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Strangers Are the Best Parenting Experts

Posted on the 17 August 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Without the aid of kind strangers, how do children get out of babyhood alive? Without the aid of kind strangers, how do children get out of babyhood alive?

New parents are frequently clueless about the finer points of ferrying their baby safely into toddlerhood and beyond. Thankfully, perfect strangers are available for ad hoc parenting classes pretty much any time you set foot outside your door.

Just ask Wendy Molyneux, writing for McSweeney‘s this week:

Yes, he IS crying, isn’t he? You are right. He’s probably hungry. Should I feed him? And if so, where do I put the food? His eyeball? His butt? What kinds of cuts of meat do babies like? Should I not give him hot peppers? How much salt is too much, and when can I expect him to use a knife? If he spits up, should I have him put to sleep? There are just so many things I need to know, and that is why I rely on total strangers like you who happen to be experts on child care.

This is funny because it’s true, as probably any parent can attest. Babies are, of course, public property, and harried new mothers are often the victims of unsolicited, probably well-meant (probably) advice.

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