The pop made us all jump a little bit and then I watched in momentary fascination as a champagne cork bounced onto our table. Then my first instinct was the check my daughter to see if she had been hit, even going so far as to run my hand over her head to see if, impractically, there was a bump or something that would turn into a knot. I flashed a quick look at the giggling group of adults at the lounging table nearby. The woman holding the champagne bottle smiled and sort of shrugged at me, and I felt as if she were saying, “Your fault for bringing a baby here.”
OK, so maybe the look was all in my head but I frequently feel like that. In the airport, in restaurants, etc. People look at you as if to say, “How dare you bring your spawn out in public. It’s your fault if you have issues.”
Take last summer for instance. When we were leaving the Cayman Islands to come home, it was pouring rain as we waited in the terminal. My Vulcan nose told me immediately that Bizzy needed a change and now! However, the terminal bathrooms were under renovation and unusable. If passengers had to use the bathroom, they had to be escorted outside (like, OUTSIDE outside) the terminal to a bathroom round the corner by a gate agent. I was NOT taking my six-month-old baby out into the pouring rain to a bathroom that most likely didn’t have a baby changing station anyway. So we struggled through the crowded terminal to find a corner in which to change my poor little girl, who wailed this affront against her dignity in public. along with people who glared at me like the world’s biggest inconvenience when I politely said “excuse me” to get by their feet with Elizabeth’s stroller(how dare I exist and have that ponderous contraption and screeching little body to push). After the second request, they would grudgingly move. Needless to say, I was nearly in tears before we ever left the ground. And people wonder why I hate traveling.
There are many places and people who are incredibly accommodating to parents and small children and, for them, I am extremely thankful. But it’s still hard when people look at me as if I committed the gravest sin of hubris by daring to procreate and then bring her out in public.