Friday, January 29, 2010

Mother Bear

Yesterday, my motherly instinct was awakened and I regressed in my quest for patience and understanding amid the sometimes frustrating sense of community in Turkey.

My son is now one month old, and I've gotten used to the constant comments regarding my negligence in the heating department -- by local standards, I don't dress him warmly enough.

I heard it from the nurses as we were getting ready to leave the hospital; I hear it from the nurses at the local sağlık ocağı, where we go for our free immunizations; I've heard it from in-laws; and perhaps most surprisingly, I've heard it from strangers on the street.

Some background before I continue:
  • I dress him according to the rule of thumb whatever I'm wearing, plus one. I first read this in my What to Expect: The First Year book, but have come across it elsewhere as well.
  • Turkish people, especially in the Mediterranean region, conspicuously overdress their children -- layers of clothing topped by a sweater or two and wrapped in a blanket
But this week, while walking at a local mall with Baby in my arms (he'd been crying so I took him out of his pram to comfort him), a woman not only stopped me to tell me he wasn't dressed warmly enough, but did so by putting her hands on him! My choices at that moment were to either use Baby as a weapon of sorts and push her hands off by ploughing into her with his body, or to harshly tell her to mind her own business.

Oh, how I wish I'd done the latter! However, my body was faster than my brain, and I charged into her, forcing her to side-step. The incident left me fuming for hours (days, actually, if you consider that I'm now writing this two days after the fact), and I'm afraid that instead of learning to just ignore the well-meaning ignorance, the mother bear in me has been awakened instead: will I now attack, presumably verbally, such meddlers in the future?

No comments:

Post a Comment