Lady threatened to call police on me for babywearing! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am in utter shock. I took my five year old and 2 1/2 year old to the mall by bus.. after leaving the mall, we stood at the bus stop on a VERY busy road and waited for the bus. I kept reminding the little one that he needed to sit on the grass or hold my hand because of the danger of the traffic but finally decided to put him on our BOBA 3G.. he weighs 31 pounds now and generally gets through an outing without needing a ride but he was exhausted. No fussing from him whatsoever, he was asleep in literally 2 minutes.

 

We boarded the bus and I used the hood so his head wasn't flopping around.. after a few minutes, a woman came up to me and peered very closely at him and said rudely, "I sure hope he can breathe in that thing!!!" so said, "Oh! He definitely can, don't worry.. he has been using it since he was a tiny baby."

 

She totally went off on me then! She said she was going to call the police on me! That's a new one. I asked her exactly what I was doing wrong and she said I was trying to suffocate my child and I was verbally abusing him at the bus stop. I explained that babywearing is normal and half the world does it and in fact, the boba is made by a company based in Colorado (where we are) and that I was not verbally abusing him.. I WAS using a stern voice with him saying, "You need to hold mama's hand right now or sit in the grass."

 

She got her phone how to call the police, I guess, and tried to engage the people around us about how horrible a mother I am but everyone ignored her and she didn't call the police. 

 

I have had 100s of positive comments about babywearing and truthfully, a few concerns like, mostly "He is so big! How can u carry him" or "Are you sure he isn't too hot?" but nothing like this.. I find it amusing but sad. She said she has NEVER seen anyone carry a baby on their back before.

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#2 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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Wow! I'm speechless.
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#3 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 07:36 PM
 
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Ah, you know what they say... There is always one crazy person on the bus, and if you don't notice one it might be you! wink1.gif in this case, it sounds like it was the anti-baby-wearing-police-lady.

Seriously though, I have encountered many strange people on the bus in my several decades of bus commuting. One man engaged my husband in conversation swearing that he was a shape shifter. I also met one guy who told us all about his girlfriend stabbing him in the neck when waiting for the bus (which I remembered from our local news). Then there was the young woman who went around violently accusing people of picking their boogers and eating them. I really wouldn't take this anti-baby-wearing woman personally.
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#4 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tinuviel! You are sooo right haha. It's true there are a lot of unstable people on the buses.. A couple months ago I was on the bus when a lady accused a man of being a pedophile because he (an elderly man) took the only seat available (next to her 3 year old son)... the language she used was absolutely horrible, and the old man did NOTHING (he was sitting on the side seats right in front of me) this lady continued to insult him and curse and yell while her son was in her lap.. I had my kids with me and finally said, "Ma'am, your son is safe, you admitted he didn't even TOUCH your son, can you please stop using that language? You're scaring my kids." I need to learn to mind my own business because I swear she tried to get up and fight me.

 

Sad that the woman today had never seen a baby carried on the back and it concerned her enough that she thought I needed to be arrested for child abuse! I try to be a good ambassador for babywearing and did try to engage her.. oh well :)
 

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#5 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 08:13 PM
 
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What an idiot.
 

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#6 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 08:19 PM
 
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A friend of mine calls it the "suffer bus" for good reason. There's always odd folks riding the bus, which can be either entertaining or painful. One time I was sitting alone when a woman who looked like she could be the scary witch who gives the poison apple to Snow White came onto the bus and sat next to me. She had plenty of seats to choose from but she chose the one next to me for some unfortunate reason. She leaned on me for the rest of the trip. I tried to move so she would, too, but it didnt work. I also was a little scared of her so i didnt say anything. A little boy stared at her with his mouth hanging open the whole time, he probably thought she was a witch lol.

