Twice now when I’ve gone to Kohl’s, I’ve overheard caregivers saying unfortunate things to their little ones. It makes me sad. First, there was this exchange:

Little girl in stroller: I want that one.

Caregiver, probably grandma: No you don’t. That’s a boy toy. You are a girl!

Oh, I felt so sorry for that little girl. I’m sure it wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last time she’s pushed back into her little pink box. I’m pretty sure I was carrying around Alexis in her black pirate’s booty onesie that day– the one that’s gotten her mistaken for a boy and called a “ladykiller” in the past. Around here, we love pink and pirates and dolls and cars.

My Little Pirate and her Kitten

My little pirate and her kitten.

Today, I was back at Kohl’s looking for a swimsuit, before they all disappear to make way for fall clothes. Another woman, I’m guessing a mama, was also looking through the racks of suits. She had a little one in a stroller next to her, who was babbling about as coherently as my baby does. As she kept looking, baby started to get fussy and unhappy. To which she responded: “What? What?! WHAT?” That was pretty much all she said to the kid, in increasingly angry tones. After awhile, she changed it up, with “Where IS your pacifier?!” Shut up baby, you’re annoying.

I don’t know. I know I’m not up for any mother-of-the-year awards myself. And I know that when you’ve got to get something done and your baby wants to do something else, it can be frustrating. I get that. But even so, I couldn’t imagine talking to my baby quite like that. It just wasn’t nice, and my heart hurt a little bit for that little one. I hope I just caught his mama on her worst day.

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2 Responses to Overheard

  1. Sarah R. says:

    I feel like I hear variations of that first exchange ALL THE TIME, and it is just so heartbreaking/infuriating/puzzling. And it makes me wish I had this little graphic printed on cards to hand out: http://jezebel.com/how-to-tell-if-a-toy-is-for-boys-or-for-girls-494034840

    (Love the pirate onesie, by the way!)

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