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Why do random strangers feel the need to insult others parenting skills?

Yesterday I took my 10 month son into London with me to meet a friend for a cuppa.

We were quietly minding our own business on our own table with my son sitting in my laps clapping his hands on the table when this stranger just shouts out at me “that is so annoying”. To set the scene we were in a shopping centre in one of those open cafes where you have to shout to hear the person sitting next to you.  He was crying in his buggy so I picked him up to stop him crying and to feed him.

My friend and I decided to ignore her, and continued talking when the stranger continued to say loudly “that is so annoying, it’s bad parenting letting him bang the table” – I had to reply he’s only 10 months old and would she rather he cried instead? Besides, he wasn’t half as loud as the crowds in the shopping centre.

Naturally this made me irate. How dare this random stranger criticise my parenting and call my son annoying when he wasn’t actually loud or disturbing anyone. My friend and I both apologised and I held my sons hands so he could no longer bang the table, but the random stranger continued to moan upon my bad parenting skills.

I should have turned round and said how dare you, you silly cow, but decided to be the better person and smile.

I’m still annoyed now. Looking back, should I have said something? I wish I had, I feel sorry for her grandkids. Babies should be babies and left to explore the world. People look at you with noisy kids as a nuisance, but they forget they started off as one once and were probably worse.

Rant over! What would you have done in this situation?

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