letting the village raise your child

so, i’m a pretty big believer in the african proverb: “it takes a village to raise a child.”  but maybe i took it too literally tonight? (well, ninja thought so)

we walked in to the ever glorious shiny new H-mart to finish up the shopping i started out on earlier that afternoon and to grab some dinner.  the food court seating is pretty close together & a very nice couple gave us their table since we had a baby.  (that was so kind of them! i was pretty touched!)  not too long after, the table right next to us was vacated by three singles & in came a grandma, mom, & toddler.  of course, n did not want to stay in her car seat, but wanted to be a part of the action and since she’s pretty cute, the grandma next to us was saying out loud how pretty she was & stuff like that.  she probably thought i didn’t understand korean, but i surprised her and said thank you.  other kids around were looking at little n & interacting with her – from a distance of course.  sometimes it gets awkward with strangers – what do you do when they are waving at your kid or coming up to them – should you just ignore them? acknowledge them?  of course, a nice white man was making faces & waving at n and completely scared her.  that was really awkward. so i just ignored him.

back to the grandma.  after a while, i was holding n & eating at the same time.  the grandma kept making comments about how her granddaughter was so preoccupied with n & blah blah blah.  (to which i politely smiled & gave acknowledgement) then, the grandma got up and asked me if she could hold n while we ate.  it was one of those asking but not really bc she was right in front of me with her arms out.  again, what do you do? but me being a believer in the village raising your child, i happily put n in her arms.  what was she going to do? run away with her in the crowded food court of HMart? she was a korean grandma after all.

the thing that got to ninja was the comments the grandma made once n was in her arms:

grandma to her granddaughter: isn’t the baby pretty? you’re a big sister! should we take the baby home with us? i think we should take the baby home with us.

yes, i suppose that could cause some concern, but isn’t it the korean grandma way to say such things? she was just trying to stir up jealousy from her granddaughter and manipulate the child’s feelings.  sure she was using our daughter to do that, but who was i to interfere in the korean grandma’s tactics? plus, she was singing various praises about our daughter: she has a lovely shaped head – if her head is shaped badly it’s the mother’s fault, you know!  look at her head control!  she’s such a good baby and not scared of strangers! she seems like such an older baby – she’s such so alert!  she’s so pretty!

after an inappropriately long time, she finally handed the baby back to us after being prompted by her daughter. of course, immediately after that, the granddaughter climbed in to the arms of her grandmother & the korean grandma was pleased.

upon leaving, i told ninja a secret.  little n had a glorious poo earlier that leaked out on to her cute little pink outfit – but in such a discreet spot that the korean grandma would never have seen.  nevertheless, the korean grandma probably got some of that poo on her.

lesson learned: if you want to be a part of the village raising the child, expect a little poo.

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