so the fish said...
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Withering Retort

Oh, my friends, I have done it! Not quite eight months into child two, I have discovered the perfect, never fails, one size fits all response to all the DIRE WARNINGS and ASSHOLE OBSERVATIONS to which parents are constantly subjected by the general public. Like, "That baby doesn't have a HAT!" and "She's still using a BOTTLE?" Like "You know, if you let that baby sleep with you, he is going to WANT TO SLEEP WITH YOU FOREVER" and "If you feed that baby whenever he's hungry, he's going to expect to just EAT WHENEVER HE'S HUNGRY." Like "Oh, I've heard that babies who don't crawl don't ever learn to read" or "Shouldn't she be walking/talking/self-feeding/conjugating Latin verbs/calculating Pi by now?"

It's true, I have formulated the perfect response. That response is:


It helps if you put on a bit of a bitch face while you say it. Most people shut right up, but some are persistent and start to explain in detail exactly how you have strayed from Ideal Parenting Practices, in which case, just do it again as often as needed. "And? And? And?"

Works like a charm.

Comments (34)

Hmm, I'm wondering if that will work when people give me a hard time about not having another child. I'll have to try it.

I love you.

Wow, so much more appropriate than just saying "fuck off". I'll remember that. Thanks for the handy tip!

Oh, meant to ask how the boob is doing. Cause, you know teh internets all about your breasts.

Love it!
I will remember for future reference!
Pol x

Best. Advice. Ever.
I can think of at least 50 different situations to utilize this in.

Kind of like an adult version of the three-year-old's "Why? Why? Why?"

Works for the people who try to pull you into their Drama as well.

"If you feed that baby whenever he's hungry, he's going to expect to just EAT WHENEVER HE'S HUNGRY."

You missed something in this.


Great! Now I need you to come up with an equally perfect thing to say to the cashiers that constantly ask me when I'm due or what I'm having, when I haven't been pregnant for months.

Something other than, "I'm working on it, OK?"

I like it! Will come in handy LOTS...thank you, Beth!

I've never understood the idiots who say the whole eat-whenever-they're-hungry thing. Doesn't EVERYONE eat when they're hungry? And if you don't feed a baby when he's hungry, isn't that cruel????

Oooooooh, a clever take on "why?"

I would imagine this can come in handy in all sorts of situations....

This cracked me up-
"If you feed that baby whenever he's hungry, he's going to expect to just EAT WHENEVER HE'S HUNGRY."
What else should he do? Ha!

Genius. Pure genius.

How do you come up with this stuff, even when your boob is likely falling off your chest??

You rock!!!

Being a newbie mom of a 6 month old this couldn't be more timely :)

How are you feeling now?

Hahaha! LOVE it. You're a genius. Now if only I have the guts to actually use it. I usually just respond "Oh. Really?".

I am definitely filing this for future reference.

Brilliant! Except that in real life, I could only ever use this with people I know really, really well or people I don't know at all. I need something for the in-betweeners.

You know what else works? Saying, "You know what?" and when they say "What?," you say, "Chicken butt!"

Or, you could go with "So?".

I tend to use that quite often.

Rough day? Actually I've solved the problem by never leaving the house with #2. I like your solution though -- I'll keep that in mind if I ever face the public again.

Am SO putting this in the things to do if I ever have a baby file.

So far the only other thing in the file is wait until visibly pregnant, have stranger someone ask about it, then burst into tears and act like not pregnant.

So uh. It's not the best file.

Thank you, from a long time lurker.

I will have to use that the next time someone says 'You're STILL nursing?'

Thanks, and I hope you are feeling better!

I always find the middle finger works wonders as well and gets you some disgusting looks as a bonus.

I would love to see you in action using your 'and?' response.
You're awesome!


can i also raise my eyebrow when i say it? put on my snooty face?

Love it! I think it would work for any sort of assvice, really.

THANK YOU. I will use this. It's brilliant.

Just the other day some guy on the bus decided to inform me how I have to hold my daughter so she won't fall (while sitting down!) when the bus stops and moves again.

Like I have never been on the bus with my kid before.

Do I have an IDIOT stamp on my forehead?


I do have a general response for the "how far along are you?" or "when are you due" questions.

Dummy: "Oh, when are you due?"
Response: 2019 - about the time it's predicted your I.Q. will reach double digits.

Dummy: "How far along are you?"
Response: "About 29 months - the doctors haven't quite figured out how to deliver one of this size. Ya'd think they'd have that figured out by now, huh?"

Sorry - the pain in the ass folks are on my last dang nerve today...

I like your response!!! =-)

I think I got EVERY one of those questions asked when my kids were little.

I had 3 kids, 18 months apart each and I breastfed them all, co-slept them all, attended to their cries, etc...


You know what??? They've turned out to be some really awesome, really self-reliant, well-behaved, level-headed FREAKING AWESOME KIDS!

So, I'll definitely agree with..."AND????"

Some ninny grabbed my little girl's toe the other day when I was walking into a doctor's office and she said "Mommy! Where are my socks?" in a little baby voice. It took everything I had not to say "I'm not your effing Mommy". It was like 80 degrees!



That's brilliant. My husband was in the store a few months ago buying popsicles (strange purchase in the summer, I know) and a few other items and said a lady walked up to him and told him that there was fruit for sale the aisle over--wouldn't he like some nice fruit for them instead? Cherries, bananas? Boy those girls sure had him by the nose, etc. etc. etc. She even kept commenting later he was in the check out line. So he saw her walking out of the store, leaned out of the car window and told her it was really rude of her to have done that. She agreed, she was. I don't know what gets into people.

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