If you're not nice to my baby, I'll take my business elsewhere.
“If someone is nice to your child, you can forgive a lot,” my mother said. Seven months into motherhood, I consider that the ultimate truism.
If Lila and I meet you, this mother’s Jewish eyes may be smiling, but they’ll also be watching you like a hawk. Have you acknowledged Lila, and if so, are you treating her nicely? Those who bend over backward for Lila win my admiration, while those who ill-treat her may earn glares.
During our apartment search in July, the people who showed us around doted on Lila. That was a smart sales move on their part. However, at the fanciest building we visited, our guide ignored Lila. It could be that he was not bewitched by Lila’s big eyes and enchanting smile, or perhaps he doesn’t consider cooing part of his job. Still, this mother noticed, and that became the first of several demerits for his building. We passed on that address.
By contrast, we ended our whirlwind weekend in one of Washington’s tony shopping districts. While we sipped smoothies at the mall, a woman spotted Lila in her stroller and screamed as if she had just seen Justin Bieber. Lila, who already understood enough to know that “cute,” “beautiful,” and “gorgeous” were good words, listened nonchalantly to the woman’s effusive attention. This Mama Bear took note, though. I had never met that woman before, and I still don’t know her, but I already like her.
When we went furniture shopping in September, my opinions about furniture were similarly colored by reactions to my girl. Lila patiently endured visits to 11 specialty and department stores. At one shop, the saleswoman complained I was restricting too many design options because of Lila. Yes, it’s true that Lila won’t always be a baby, but we also have many years of small stature and paint handprints ahead of us. Read the rest of this entry →