Are strangers more concerned with Cool Baby’s welfare than we are?

A common occurrence since we moved here:

  1. We are innocently enjoying the city with our son in his stroller.
  2. A stranger points out some way that we’re not holding / protecting / paying attention to our son.
  3. We feel both annoyed and guilty at said stranger’s suggestion.

It happens to all parents, but it doesn’t make it any less troublesome for us. We’re probably not justified in feeling annoyed at the stranger. They could be the type to butt in to other people’s business… But they usually have a point.

Some examples of our less-than-stellar moments of parenting:


We had just finished a 40-minute subway ride to a Target in Brooklyn (there are none in Manhattan). Cool Baby was asleep in his stroller. We emerged from the subway to make the 3-minute walk to the shopping center.

It was chilly outside, and CB wasn’t completely bundled up. We figured that he would be fine for the short walk. Of course, halfway through our stroll, a lady walked by and pointed out that he should be wearing gloves.

Naturally, I responded by ripping my shirt off, exclaiming that we were from Greenland and that these so-called chilly temps were sweltering to our family.

The boy doesn’t like to relive these shameful moments for his ‘rents.


We were waiting at Pier 11 in lower Manhattan to take the ferry to Ikea in Brooklyn (maybe going to Brooklyn too much is our problem). I had the boy in the front baby carrier. When he’s in the carrier, his sleeves and pant legs often get hiked up.

Well, the kind woman in front of us noticed how cute CB was. She was very friendly; I think he flashed a smile at her. She then proceeded to pull his sleeves and pant legs down to cover the boy’s limbs while cooing at him.

Naturally, I responded by jumping in the chilly East River, exclaiming that we Greenlanders love a spontaneous swim.


The sun had gone down, and we were on the ferry back from Ikea. I ran to the upper deck to assess the view. The bright lights of Manhattan were gorgeous. I went down to CM, who was now carrying CB in the carrier, asking if she wanted to see.

She excitedly said yes, and we headed to the stairway. Unfortunately, the caption of the ferry cut us off. He said that it was too cold up top for CB and that he couldn’t allow CM to walk up the stairway with him strapped in. One jolt in the water could’ve been bad news.

Not wanting to be labeled a mutineer, I didn’t argue with the captain on his boat. I mumbled a “Go Greenland” and slumped into my seat.

The ferry and the Upper Deck of Doom

It’s warming up in NYC. I’m excited about spring, and not just for the blooming flowers and beautiful weather. Also for the much fewer opportunities to be pointed out as an irresponsible parent.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the three of us are going night-rollerblading on the Brooklyn Bridge. Woo-hoo!

4 notes on “Are strangers more concerned with Cool Baby’s welfare than we are?

  1. Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect

    I’m not sure if this means New Yorkers are more friendly than I assumed…or less?

    A couple weeks ago, Annalyn threw a monster of a fit when I picked her up from the babysitter. She proceeded to scream halfway to the grocery store. I was fairly annoyed when we got to the store, because oh yeah, this was about Day 12 of the throwing a fit when I pick her up trend. So even though it was a bit chilly, I didn’t zip her coat and force her shoes on her feet. I believe I dropped her into the shopping cart and said something loving like, “You’d better be good.”

    And of course (of course!), as we walked into the store, I paused to let someone come out. And that nice lady said, “Oh no! You come on in – it’s cold out there!”

    She may not have stared at my daughter’s socked, but not shoed, feet at that point. But she wanted to. I just know it.

  2. cool dad

    I wonder if we’ll be the same way in a few years. This will be my chance to take out my frustrations on some unsuspecting, innocent new parents!


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