I was walking into Bookstar with Mr. Baby the other evening, to pick out a surgery-distraction gift for Miss M, when I heard a polite voice behind me.
"Ma'am? Excuse me, ma'am?"
I turned and saw a youngish person that I'd previously noticed at Petco with two friends. I'd looked kindly at the group, thinking how hard it must be to be transgendered in Memphis. And now this sweet-voiced twentysomething was right behind me and looking directly at Mr. Baby.
"How old is your baby?"
"He's twelve weeks."
I gave my usual humble smile, preparing for the inevitable praise that generally follows any acknowledgment of Mr. Baby. Instead, I heard ...
"I just wanted to tell you ... I know you don't know me, but I wanted to say ... I have a friend who carried her little girl in one of those ... canvas sacks? And her baby got dehydrated from sitting on her legs like that. I'm not saying you're doing something wrong, but ... I just wanted to tell you. She got really sick."
I was so shocked by the ridiculousness that I just stood there with a polite but quizzical raise of my eyebrows. As I was walking back to the car, though, I could hear in my head, clear as anything, the righteously astonished voice of Sassy Molassy saying, "Who wouldn't notice that their baby was dehydrated? And it would take an idiot to think that it was caused by the way she was sitting. And it would take an even bigger idiot to get in someone else's face about it."
Sidenote: When I got home and opened the Disney Princess Dress-Up Activity Storybook (shush, it was for my sick kid) and saw that the Colorforms-esque dresses designed to go over each princess were actually somewhat translucent, allowing an obscured but still obvious view of their princessy underthings, I heard a distinctly different voice in my head, and I'm pretty sure it was RJA's.