To the Baby-Haters
We packed our bag carefully, overfilling it with supplies. Diapers, pacis, bottles, bibs, and blankets.
I tied up the Moby before we got in the car so that I wouldn’t have to be fiddling with it once we arrived.
We parked, grabbed our gear and our baby, and went inside.
After a little shifting and bouncing, Hayden was fast asleep on my front, snuggled up with his paci, and I was taking a sip of my first margarita. Scott and I did a quick little “cheers” and ordered our entrees.
It was our first night out to dinner. With our baby. AND HE WASN’T CRYING.
We had a great time, and even though Hayden woke up before we got the check the evening was a complete success. We were mentally high-fiveing each other, but underneath our excitement and pride we were annoyed. No, more like insulted.
Nobody had commented on our baby.
THE cutest baby in Los Angeles (duh).
Nobody had even looked at our baby. It was like he wasn’t even there.
As Hayden grew (cuter and cuter, duh) and we experienced more and more baby avoidance, we coined the term Baby-Haters.
Despite boasting the highest number of forty-something-pregnancies and a new indoor playground on every corner, Los Angeles is a city of Baby-Haters.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Other people’s kids often annoy the heck out of me. Perhaps since I try my hardest not to let my child ruin someone else’s dining experience? Because my child is not running around like a wild animal? I am more judgmental of other parents AND their kids.
But I am also quick to notice kids who are not ruining dinner for everyone. I notice their rosy cheeks. Their chubby little toes. Their laughter and the way they shovel food in like it’s their last meal. I smile at these kids and their parents, as if to say, “Hey, cute kid! Nice work!”
So when we take our most awesome baby out and nobody even looks at him? Doesn’t even notice
our his awesomeness?
We get insulted.
Because kids are not supposed to be locked inside.
They learn from their surroundings and from the interactions they have with grownups.
And you know what, Baby-Haters?
You were a kid once. Somebody had to feed you and entertain you and smear cream on your hiney and then teach you to dress yourself and keep you in line and watch you get your feelings hurt and hold you when you were sick and laugh when you were so funny it hurt.
And I hope that nobody was annoyed when your parents took you out in public.