You know that’s dangerous, right? I don’t even know if I should put a question mark at the end of this statement because when it is said to me (in the context of my parenting) it does not feel like a question. It becomes more of a passing of judgment about what my son is or isn’t doing. The most recent encounter with this phrase was while waiting for luggage after traveling home during my winter break.
Now, this may be out of line, but as a 32-year-old human who was able to get to the airport and fly across the country and back, I do, in fact, know a little bit about what is and what is not dangerous.
Before I lose focus and this post becomes a rant, I should give you more context…
My husband and I had traveled all morning and afternoon flying back to Milwaukee after time away for the holidays with our son. As we waited for our bags to find us on the luggage carousel my son began to lose patience with the whole process (he is 1.5 years old). He would put his hands on the carousel, I would pull them away. He would try to climb on the carousel, my husband would redirect him. He would try to grab other people’s bags; I would pick him up.
We were all just surviving at this point.
About 10 minutes into this parenting game of tag, an older white man to my left felt it was necessary to say, “You know that’s dangerous right?” as my son again put his hands on the empty carousel. I did not respond, I did not even look at him. I was always taught if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all and the words I wanted to say would not be considered, “nice.”
His “question” prompted a whirlwind of my own questions that I, a little regrettably, kept to myself. For example:
1.Do you not see his father and I hovering above him?
2.Have you not witnessed the last 10 minutes of his parents trying to protect him?
3.Are you REALLY worried for my son’s safety?
4.Why do you feel so emboldened to speak to me?
5.Does this have anything to do with my gender…or my husband’s race?
I didn’t in fact ask any of these questions out loud but kind of wish I would have. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will continue to try and hold my tongue, but I can’t always promise my facial expressions will stay quiet.
Tell me, mamas, what other unwarranted comments make you cringe?