I was at a craft fair Friday with a friend. The fair featured a number of tables, set up in the food court of the local mall, with purveyors of various goods sitting behind each display. The fair offered everything from handmade jewelry to wine-bottle wind chimes.
I pushed Peanut along in her stroller as we perused the goods. We stopped at one booth to look at necklaces. The next table had a large sign which denoted her booth, and her, as “The Bra Lady.”
When we’d finished at the necklace table, we tried to walk past Bra Lady without stopping, but Bra Lady (a woman in her mid-50s with dyed hair) struck up a conversation as we passed. “Come on, ladies, we all need bras!”
I laughed and nodded toward Peanut. “Ah, well I’ll be wearing a specific kind of bra for the next 9 months, so thanks, but I’m all set,” I replied.
She stood up and leaned out over her table. “Hmm. Well, I do have nursing camis!” She riffled through her catalog and stopped at a specific page, pushing it in my direction.
This piqued my interest, as I’d been searching for a white nursing cami for several weeks. My local Motherhood Maternity was out, and they weren’t available on their website. I walked toward her and took the catalog from her outstretched hand. I looked at the price on the bottom of the page and my eyes grew wide. Sixty bucks.
“Wow. I can get two nursing camis from Motherhood for that price,” I told her, handing the catalog back. “Thanks, but I’ll pass this time.”
She had a rebuttal ready, in the form of a question at first. “Is this your first child?”
I nodded and she continued.
“Well, how many children are you planning on having?” she prodded.
I smiled. “That depends on who you ask. My husband and I disagree. But for now, we have one.”
She smirked and sat back down in her chair. “Well, don’t have an only child! I’m one and it’s awful.”
I watched her and my temper flared.
“Well, one is certainly better than none, and I might not have any more. It was damn difficult to have this one—it took two years, if you must know. But thanks for the advice.” I turned on my heel and walked away, pushing Peanut in front of me.
My friend raised her eyebrows and smiled. She knew this was a hotbutton issue for me. “That was awfully nice of her.”
“I thought so too,” I replied sarcastically. “Thank you, random woman, for the totally unsolicited advice on the size of my family.” My heart was beating fast and I was annoyed. I was already thinking of better comebacks than the one I’d come up with. (I always do that. Never clever in the moment.)
She didn’t know me. She didn’t know if I was medically incapable of having a second child, or if there was some other obstacle to our having multiple kiddos. What if I were? Her idiotic advice could have brought me to tears. As it was, it just pissed me off.
Do I want more than one child? Yes. I’ve mentioned this before. But my husband doesn’t. And while we haven’t made our final decision yet (we will make a definite call at the latest when Peanut is 5 years old), it’s still a possibility that we may only have one. It will have to be a joint decision to have a second, and I’m not sure it’s going to happen.
I really, really want him to relent, if for no other reason than for Peanut to have a sibling. My sisters are like my best friends, and they’re always there when I need them. The value of the sibling relationship is something my husband doesn’t appreciate in the same way I do. He has one sibling, a sister, five years younger than him. They were far enough apart in age that they hardly played together, and they were never close. Even now they struggle to find common ground. So he just doesn’t see a sibling for Peanut as something that will enhance her life. He sees it as something that will complicate ours.
(I for one welcome this complication. Having one wasn’t/isn’t easy, but I think it’s a sacrifice worth making.)
Regardless of his thoughts on a second baby, my husband and I will make the decision about the size of our family on our own — without the help of a nosy, presumptuous Bra Lady who asks rude questions and offers unsolicited advice.
She might want to take one of those $65 bras and wrap it around her head. Particularly the mouth part of her head.