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August 6, 2013 / ginavoskov2013

“God Bless Your Little Girl”

People are a whole lot nicer to you when you have a baby than when you’re pregnant. Since giving birth, I’ve been on the subway with Edie four times and people have offered their seats to me on every single ride–multiple offers per ride. One man yesterday didn’t even offer–he insisted. “Please take my seat,” he said while standing up. I couldn’t say no.

When I was pregnant, hugely pregnant, and riding the subway, it was a rare occasion when someone offered his or her (mostly her, come on, men) seat to me. And when you’re that hugely pregnant, you need all the help you can get. I’d catch the 6:50am train at my station and look around the car–not desperately, but taking stock of the individuals there, all of them fixated on electronics or newspapers or bibles–and then take my place in front of someone seated, my belly bursting with 25 pounds of life mere inches from their faces. I’m telling you, the ocular gymnastics these individuals played with me to avoid making eye contact and thus needing to acknowledge that I could maybe use a little help by sitting where they were sitting were astonishing. People became incredibly interested in a number of things as soon as I stood in front of them: the lines on their hands, their neighbor’s paper, the texture of their pants. I was sure to make a big deal about my gratitude whenever a good human did offer her seat, but more often than not, I was left to sway back and forth in between people’s armpits for the entire ride.

I was expecting people to act the same way when I carried Edie onto the train, but no. Without fail, after only seconds of walking into a car at least two people will offer me a seat, and after each stop others just getting on will acknowledge I have a baby and will offer an open seat. This is so unfortunate for me because Edith won’t let me sit down hardly anywhere when I’m carrying her in the Ergo unless she is *completely* passed out. So after each offer of a seat on the subway, I have to politely decline.

People LOVE babies and they’ll do anything to help the babies–not the moms–which is why people offer seats on subways to ladies with babies instead of pregnant ladies. On Sunday, we went to the beach at Robert Moses State Park. Before leaving, we stopped at a drugstore so I could get a couple of things. I was holding Edith in my arms, facing out, when a lady in her mid-fifties came up to us speaking Spanish, clearly interested in talking with Edith and finding out more about her. Edie was wearing just a plain white onesie which makes it hard for anyone to know she’s a girl, so that was this lady’s first question. Then she asked Edie’s name and I told her. We talked for another minute or so and she left. As the lady walked away, she said, “God bless you, girl,” and again, I said, “Thank you.” She then turned back around, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “God bless your little girl.”

Nice. Don’t bless me, the vessel who brought this blessed figure to life. But by all means, bless the little baby who can’t distinguish you from a donut and won’t remember you any longer than it takes for her to blink her fabulously dazzling eyes. But definitely, definitely don’t bless the mother, who, by the way, has the power to immortalize your asshole behavior on a blog. So thanks for the material, Spanish-speaking mid-fifties lady at the Jackson Heights Rite-Aid on Sunday somewhere between 9:20 and 9:30am.

Today was Edie’s 2 month check-up and she had to get three vaccines, two of which were shots. Our pediatrician said, “The fact that she’s had vaccines may cause her to be a bit fussier than normal later today,” and she was right. Oddly enough, however, I find myself being extraordinarily patient with Edie today. There is a clear cause for her increased fussiness, and, truth be told, I’m not sure she’s that much fussier than she was yesterday. I’ve just been far more understanding of her crying whereas yesterday I was pulling my hair out and thinking evil thoughts. I don’t know why this patience doesn’t extend to other days as easily as it has today. I mean, she’s a baby–that should be all the explanation that I need to be patient with the crying. If our pediatrician had simply said when Edith was born, “The fact that she’s a baby may cause her to be a bit fussier than, say, a grapefruit for her entire life,” perhaps I’d have been better able to tolerate her wailing so far.

Maybe this only happens in NYC, or maybe only to me. One of my girlfriends said everyone was exceedingly nice to her both during her pregnancy and afterwards. But she is tall and beautiful, lives in the suburbs, and is exceedingly nice to everyone else. I, on the other hand, have a strong aversion to strangers, a trait instilled in me by absolutely no one in my family, and thus come off as a cold bitch. But babies aren’t bitches, which explains why people on the subway are nicer to my baby than they are to me.

Long story short: give up your seat for pregnant ladies because that’s when things are really uncomfortable, and while you’re blessing babies, bless the moms, too. We’re the ones who really need it.

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