A short while back, a friend and I were at Chik-fil-A for an evening out. Once in a while, when our law student hubbies are too busy to eat at home, we will go enjoy ourselves while the kids play. Chick-fil-a is where the responsible moms eat. The food is relatively healthy and the playland is safe, but most of all, it is CLEAN.
My friend and I were delightfully surprised when three other women from our church walked in. These women consisted of a single 19 year old, a pregnant 22 year old, and a 25 year old new mother. The new mother had the baby with her. We all delightfully exchanged hellos and chatted about the weather and other trivial girl things (like where the best places are to shop).
I was obviouslly the most experienced mother in the bunch. After I gathered up my three little monkies, I overheard a disturbing conversation. It went something like this:
“Do you know that girl that just had the baby?”
“I can’t believe her…her baby was only three weeks old and she had her bottle propped.”
For those of you that don’t know what bottle propping is, see the picture above. The picture shows my FIRST child, Abigail, at 9 months old, enjoying her bottle, even when it was propped.
Now, you may not see the humor in this story, but I found the judgemental comment hilarious. The reason: the woman that “propped” her child, was not a FIRST time mom. The infant that had the bottle propped was her second child. All of these other women in my company: first time moms. They had no idea how many times I have propped a kid with a bottle. (Trust me, it gets more common with the more children that you have)
So, I butted my way into the conversation with,”Don’t talk to me about that, I am a firm believer in propping.” I swear you would have paid money to see the shock in their faces. One chimed up,”Oh, but not when they are so little.” I said, “I don’t know about that. Why does it matter, they are getting fed?”
The responses: “They can choke.” “All the magazines say.” “It is my bonding time.” “They need to look you in the face, it helps their development.”
At this point, I zipped my lips. (I know, it’s a rare occasion.) What I wanted to say is this,”My FIRST child was propped all of the time, and I will bet money on the fact that she will be SMARTER than any of your children. She never choked. We still bonded. And, the people who write the magazines DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN. If they had children, than they would know that you can’t write a magazine telling other people how to parent. Every single child I have ever met has different preferences. Two of my kids were happier to be propped. Come and talk to me when you get a few more kids.”
And by the way, I had a bottle until I was seven, and according to the magazines, I would be a woman with screwed up teeth and a speech impedement. Well, my only speech impedement is I usually don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. And trust me when I say, I never had braces and my teeth are just fine. Maybe if I still had a bottle I would be more succesful with keeping my mouth shut!