That was obnoxious of that woman, OP. To assume you're a chid abuser shows how ignorant she was. My heart would be racing after an encounter like that, though, even if she was being ridiculous. Its scary having to deal with someone threatening you with the police and calling you a bad parent, even if the person is being ridiculous. Hopefully you wont have to deal with any nonsense like that again.
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#7 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 09:31 PM
 
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Sorry you had to go through this.  I had this happen 3 times back in the early '90's and found it most disturbing.  Shocking it still happens in 2013!
 

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#8 of 29 Old 05-23-2013, 10:48 PM
 
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That is mental illness. Yikes!
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#9 of 29 Old 05-24-2013, 12:52 PM
 
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Sounds like you handled it as best you could. Clearly this woman was off her rocker. 


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#10 of 29 Old 05-25-2013, 11:51 AM
 
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I wouldve told her, go ahead... Call the police. Id like to report you for harassment. smile.gif
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#11 of 29 Old 05-26-2013, 06:19 PM
 
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Unfortunately it's not just the bus - there are just as many weirdos in cars/planes/trucks/ferries/trains/etc.  At least she wasn't driving.  Very sorry to hear you had this encounter, and it sounds like you handled it well.  Whether this person was mentally ill or simply a self-righteous busybody, there's no changing their mind.  Brava for staying classy and positive and not letting her get the better of you.

Hugs,

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#12 of 29 Old 05-26-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was honestly very upset by this encounter. I have never had a stranger question my parenting before and I guess I've been lucky til now! I told a few friends about it and heard some very interesting tales about strangers and judgement. I went over the events in my mind and I think she honestly thought I was putting him in the baby carrier as punishment or something and perhaps didn't realize he actually fell asleep in it. I recall her glaring at me when I was telling my son not to go into in the road and I did say to him if he didn't want to sit on the grass I would put him in the baby carrier. He fell asleep so quickly that I guess I can see how she might think something was wrong- if she was unfamiliar with exhausted children and baby carrying? 

 

She may have been a complete nutter but hopefully she (or someone on the bus) learned something positive about babywearing? 

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#13 of 29 Old 05-26-2013, 08:17 PM
 
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Yep, sounds like she was having a hard time dealing with her own stuff...whatever that was. It had very little to do with you.

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#14 of 29 Old 05-26-2013, 08:57 PM
 
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A lunatic, that's all...
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#15 of 29 Old 05-26-2013, 09:20 PM
 
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Must be a lunatic.  

 

I've gotten so many compliments when I'm at the store with my girl in the Baby K'Tan.  My mother, whenever she catches me babywearing, has to take a photo of it and send it to her friends.  (Babywearing is a new concept to her, but a concept she loves).

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#16 of 29 Old 05-30-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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I had this same thing happen to me at a college bookstore by an employee! She accused me of suffocating my daughter who was sleeping in a moby wrap at the time! I later called the manager and had her fired. Turns out she made it her business to tell young mothers what she thought about everything. Management said that they had numerous complaints from pregnant women as well because she would feel inclined to lecture them at length especially if she felt she had an audience! I also had a similar experience at Walmart (where crazy people congregate) where a woman accused me of verbally abusing my daughter simply because I told her no sternly. Some people are simply not fit for social interaction. Sorry this happened to you! To up the ante I was reported to CPS and investigated for extended breastfeeding!
 

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#17 of 29 Old 06-01-2013, 07:20 AM
 
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one time, in the line at the grocery store, a woman tried told me that my baby could not breathe in his sling, and grabbed the fabric and tried to move it away from his head!  i screeched, "AHHH dont touch me!" and slapped her hand.  not my finest moment, but looking back its kind of funny to me.  i had only ever gotten positive comments before that. 

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#18 of 29 Old 06-01-2013, 10:32 AM
 
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I've gotten lots of, " are you sure she can breathe in there?!" comments from people who are over 50, in the US. But no one has been so unhinged about it. I did get one older lady tell me how she used a wrap in the 70's and people thought she was nuts, but she loved it and was glad to see young moms using them smile.gif

I also get a fair number of, "gee I wish they had those when my babies were little" Those are much nicer. I hope you get more like that!

