Remember that scene in Harry Potter when Hagrid first takes Harry to Daiagon Alley? Harry was bombarded with unusual sights and sounds. People would come up to him and ask him questions that didn’t seem to make sense. It was a new world for young Harry. Well, sometimes I feel like having a child is like that. Like somehow just holding a baby in public unlocks a mysterious society you never knew existed. One where people come up to you and say things that make you wonder if they’re from a different place.
Case in point:
Stranger (with a toddler): “How old is your son?”
Me: “Four months, how about yours?”
Stranger: “Almost 23 months.”
Me: *blinks* “Almost 23 months?”
Stranger: “Yep, they grow up so quick.”
Me: “Yeah yeah, real quick. Can we get back to the fact that you just said ‘23 months’ instead of ‘almost two’ like a normal person would say?”
Stranger: “But he’s not almost two, he’s almost 23 months.”
Me: “Uh huh.” Points to door. “Get out.”
The next time someone says that to me I think I’ll say, “My son is four months old, and before you ask, I’m 384 months old.” Okay, I know it’s “normal” to use months until a child is two, but it does not feel “normal” at all. In the first year, sure, use months, but after that … c’mon, really?
I can hear your voices echoing out from cyberspace: “Steve, you’re a newbie at this whole parenting thing. It’s not weird at all. You’re the one who’s weird for thinking it weird.”
Fine – what about this:
Friend: “Your son is so cute, and so alert for four months, does he make strange yet?”
Me: “Make strange what?”
Friend: “Haha, funny. Seriously though, does he?”
Me: *furrowed brow* “Does he make strange?”
Me: “The only thing my son makes are dirty diapers. Is English your second language?”
Make strange? Imagine my surprise when Google schooled me in the fact that it’s a real thing. Who makes up these terms? Was, “Is he afraid of strangers yet?” too long a sentence that they had to change it to, “Does he make strange yet?”
To you parents out there: Did you have any of these moments when you had your children? Are there others I need to be prepared for?