Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Appealing to Local Logic

I have mentioned several times how the older ladies in my neighborhood are always after me for not wearing weather appropriate clothing. I have grown accustom to just smiling and letting the comments roll off me, but for my friends with children it is even worse.

Every time they go out they are accosted by neighbours who comment on how little the child is wearing, and how they are going to get sick. The kid could be wearing a wool sweater in the middle of the summer and some caring neighbour would feel obliged to tell them the child will get a cold. It really is all said out of love, but it really does get annoying after a while.

An American couple brought their two kids to this baby party the other day. The child being honoured was dressed in thick corduroy overalls, and a flannel shirt (under which I am sure he was wearing a layer of long johns). The western family had taken advantage of the bright sunny summerish day and dressed their baby in a cute flowery summer suit (sleeveless with matching shorts). You could almost hear the mutual shocked intake of breath from around the room as they entered.

But the father was prepared. He used their own local logic to explain how he was best caring for his child. He said "You know American babies are different. If they wear too many clothes they sweat a lot. If they are then out in the breeze that sweat and wetness can lead to a cold. So if I keep her in such a way as to prevent sweating she will actually stay healthier." The poor old lady who had instigated the conversation had no idea how to answer this... you could tell she had paused to consider it. And it even seemed to make some sense to her. But in the end she retorted with the good old tried and true come back "Our babies aren't like that, and you need to put more clothes on your baby, or she will get sick".

Oh well, nice try. At least the kids I'm playing with don't seem that cold in their summer outfits.


Anonymous said...

Classic! That was quite the comeback.

Beth said...

The Uyghur baby wasn't wearing a hat?!! *shock*

*grin* Here in Canada, the most frequent comment I get about Robbie's attire is that he needs a hat. Seems to be an older belief - that babies with their huge heads need head coverings all the time to keep in their body heat.

I usually just smile and continue doing whatever I was doing - I need some good comebacks don't I?