. The Problem: Crying in a movie theater
How to Handle: You know why your baby is crying in a movie theater? Because you brought her to a movie theater! I don’t care what your excuse is: “This is the first time she ever woke up!” “She’s never made any sound before!” “I was forced by gunpoint to bring her to The Faster and The Furiouser.” Hey, we all make stupid mistakes — perhaps not as stupid as bringing your baby to a theater — but unthinking all the same. So do yourself and everyone else a favor: LEAVE IMMEDIATELY, get a Netflix account, and watch any movie in the comfort of your own home. It works. Believe me. And I’m not saying that just because I bought Netflix stock.