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#19 of 29 Old 06-02-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lrj85 View Post

I had this same thing happen to me at a college bookstore by an employee! She accused me of suffocating my daughter who was sleeping in a moby wrap at the time! I later called the manager and had her fired. Turns out she made it her business to tell young mothers what she thought about everything. Management said that they had numerous complaints from pregnant women as well because she would feel inclined to lecture them at length especially if she felt she had an audience! I also had a similar experience at Walmart (where crazy people congregate) where a woman accused me of verbally abusing my daughter simply because I told her no sternly. Some people are simply not fit for social interaction. Sorry this happened to you! To up the ante I was reported to CPS and investigated for extended breastfeeding!
 

 

What a crazy woman! The walmart thing cracked me up- I have seen so many mothers DRAGGING their children in supermarkets/walmart/the zoo or literally CURSING and yelling at their small children. I was surprised at this woman too, thinking I was verbally abusing my toddler for keeping him out of the road.

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#20 of 29 Old 06-02-2013, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've gotten lots of, " are you sure she can breathe in there?!" comments from people who are over 50, in the US. But no one has been so unhinged about it. I did get one older lady tell me how she used a wrap in the 70's and people thought she was nuts, but she loved it and was glad to see young moms using them smile.gif

I also get a fair number of, "gee I wish they had those when my babies were little" Those are much nicer. I hope you get more like that!

 

Hopefully babywearing will become more mainstream. I see a lot of those baby bjorns and stuff for tiny babies but it seems like people just don't know there are options to continuing past the first few months. I was at a big street fair (People's Fair in Denver!) yesterday and spent a good 7 hours there.. only saw one other babywearing mama.

 

I get a lot of positive comments, especially the "I wish they had those when my babies were little" pretty much everyday, so I shouldn't have been so upset by this lady. I was more shocked than anything.

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#21 of 29 Old 06-02-2013, 01:28 PM
 
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These things happen from time to time.  

I often got threatened with cps or police trigger happy people when my 3yo wouldnt put on his coat in winter. (hes now 5 and doesnt mind his coat) Once i was literally stopped in my tracks by these two women who claimed to be something or other, laid their hands on my stroller and wouldnt let me pass (because i had raised my  voice at that same, then 2yo, who kept throwing his coat out of the stroller-he had a thing with coats i guess) I threatened to call the police on them, and kids started crying...

 

As irritating as it is, there are  people out there with nothing better to do, than to invent hysteric tales in their minds, and particularly aim their wrath at  mothers of young children. Once thing i miss about my prechild days, is that privacy most people have but mothers of young children do not, because young children attract attention. I have had to perfect the art of polite retort to the cascade of comments both positive and negative from random strangers.

 

On a positive note, i have discovered most people are good and caring people. They will lend a hand if needed, or simply say 'bless your beautiful children', or tell you you are supermom because you are baby wearing. Many people compliment me when they see  me baby wearing, especially when i doned my babywearing coat in winter. Same for breastfeeding.

 

Im sorry you had to endure this....it is really scary

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#22 of 29 Old 06-02-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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ps. yes the 'baby cant breathe' thing.... in that situaton, i  just explain that the baby can breathe...maybe they cant see the baby's face, but threatening the call the police makes it hysterical

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#23 of 29 Old 07-02-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Wow, I rode the bus on a daily basis when DH and I were first starting out, and I never had to deal with crazy people like that. I don't know if that makes me lucky, or unlucky since my rides were so boring! :P I remember once when I was pregnant with my first, I was on my way home from work and I had a wave of "morning" sickness so bad that I had to jump up and get off at the next stop, then puke all in the grass. I thought that made *me* the weird lady on the bus, LOL.

I have had people make doubtful comments about babywearing, about whether the baby could breathe, or was too hot, or was comfortable. Every time, right when I said of course the baby likes it, that's when my son or daughter would start crying. Every. Time. Ha! But I also got good comments. When I had my first baby in a structured carrier at church, I remember an older lady telling me how glad she was to see me using a carrier because so many young mothers today don't know how to carry their babies properly! LOL. I thought it was hilarious at the time, but now I've learned to empathize with her position, because I've seen too many little babies being sort of flung around, no head support or anything! Just the other day I saw a woman with a little baby just draped over one arm, his head and limps flopping around, and I couldn't help thinking he'd be better off in a sling or a carrier of some kind.

