Friday, July 7

Unsolicited Advice is Unwelcome!

I get so irritated & angry when strangers offer unsolicited advice about how to raise my children!!! My blood starts boiling & I'm almost certain you can see steam spewing out my ears. This instance was no different...

We took the kids swimming last night after dinner to their Uncle Jake's pool at his apartment complex. We've been several times before, both during the day & in the evening. After about an hour or more of swimming in the pool, we decided to relax and chill out in the hot tub. The kids LOVE the hot tub and have been in this one several times before. In fact, they spent a lot of July 4th sitting in a hot tub at a friend's home. So, hot tubs are really nothing new to us or them. As we get out of the pool & start walking towards the hot tub, a couple (probably in their 40s or 50s & without kids) opens the gate surrounding the pool area & starts heading towards the hot tub as well. Usually, the hot tub is such a small area, that this would be uncomfortable, but this particular one is especially big, so it doesn't bother me one bit. So, after they get in, Jake, Sammy & I get in each holding a kid in our arms. We situate ourselves on the opposite side, which is a good distance away from this couple. After we all get in & are enjoying ourselves, this man tells me from across the way that it's not safe for them to be in here. He says it's "too hot". I politely smiled & just said that they seemed to enjoy it & returned my attention to my family. Meanwhile, this couple lit up their cigarettes & sat on the opposite side talking. After a bit of time soaking, I got out to check Nick's swim diaper. He was clean, so I climbed back in the hot tub with him in my arms. As I was walking over to where Jake & Sammy sat with the twins, this man asked me, "How old is he?" (Pointing to Nick.) I said that he was almost 2. He pointed to the hot tub rules & guidelines posted on a sign behind him & told me, "It says here that the hot tub is not recommended for kids his age. It's too dangerous." He proceeded to tell me that the chlorine levels they put in hot tub water are not safe for babies' skin. It's too harsh... dries out their delicate skin... blah... blah... blah! I replied that he has been in a hot tub several times before, thanks for your concern. And, then he said, "Well, I've never seen you here before." WHAT?!?! Is he the hot tub police? I looked at him & said, "We usually come during the day." Then, I was so mad at myself for saying that because it felt like I was trying to justify my decision to him! It's none of his $#@* business! At that point, Sammy looked at me & said, "I'm ready to get out." So, we all did, which is what I'm sure this guy wanted all along. And, then, of course, after fuming for a bit, I came up with all these great "comebacks" to his unsolicited advice:
* "Well, second-hand smoke is far worse for my child than the chlorine in this hot tub, but I'm not asking you to stop smoking, am I?"
* "Just thought you should know that cigarette smoke can cause cancer and numerous other health problems."
* "It's funny that I've raised 2 other children to the age of 4 so far without your help."

There were lots more in my head. I finally had to stop & pray. And, I'm still praying about it...


Becky said...

This is one of my pet peeves as well, and the fact that they were smoking, yet trying to tel you waht is safe is especially annoying. Also the fact that they wouldn't let up about it. It's one thing to mention something, quite another to keep on pestering about it. But, try to think that the longer you hang onto bad feelings about it, the longer you let them interfere with your life. That's what I tell myself anyway.