So Jax, Em, and I were snubbed yesterday by a clique of bitchy moms. Can you believe it? Who could snub my adorable kids? As improbable as it seems, snubbed we were.
The three of us went down to the green to kill some time before Daddy got home. Shortly after Jax got off the swings, Em decided she needed to eat. There was a group of four moms nearby with their gaggle of children approximately 4-6 years old. One of them had brought her husband along and he and I had chatted it up while we pushed our kids on the swings. Maybe that’s what set these ladies off–I was being friendly with her husband in a we’re-standing-next-to-each-other-while-pushing-our-kids-on-the-swings kind of way. It’s super awkward to stand next to someone and not speak to them; at least, I think so. So I sat down on a nearby bench, discreetly began feeding Em under a blanket (no Hooter Hider because it was so darn humid), when Jax decided to brave the jungle gym. This is not a particularly treacherous jungle gym, and Jax and I have played on it countless times, but it’s not the kind of j.g. I would trust him to manuever alone. Lots of places to fall off and big fast slides. So I tried to cajole Jax back to me with no success. Up and up he climbed over to the slide on the other side of the j.g. where I couldn’t see him. I knew he was going to slide down it, and I also know that with his Crocs on he was likely to put his feet down and get stuck, causing him to flip over. So I covered Em, still attached mind you, and hussled over to guide him down the slide and then over to a more appropriate play area. Not my most graceful moment, but there was no wardrobe malfunction and this a playground in Vermont. If a mom can’t breastfeed here, where can she?
Apparently, to this group of moms, I was breaking some kind of rule. They definitely began talking about me in hushed tones and I know I was blushing. Then they started calling their kids away from the j.g. like I was doing something terrible and they needed to protect their children’s innocent eyes from the women who was feeding her daughter under a blanket. I heard one of them say something like, “Well, she is covered up,” to which her friend replied, “I know. That’s why I’m not yelling at her.” What?? Yelling at me? For what? Feeding my kid? The frustrating part is that they all had more than one kid and one of them even had an infant (who was in feety pajamas and a swaddle even though it was a zillion degrees. And I’m the bad parent here?). You’d think they’d be more empathetic. Wrong.
It gets worse. Em finishes eating, I plop her on my shoulder and continue to supervise Jax, who has returned to the j.g. Suprisingly, one of the moms says to me, “His shorts are really cute.” To which I happily reply (because I’m a people pleaser), “Oh, thanks. They were a gift. I think they’re from Target.” I was happy one of them was being pleasant. But then her friend, in a totally normal voice that I could completely hear said, “God, you’ll talk to anybody, won’t you?” What?? Am I trash or something? I didn’t look terrible and wasn’t smoking a cigarette while taking swigs from my flask or anything. Why did they hate me? For breastfeeding in public? It’s the only thing I could think of.
Then came the very worst part. One of their boys was playing on the j.g. and the mom yelled at him to get down. When he did, she said to him, “I told you not to play up there. Somebody peed up there and it’s not clean.” WHAT?? You have been watching my adorable little boy in his super cute shorts climb all over the just-peed-on jungle gym and you didn’t say something?? You just let him wallow in pee?? I was so horrified and angry. I thought there was some kind of motherly code that made us all look out for each other and smile and share cookie recipes while supervising our kids at the playground. I would never sacrifice one of their kids to an unsanitary pee situation. If the odds hadn’t been 4:1, with them already showing they were willing to go below the belt, I would have spoken up. Instead I moved to the other side of the playground and tried to melt them with my angry glare of hatred. There was another mom there and I told her about the pee. Because why would I want her kids to get peed on by association? No one wants that for anyone’s kids.
Thankfully, they left to go to the library (oh great, now I can start looking over my shoulder for them there, too) and the mom whose daughter peed on the j.g. came back to clean it up. But too late for little Jax!! Poor little guy. Now I don’t even remember if Daddy washed his hands before dinner. That makes it even worse.