What Would You Do?

Have you ever been in a public place and faced with some sort of happening that causes your brain to scream for action whilst your mouth becomes inexplicably paralyzed? Judging by the fact that there is an entire TV show dedicated to this conundrum, it is likely you’ve been here too.

Now, in general, I have never been one to remain mute in any setting, for any reason. Some may say I have been imbued with the, “gift of gab” or as my father so eloquently puts it, “verbal diarrhea”. I firmly believe that my opinions are gifts to be shared with generosity which rivals that of St. Nicholas himself. I like to think that I am a walking public service announcement, doing good for all and annoying the multitudes.  (back off, my delusions of grandeur are mine dammit) 

So, when I was faced with the following situation it puzzles me that I remained mute and I wander… What would you do?

Scene: Waiting room at the doctor’s office. Me in a chair three feet away from Mom, Grandmom and 2 Month Old.

Me: Quietly kicking ass at Angry Birds minding my own business.

2 Month Old: Working himself up into a full fit.

Mom: Rocking the baby carrier at hurricane force. (HELLO have you NOT heard of Shaken Baby Syndrome you neophyte?!)

GrandMom to Mom:  “Hon, I don’t think he is likin’ that so much. Maybe try holding him up.”

At this point the mom in me is relieved, Grandmom has come to the rescue. The child’s brain function is saved, at least for now.

Mom picks up 2 Month Old… By. His. Wrists. Child stops crying, presumably because his little brain has yet to process this new form of torture.

GrandMom: “Awe, looky. That there made him happy.”

Mom: “Oh yeah, he loves this. He really likes it when I flip him through his arms. He is my little monkey. Aren’t ya baby? You’re mommy’s little monkey boy, huh?”

GrandMom: “Silly monkey baby. Don’t do that too much though, you might dislocate his arms.”

Pause for me to pick pieces of brain matter off the ceiling as my head has just exploded.

I swear I was checking air vents and desk plants for hidden cameras. This HAD to be a setup.

What did I do?

Me. Mom of four. Walking public service announcement. Pontificate of prattle. Unapologetically opinionated. I did nothing.

Really, what could I do? What would you do?

7 thoughts on “What Would You Do?”

  1. Wow, that’s a tough one. We have such an aura of mind-your-own-business in our culture; I’ve often wondered just what it would take for me to intervene in a situation that didn’t involve me.

    Having the luxury of pre-meditating a course of action, I might ooh and ahh over the little baby and say, “May I hold him? Mine are older now and I miss this stage.” And try to soothe the baby, using gentle shwooshing and sh-sh-sh-ing and maybe some singing. I would pray pray pray that this technique works so that she’d be interested in doing it the next time.

    Either that, or quietly suggest the receptionist to have the doc have a talk with her about how to handle a crying baby.


  2. I cringed just reading this. Like you, I waver between speaking out and not caring about the consequences and just keeping quiet for the sake of peace. (I posted about something similar today.) Sometimes, if I’m feeling hostility, I might report the situation to whatever authority is around, in this case the nurse or receptionist in the office. Ultimately I worry for this baby’s safety.

  3. The grandmother spoke up, so hopefully the message got through. But just in case, I’d mention it to the doctor during your visit. Then it’s up to the professional. As much as you wanted to say something, I have a feeling it would have ended badly.

  4. My plan of action would have probably been to talk to the receptionist and ask to talk to a nurse or a doctor privately so you could point out the patient and express your concern. I also try in these situations to say something like “sorry to interrupt, but your mom is right, my friend accidentally dislocated her son’e shoulder doing the same thing. It
    s scary how easily these kiddos can get hurt. They are so delicate!”

  5. I love Daria’s answer but I probably wouldn’t have been quick enough to think of that. Besides giving the mom the evil eye, I would likely have said something to the staff at the doctor’s office. Who knows if they would have done anything anyway but I would probably not have been one to say something directly to the mother.

  6. This is exactly the course I would have taken. Even if I had not personally had this happen, I know it does, and I would just pretend it had happened to me and be very nice about it and caring.

    I actually was part of a shopping cart tip-over when I was very small and so when I see kids standing on or riding outside of a cart I share my story of my trip to the ER and show them my scars on my forehead even if I feel the need!

  7. Holy Smokes! I probably would have done the same thing. My brain exploded from just the thought of the situation while reading it! Wow! Glad the Grandmother said something…poor baby!

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