Abby and I got adventurous and traveled to Panera for supper the other night all by ourselves. It was our first Mommy & daughter treat where we both got to eat. Up until this point, it has always been me going through the drive through at my fav coffee spot with Abby captive in the back seat. She's never gotten so much as a chocolate covered espresso bean on those trips. But, can you visualize what that would be like assuming she could eat it and not choke on it? Amusing image.
At any rate, Abby and I grabbed a sandwich on the way to a brief jaunt at our favorite park. (Abby loves the swings and basically everything else.) I planned in advance, got all her stuff ready, had a game plan about how this would go down by myself with her in tow plus all of our stuff once we got there, how I would pay for my food while juggling her, everything thought out. All good. And, as it turns out, the Panera wasn't even that busy, so I didn't have to juggle our stuff around people once we got there.
Abby is essentially a people person insofar as she likes looking intently at people, occasionally talking with them or gesturing to them, when we are in public. Really, she's never rude towards anyone. And I've found that when you have such a polite little lady with you, people like to stop you so that they can talk with her. Normally, this is fine; when we are trying to eat our dinner, this causes a problem.
What is it about babies that people think that they can come up to you and start messing while your child when they are taking a bottle? (This happened at church.) It's not like people don't have children themselves and don't know that babies are easily distracted and thus less likely to take a bottle when someone comes up to them and wants to get in a baby's face. This truly annoys me, especially when I am careful to find a secluded spot.
What is it about babies that makes people ask them questions? I'm not talking about me or Ben or our family members who generally know Abby and are just talking with her as anyone should with a child. I'm talking about the cashier at a store that basically makes you stop when you're trying to leave so that they can lean over their cash register and barrage your child with uber pointless questions. "Are you sitting there like a big girl? Do you have the biggest little eyes? [a contradiction that you notice as well, I'm sure] Are you helping your mama shop?" For the record, I don't know why, but I don't like being referred to as "mama," which I find people do more often than not when they're "talking" to Abby about me. Why is that?
What is it about babies that when you finagle your way to a sunny 2-person table in a relatively quiet section of Panera with baby in tow and no husband to help, that the couple sitting at the neighboring table have a prolonged conversation about your child with no attempt to a) include you in the conversation or b) talk quietly? A lot bit weird, I think. Really, I don' t sit with Ben and pointedly talk about you who sits beside me sans baby. What is it about a baby that makes people think that social conventions are optional? It made me rather uncomfortable to have this conversation going on, especially because it was super obvious that they were watching everything that I was doing with Abby and I had no one to talk with except Abby to try to drown out their conversation.
Lesson learned. I can go for the easily accessible table that just happens to be close by one other table of people or we can wend our way to the other side of Panera in hopes of finding a super secluded corner. I wish that it is socially acceptable for me to turn to our Chatty Cathy neighbor and tell her that she is being a creeper. Despite this, it was an unber successful solo flight with the daughter...totally fun.