I get so angry when people ask me this! RANT - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-05-2009, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We live in Hawaii and I take my toddler to the beach once a week. I practically dunk her in Nature's Gate SPF 50 waterproof sunblock and we only stay out in the sun for half an hour to an hour with a big floppy sun hat.

EVERY TIME we go, someone (it is ALWAYS someone without kids with them) always says to me very rudely and condescendingly "is that baby wearing any sunblock?!"

The first time someone did it, I was just shocked that they would be so rude. I said "yes" nervously and got a very rude "well, I guess it's okay then" very condescendingly as if I must be a moron and require their okay on the matter. The second time I said yes, the woman just nodded and walked off in a huff.

Now every time I hear it, I just want to scream "YOU KNOW WHAT?!! I think I have a LOT MORE invested in the safety of my child than YOU do! I don't need a complete stranger to tell me how to parent my child, thanks!"

WHY does it make me so angry? It just seems like these people think they know better than all mothers and have to start some kind of a fight. I realize sunblock is important, but it's really none of their business. All they are going to do is irritate people. It's not going to make a mother snatch up her child and run to the store lickety-split for some sunblock.

*sigh* Thanks for listening to my most recent psychosis. I just needed to get that out before I explode.

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Old 10-05-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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You should start saying "Nope, but we covered her in Crisco so she'll get nice and crispy" just to see what kind of reaction you get.

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Old 10-05-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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How frustrating!!

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Old 10-05-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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Oh good grief . I'd be so tempted to say something like "oh no, we like the baby to get a little color, baby tans are so IN these days" .

I really would NOT justify these people with a serious answer. Laugh it off with something completely silly as a response.

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Old 10-05-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Crystal_R View Post
You should start saying "Nope, but we covered her in Crisco so she'll get nice and crispy" just to see what kind of reaction you get.
Ack! I was going to say Crisco too . GMTA.

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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I'm sorry! How frustrating! People can be SO judgmental... about such a wide variety of things.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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Stare at them for a moment then turn away and continue with whatever you were doing before they were so nosey. You don't answer to them!

Sorry people are being so crummy!

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Old 10-05-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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DS is a fair skinned blonde boy through the winter. However, he has his dad's Cherokee blood in him and gets the most amazingly beautiful tan - through the SPF 50 sunscreen! I can totally sympathize with you, you wouldn't believe the comments I've gotten about letting this fair child of mine get so exposed to the sun! Most of the time I don't even bother with an answer anymore. I have to agree it IS very annoying!
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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WHY do people always ask that? for crying out loud in the rain people! mind your own business!

i always say "NOPE!", very cheerily and with a big smile! they are usually so shocked at my sweet answer to their condescending question, they get all flustered and then either walk away or fumble to change the subject. SO hilarious!

we don't use sunscreen, for a plethora of reasons. i get super annoyed when people ask, but hey, at least they've never asked if i used wipes to clean my baby's butt after i changed his/her diaper! geesh!
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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Want to be even angrier? I took my baby out half-naked practically all summer and only got asked where her hat was like 5 times and I was never asked about sunblock.

Is beach sun, with a hat and shade, magically stronger than other sun? Or do people just only think of sunblock when they're wearing it themselves?
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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My suggestion?

"Vitamin D? Ever hear of it? M. Y. O. B. and S. T. F. U."
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:19 AM
 
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Want to be even angrier? I took my baby out half-naked practically all summer and only got asked where her hat was like 5 times and I was never asked about sunblock.

Is beach sun, with a hat and shade, magically stronger than other sun? Or do people just only think of sunblock when they're wearing it themselves?

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Old 10-06-2009, 12:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post
Oh good grief . I'd be so tempted to say something like "oh no, we like the baby to get a little color, baby tans are so IN these days" .

I really would NOT justify these people with a serious answer. Laugh it off with something completely silly as a response.
Good thinking. Some people just come out with the weirdest stuff.

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Old 10-06-2009, 07:14 AM
 
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It is easier to get burnt at the beach because the sun reflects off the water there.

That being said, it's really nobody's right to say something like that. I'd probably say something snotty like "No, she really needs to tan, it makes her look thinner" or something and walk away.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Crystal_R View Post
You should start saying "Nope, but we covered her in Crisco so she'll get nice and crispy" just to see what kind of reaction you get.

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Old 10-06-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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That is extremely annoying. I don't think you need to answer.

You may avoid the question in the first place, since it bothers you a great deal, by dressing your kiddo in one of the long-sleeved/long-legged UV-screening sunsuit/swimsuits and a hat. For older children, rashguard shirts and board shorts work well too. Maybe if they see your LO's covered up, there will be fewer nosy interrogations - although honestly, people like that always find something to comment on.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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We don't use sunblock all the time. I think it is important for children to get vitamin D naturally. We also don't shower with soap for about 2 days after large sun exposure so the body can synthesize the vit D. (See Dr. Mercola for more info.) (We do use soap for major dirtiness though. That trumps the D. We also don't go into the sun a lot or for a long time. 20 minutes would be a lot at once.)

I think it is so hard for people to mind their own business when it comes to kids. I constantly find myself doing a mental check not to judge other people's parenting choices even when I disagree or think they are crazy. I saw a guy driving with a small child not in a carseat and no seatbelt. Though I was horrified, I had to stop myself and say, self - that is their choice, not mine. I may not like it but I shouldn't interfere. (And I can already feel the flames coming for that!)

We don't vaccinate at all. I don't want people interfering b/c they think it is best for my child and that I am neglectful or harming him for not vaxing.

It is such a paradigm shift for me, but I have come to the conclusion that personal beliefs shouldn't trump the rights of others. So when I see things that bother me as a parent I try to mmob. My theory is not perfect and still a work in progress, but there you go.

