I get it. You went out to eat pizza and have a few beers with your significant other. You may or may not have noticed when you sat down that there was a baby in the booth right behind yours. You may or may not have heard her while she was making soft happy-baby coos, the music was rather loud making it hard to hear.
I know you heard when she started to cry, hardly giving me two minutes to soothe her before you twisted around and told me to, “Get the baby out of here thank you very much.”
I’m pretty sure you didn’t hear that we had asked the server for our check just a moment before your unsolicited commentary. Like I said earlier, the music was loud enough to make it difficult to hear people talk.
Honestly, I considered lingering for a moment or two just out of spite. Instead, I got up and walked outside while my husband settled the bill. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t walk out for your benefit, but for my baby’s. She needed somewhere quieter and calmer to be soothed.
I considered walking back inside to talk to you in full mama bear mode. To tell you how not-okay that was. To call you not-so-nice-names. To give malice-for-malice.
By this point, my baby was calm and happy again, and my anger was dying down and being replaced by embarrassment. I wanted to go back in there and show you that she is usually a happy baby. Maybe even guilt you for your harsh words. Then again, should it even matter if my baby is usually happy?
I wanted to explain to you how rare it was that I get out of the house now, especially in a spit-up/drool-free shirt.
I wanted you and your perfectly done red lips and winged-eyeliner to know how I didn’t have time or energy to put on makeup today (or any day in the past several months). Sometimes just getting a daily shower in is a huge accomplishment.
I wanted you to feel guilty for shaming me for doing something other than work or staying at home with the baby. You, yourself, could have gone to a different place where children were not allowed, moved tables or had a little patience.
But I didn’t, for my baby.
I told my husband that it was probably a good thing he walked out when he did because I was close to walking back in and causing a scene. He even offered to hold our baby to let me do so, and I was tempted.
I knew if I did, however, I wouldn’t be able to get out what I wanted to say through tears of anger and embarrassment. I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to say to you at that point. Sitting here now, typing this up, a part of me still regrets walking away.
A bigger part of me believes that lashing out at you emotionally last night would not have made me feel any better. The one thing I have promised myself to do better the next time I encounter a situation like the one you put me in is to be quicker to stand up for myself.
You may not have thought so, but I deserved to be there just as much as you did. And so did my baby.