The funniest reaction I ever got was when I had my newborn daughter in a ring sling when I went up to the hospital to do some paperwork. The parking attendant apparently thought my sling was some kind of weird purse, and she was SHOCKED to realize there was a baby in there. I think "flabbergasted" is the most appropriate word. She was really hilarious!
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These things happen from time to time.  
I often got threatened with cps or police trigger happy people when my 3yo wouldnt put on his coat in winter. (hes now 5 and doesnt mind his coat) Once i was literally stopped in my tracks by these two women who claimed to be something or other, laid their hands on my stroller and wouldnt let me pass (because i had raised my  voice at that same, then 2yo, who kept throwing his coat out of the stroller-he had a thing with coats i guess) I threatened to call the police on them, and kids started crying...

What is it with people and coats? I live in a very warm, humid climate. It never gets *really* cold here, and it's not unusual for people to wear short sleeves and sandals even in the winter. "Winter" here is about two months long and we HOPE it freezes at least once to kill the mosquitoes. That doesn't always happen. Snow is a rarity. But certain busybodies still think babies need to be all bundled up like it's 10 degrees outside. And once, when my kids and I were walking to church, a lady stopped her car to ask if we were too poor to buy coats! (Around here, walking instead of driving is seen as a sign of poverty, which is just ridiculous.)

Michelle, wife to DH, and momma to DD16, DS15, DS12, DS10, DD9, DD7, DS5, and baby girl born Christmas Eve 2013!
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#24 of 29 Old 07-03-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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Dear mama Sunshine Rocket

I'm SO sorry you had to go through that ordeal.  Extremely shocking! She must be insane! I was carrying my then newborn once at was trying to put him in a baby carrier at the bus stop and so many people offered to help (It was an ergo and a bit difficult to figure out with one hand!).  I've only ever received positive comments, which is why her reaction seems so totally odd to me.

 

I'm utterly gobsmacked, especially after reading that it's happened to other people above. strange strange world!

 

Good luck and keep baby wearing!!

 

Sincerely

 

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#25 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 07:29 AM
 
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#26 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 07:31 AM
 
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What is it with people and coats? I live in a very warm, humid climate. It never gets *really* cold here, and it's not unusual for people to wear short sleeves and sandals even in the winter. "Winter" here is about two months long and we HOPE it freezes at least once to kill the mosquitoes.
Ha ha!!
That doesn't always happen. Snow is a rarity. But certain busybodies still think babies need to be all bundled up like it's 10 degrees outside. And once, when my kids and I were walking to church, a lady stopped her car to ask if we were too poor to buy coats! (Around here, walking instead of driving is seen as a sign of poverty, which is just ridiculous.)
Those are the funniest. Ive had a woman think we were too poor to buy a blue coat for my son, since he was wearing a pink one....
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#27 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 12:09 PM
 
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She had never seen baby wearing before? It's 2013, does she live under a rock?! What a nut job.
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#28 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 09:10 PM
 
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I had this same thing happen to me at a college bookstore by an employee! She accused me of suffocating my daughter who was sleeping in a moby wrap at the time! I later called the manager and had her fired. Turns out she made it her business to tell young mothers what she thought about everything. Management said that they had numerous complaints from pregnant women as well because she would feel inclined to lecture them at length especially if she felt she had an audience! I also had a similar experience at Walmart (where crazy people congregate) where a woman accused me of verbally abusing my daughter simply because I told her no sternly. Some people are simply not fit for social interaction. Sorry this happened to you! To up the ante I was reported to CPS and investigated for extended breastfeeding!

 
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#29 of 29 Old 07-04-2013, 09:11 PM
 
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oh heavens, that had to be awful!
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