If that woman came up to me, I would hope that I would say something to deflect the situation like - wow it sure is sunny out here today. The sand is hot. Then try to ignore her. Knowing me, I would get totally flustered in shock or surprise at the question and stumble some incoherent answer b/c a million thoughts would be running through my head and my mouth wouldn't be able to keep up.

So, that is my very long-winded rambly answer to say - people need to mind their own business.

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Old 10-06-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Yeah, I got that one too when we were hiking at Rocky Mountain National Park this summer. An older lady on the trail stopped us and said to LO, "I hope Mommy put sunscreen on you!". The comment itself was annoying, but it was even worse because I HATE when people say things "to the baby" because they think they can get away with being meddlesome that way. I just said, "Of course," in an unfriendly voice, and kept walking. So irritating.

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Old 10-06-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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I find comments like that annoying because they seem to reflect our safely obsessed culture to a tee. I think plenty of parents really aren't letting their kids outside because of one fear or another, and then the comments roll...

Like, comments on sunscreen, not wearing shoes, not wearing hats, letting your kid walk to the end of block alone, letting your baby eat real food, get dirty, put a stick in its mouth, etc. etc.

We've definitely gotten sunscreen comments too! A snotty "yes" is all I can muster - even if the answer is no!
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Crystal_R View Post
You should start saying "Nope, but we covered her in Crisco so she'll get nice and crispy" just to see what kind of reaction you get.
I don't know why I find this sooo funny... that response gets my vote.

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Old 10-06-2009, 12:34 PM
 
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I've been asked them too, and it always shocks me. I think I've said, "Uh, yeah?" Or something. I don't get why they're assuming she wouldn't unless they said something.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Yeah, especially annoying when they get snotty about it I've had people ask me if I was wearing sunscreen before since I am so pale. They at least said it with genuine concern and I could understand since I was obviously a northerner by my accent in Florida and a lot of us forget how much stronger the sun is there but no need to be rude about it, geez!

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Old 10-06-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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Is beach sun, with a hat and shade, magically stronger than other sun?
Actually, it's been my experience that it is.

The water and sand are very reflective, and we of course tend to wear less clothing at the beach as well (increasing exposure). Also, the duration of exposure can be longer at the beach; it's easy to stay at the beach all day whereas in other situations you might only stay outside an hour or so. Generally speaking of course. Also sunblock usually needs to be reapplied after going in the water. But mostly I think the difference is the reflectiveness of water and sand.

Of course that's totally besides the point of the annoyance factor of folks who think your kid would never live past age (insert age here) if it weren't for their advice.

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Old 10-06-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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Oh good grief . I'd be so tempted to say something like "oh no, we like the baby to get a little color, baby tans are so IN these days" .

I really would NOT justify these people with a serious answer. Laugh it off with something completely silly as a response.
OMG. I love this.

I seriously just look at them and say, "Thanks for your concern, but I don't feel obliged to answer your question." Seriously.

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Old 10-06-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and ask this: Why does this bother you guys so much?

I get that if the stranger asking is rude, then I understand - no justification for rudeness ever.

But if the person is just sincerely wondering if maybe you don't realize the sun is particularly harsh on little babies, why is this so offensive to everyone?

I've been at concerts and seen young babies and asked the parents if the baby is wearing ear plugs. Often they're not, and I usually let the parents know that they sell earplugs and you can cut them to fit a smaller ear, and that a lot of damage can be done if they don't.

I said things like that before I had a kid, and now that I have one I'd still say it. And when I took my own babe to a couple of shows and between bands was carrying her around without her headphone ear protectors, I wasn't offended at all when people either asked if it was too loud for her or even a couple people gave me dirty looks. I knew I was protecting my babe and actually appreciated that people cared enough to ask.

I'm pretty suprised that those kind of comments, when well-meaning, are so offensive to so many?
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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OK I have a pool and often enough we have friends with little one's come visit. I have actually learned that I should ask them if they have put sunscreen on. I usually have some on the table for anyone to use and I invite them to use it. I've learned this after having too many babies and sometimes parents burn at my house. I used to assume the parent knew to put it on (or use wide hats/shirts). But sometimes in the craziness of a busy life they forget...or think they won't burn.

I do see the point about how it can get annoying for a stranger to ask. Especially since it keeps happening. I'd smile and say "Yes, she's covered."

I'll also add it's annoying for me when people comment on how nice of a tan my children have-- it's their skin color! They have Italian skin that looks tan year round, no tan lines. BUT that's another whole thread!
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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I don't and won't put sunscreen on my children. I don't need anyone to ask me if I have. It is disrespectful and rude to assume that other parents need you to remind them of what's best for their baby. Carrying sunscreen around and asking if someone needs/wants it would be okay but asking if the child has it on is not cool. That's like asking "do you feed that baby cereal yet?" "does he sleep through the night yet?" "did he get his flu shot?" It's none of your business.

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Old 10-06-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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I've had someone come up to me on the street and scold me for having me (then 11 month old) baby outside. Some people are just idiots.

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Old 10-06-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I got/get lots of unsolicited advice with one of my children, not with the other. I say, "We're fine." until they go away.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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Why is this annoying? It's annoying because it's presumptuous. I see no difference between asking "Is your baby wearing sunblock?" and "Did you feed your baby?" Or "Did you change his/her diaper?" or whatever. If a stranger in a candy store came up and asked you if you brushed your child's teeth after giving him/her candy, that would be annoying, yes? I don't think it's helpful to go around assuming that every parent a) is an uninformed idiot who needs information/reminders b) shares your particular value system.

That said, I really liked the Crisco response. My usual response to questions like these (automatic, can't be helped ;-)) is "No, we didn't feed him today. He was getting a little fat." Or whatever. ;-)

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