Saturday, June 21, 2008

stick to plumbing, asshole.

Frank, the plumber, showed up yesterday because apparently there is a leak downstairs whose source might be from our apartment.

I've met him once or twice. I can't say I know him very well. But, since when do you need to know someone well to give them parenting advice?

Let me preface this by saying, we just moved here 2 months ago. In those 2 months, I've had a really bad back injury, been completely immobile and required help to move from reclining to sitting up, gone home to my parents' house, returned, and started my way back to some semblance of normal. In those 2 months, Dude has started a new job, installed shelving all over the place, taken care of whatever he can around the house, and helped me care for myself. And, don't forget, we have an infant to take care of.

I guess what I'm trying to say is WE'VE BEEN A LITTLE BUSY.

We've gotten a big push done on baby-proofing, which is great. Bee is 6 months old. She can't move yet, and I can't predict at all when she'll start crawling. She pretty much hates being on her tummy, and she will not roll around. She can roll over, both ways, but she avoids it at all costs. She can sit up, and is quite content to just sit there surrounded by toys. My mom and I are with her full-time while Dude is at work, so if she starts moving around before we're 100% finished doing what we need to do, at least one of us will be right there on top of her. And we're pretty close to being finished anyway.

The outlet covers are all replaced with safe ones, the bookshelves and other pieces of furniture have been secured to the walls, high shelves have been installed to put dangerous things out of her grasp, cables and wires are securely out of the way... what else, what else? Basically, here's what's left. We still have to put the magnetic locks on the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. We're not sure if we need to put bars on our windows or not (we live on the second floor.) We've got to figure out what to do about edge guards for our coffee and end tables. Whichever brand we got from Home Depot peeled right off with barely any effort, turning into a lovely choke hazard. We haven't decided exactly what we're going to do about that, actually. Basically, as first-time parents, we aren't quite sure what babyproofing gadgets are and aren't necessary, but our rallying cry is, "Do not leave baby unattended." There is absolutely no way that a physically disabled woman and a man with a full-time job can do every single thing all at once, even with my mom here. There are only 24 hours in a day, and lots of VERY important things to do, and we have to prioritize.

So, Frank comes in yesterday, and tells us that our windows aren't safe for the baby. Which immediately gets under my skin, because I don't come into the bathroom while he's trying to figure out which pipe is leaking and tell him how to do his job.

"I mean, those screens just pop right out, and I see that you guys let her lean on them all the time."

"Um, well, no... we don't. We do hold her up and let her look out the window, but she's safe because we're holding her." We don't mention that Dude has triple-checked the screens to ensure they don't just pop out, and for this reason we haven't decided if we are going to put bars on the window or not. If she's not able to get up there by the time fall comes, and we start keeping the windows closed, is it even worth it? I'm not sure, to be honest with you. It might be. Hence why it is still a point of discussion. But this does not make it Frank's business.

"Not always. I've seen her get up there and push on them. And that's not safe. I mean, you guys should really have bars on there or something."

Oh, really? SHE CAN'T MOVE. And YOU DON'T LIVE HERE. When the hell have you seen her get up there without us? "Yeah, we might do that."

"I can't believe you would take a risk like this. You hear these stories of kids in New York City leaning out 40th floor windows, and they just lean on screens like this. You touch these screens, they pop out, and the kids just fall out 40 stories to their deaths."

Dude and I steal a glance at each other and shudder. Is this guy for real? "Listen, we-"

"You know, I bet if she leaned on that, she'd fall right out and die. I bet she'd just die, right there, on the ground." He leaned over and pointed out exactly where it would happen, eyeing Bee with a gruesome look on his face.

I am officially angry. "I'd really appreciate it if you could NOT talk about the death of my child to me."

"Well, if it's gonna happen, isn't it better to talk about it before rather than once it does happen?"

Are you FUCKING kidding me? The hypothetical pissed me off enough - you're going to act like it's an inevitability?

I'm not going to attempt to justify myself or my parenting skills to a socially awkward plumber who doesn't have children, and who doesn't believe that our baby can't move. I mean, as soon as people noticed my thickening waistline last summer, the unwanted advice and stupid comments flowed freely. I can't take each dumb thing seriously. And I don't.

But I DO hope that a toilet explodes in his face, with shit spraying right into his mouth.


La Libertad said...

What a douchebag. I might have resorted to violence and slapped that guy...

Mama Bean said...

THANK YOU. Hahaha. I feel so validated now.