Written By: Chaaron @ Sense and (Non) Sensibility
I took my eye off Dash, seated in my lap, and turned towards the baseball game. In that split second, he reached out and grabbed the ponytail of the woman in front of us. I noticed immediately, but the damage was done. She shot us the dirtiest look that clearly read, “Keep your kid under control, lady.” I apologized profusely and could feel the heat of embarrassment creep up my cheeks. For the rest of the game she proceeded to keep flipping her ponytail around making sure to keep it tucked over her shoulder and looking back to check Dash’s location. I worked on keeping Dash’s hands busy and not focused on the three ponytails positioned within baby reach. And I felt terrible.
I realize this is only going to become a bigger problem as Dash ages. Right now, he’s only nine months old so we’re just beginning to understand his need to be constantly on the move and grab everything within reach. I also know that he means no harm and that he is barely able to understand boundaries. We work to quickly distract him and keep him penned in. However, when we’re in public, we know his behavior is unpredictable at best, especially sitting in the middle of a crowded row of baseball fans.
And we know we’re lucky. Dash is an extremely chill little guy. He’s more often smiling and clapping than expressing displeasure in his situation. With a typical mother’s bias, I think he’s pretty perfect and I enjoy taking him just about everywhere with us. But know that I am very aware of the eye rolls and sighs when people realize they get to sit next to the baby.
RP and I are very concerned about making sure that we aren’t “those parents” that allow their children to run amok and encroach on others’ space. A misbehaving child seated next to you can be worse than having to sit next to a belligerent fan of the opposing team (but not usually, opposing team fans are the worst, amiright?). So, we’re working to learn as we go and hopefully raise our son to be accustomed to behaving in public.
Until then, I’ll be the lady bouncing the baby in my lap, cheering for the home team and trying to keep his hands away from your ponytail.