I had an interesting interaction tonight at the store. I was waiting for Mr. V to come back (I had left my purse in the car..) and browsing the bow section. I wasn’t planning on getting anything, since there really was no need, but I was enjoying all the little girl hair accessories. I saw these tiny, colorful little clippies and wondered if they would fit in Little W’s hair. The girl has a lot of hair. I took one out of the package (they just clipped on the side) and tried it in her hair. It looked cute, but it didn’t do much (I mean, I could probably do a Pebbles hairdo on her). As I was putting the clip back in the container where it belonged, a woman came up behind me with her two girls. She had a paper written list in her hand and was looking for face soap.
“Oh, isn’t that so much fun? Boy, look at all that hair. You know what works best? Those clips with the soft backing on them. See, babies have such thin hair and those regular backed clips just fall right through..” (She proceeds to show me the back of the clips, which are just metal.) I smile and nod. “I don’t know if they have any here…” (She and her daughters are now looking a the bow section.) This is where I pipe in, “They probably only have those in the baby section of the store.” She smiles and nods, and her parting words linger with me. “You’ll want the ones with the soft backing. They won’t fall out and she won’t get a hold of it and put it in her mouth. The last thing you want is a trip to the emergency room.”
For all she knew, I was seriously considering the hair clips. At first I thought that she was just being polite, and as anyone with a young baby can attest, you get a lot of strangers talking to you when you push a babe around. But as she left, I realized that she was gently giving me some motherly and womanly advice. Had I thought about the choking hazard? Actually, no. I know part of it was because I was not really considering the purchase. But I know the other part was because I am still a young and learning mother. And of course I would not ever think of conscientiously hurting my own child (that is the bond between us mothers, you see).
I was so pleased by her manner and grace in helping me along my way. She didn’t have to say anything to me. But as a loving mother, she gave me her advice (even though I did not ask for it) and at the end, shared the point she wanted to get across- that she wanted me to be a good mother.