Little Dude is almost two months old now, and life is starting to take on some sense of (new) normalcy. Now that he’s developed something along the lines of a routine – as well as the beginnings of an immune system – one of my favorite things to do is to wear my son around the neighborhood. (I can’t wait to take him to his first wine tasting.)
Along with the opportunity for bonding that this provides – and the bonus calories burned – I’ll admit it attracts a fair amount of attention, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. What’s really amazing is how many times I’ve been asked, “is that a baby in there??”
This reached new heights when I went to pick up the little guy’s birth certificate yesterday; I brought him along in the Ergo – with his head covered as in the photo above to protect him from the bright California sunshine I had encountered on the way in.
So there I am, waiting for our number to be called (picture us at your local DMV, for reference), swaying back and forth to keep Micah calm – when a woman takes a seat a few feet away, staring at us shamelessly. (I’ll call her “trashy” for lack of a better term – she had that look of a failed, aging porno actress that one encounters primarily in Florida and Southern California [and occasionally New Jersey].) After shooting me her dirty look for what felt like hours, she finally spoke:
“Why do you have a dog in there and you’re treating it like a baby?”
“Um, Ma’am, it is a baby. I’m here to pick up his birth certificate.”
“Yeah, right.” She said. “It’s a dog.”
I paused for a moment at this point to determine if I was hearing her correctly. While strangers have repeatedly demonstrated a shocking lack of inhibition when offering opinions about babies and child-rearing, this is a new one. She was actually going to debate this with me? And even if the child in my baby carrier was in fact a small dog, what business was that of hers?
Biting back all of more obvious (and satisfying) things I might have said to her, I instead took a deep breath and did my best to respond calmly.
“Excuse me, but why would I be standing here in the county office waiting for a birth certificate for my dog?”
“I don’t know,” she said with a look of disgust. “People are weird.”
Yup, I thought. That’s for sure.