A Conversation Overheard

By: Stacie Lewis

Conversation overheard between a decadently dressed Hippie-Mama, in flowing flower skirt and layers of pashminas and a poor waitress who is surely not paid enough for this nonsense:

Hippy-Mama: (jabbing menu with nail) So, I see you only serve organic foods, but my son, Oliver, can’t tolerate cow’s milk, so-o-o-o, in philosophical solidarity, none of us drink any milk but soy. So-o-o-o, I’ll take a soy milk decaf latte and my daughter (gestures to identi-kit four year-old suffocating from beneath a mini-pashmina) will have the organic muesli (flashes a pinched, dismissive smile). But, you will make that with soy, right?

If she’d tagged “sweetie” at the end of that sentence it would have scaled the heights of pretension and Hippie-Mama would be crowned Queen of Up-Your-Own-Ass.

Some readers will be thinking, okay, perhaps a bit pretentious, but if her son really is allergic to cow’s milk, than it is kinda sweet that the family does this whole “solidarity” thing.

Except, that directly following this conversation, Hippie-Mama latched Oliver to her breast. Oliver was a baby. A very young baby who didn’t drink soy milk.

Ten minutes later, May latched on to a bottle of formula. While May fed, I listened as Hippie-Mama made ratty comments to her daughter. “No, Roxy! Sit still! They don’t do chips here. Well, go ask them if you are so certain!” (For the record: they do have chips.)

May slurped away happily and I willed Hippie-Mama to say something to me, anything to me about feeding my child from a bottle, with formula. I was ready. I was ready to fight.

Alas, Hippie-Mama did not notice me at all. Or, didn’t care. And, I was left to stew.

But, I realized it wasn’t Hippie-Mama’s pretentiousness that irked me. It was how little she appreciated that little girl. Choosing soy milk was a way of bonding with herself. Appreciating her daughter was completely lost on her.

In contrast to Hippie-Mama’s exacerbation with her daughter’s choice of diet, every time May swallows we appreciate it. Her ability to suck down a bottle was one of the most triumphant moments of our lives. It meant the doctors allowed May to be discharged from the hospital without the necessity of a tube.

1,000 appreciations, May.

Also 1,000 apologies for those Mamas who like soy milk. My problem is not the soy, but the Hippie-Mama who drank it.

Stacie Lewis blogs at Mama Lewis.

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