This afternoon I was a few minutes late taking Arya to meet Mommy for her daily lunch nursing. I normally change her outfit before we leave the apartment, but we didn’t have time today thanks to a poop accident.
The temperature was in the high 60s with occasional gusts of wind and no rain. According to my phone the day was a “feels like” 64.
64 is a little cold for my daughter to be outside with just a onesie and pants. However, since we live across the street from the dental school I figured she would be fine for the forty-seconds it takes for me to jaywalk to the building entrance from our apartment entry door.
I was dressed in a T-shirt, jeans, and a baseball cap. I used our normal infant carrier and made sure to hug Arya with both hands to keep her warm enough during our short commute.
There was a small crowd exiting the dental building as the 9AM appointments concluded and I had to wait for a few seconds for the doorway to clear. As I was waiting next to the door, a disheveled, 60-something women with an unlit cigarette dangling from her mouth started to speak and I expected her to ask me for spare change.
Instead she growled at me:
“Put a hat on her. It’s cold.”
This wasn’t the first time I have received unsolicited baby advice from a random stranger. But this time was very strange. A women who I thought was begging for money was concerned about my baby’s welfare.
Of course the woman was correct. It was cold and I should have put a hat or blanket around my baby. Our walk takes less than a minute and Arya would have been fine even if it had taken five times a long. But the lady was still right even if she didn’t know how long we were outdoors.
I’m still a little confused by the whole experience. Should I feel bad that a homeless lady scolded me for making my baby cold? Should I be upset that she gave unsolicited advice? Should I be happy that random strangers care about my daughter?
I wish I could have stopped and had a conversation with the woman to know exactly what she was thinking. Would she have given the same advice if I was a woman? Or was her advice simply a segue into asking me for money?
Since my baby hates hats I won’t be following her advice. However, I do think Arya could have used a light blanket or her pink jacket to keep her a little warmer until we got inside the building. I also hate that the homeless lady was right. It was cold out and even though I won’t be putting a hat on her, I will force myself to at least grab a blanket on the way out starting from tomorrow.