Here’s a little story for you.
When Younger Daughter was a baby of five months old, a sparkling bright October day led us into town to a large grocery store. I snuggled Younger Daughter (attired in nothing but a diaper) into my trusty sling, draped a jacket across both of us, and we skipped across the parking lot toward the store. We were both in a good mood, laughing and giggling at the snappy air and pretty sunshine.
That is, until I stepped into the store. Immediately I was accosted by an outraged woman. “How dare you take that baby out naked in this weather!” she snarled.
Taken aback, I looked at Younger Daughter. Her eyes were bright, the cotton sling was tucked over her bare shoulders, she was warm against her mommy’s body, and she was laughing out loud. “She’s perfectly warm,” I assured the woman. “She’s laughing and happy. See?”
Not satisfied, the woman proceeded to absolutely lambaste me for my poor mothering skills, for my unthinking cruelty to take a baby out unclothed on such a cold day (it was 60F degrees), and quite literally threatened to call Child Protective Services over the neglect and abuse of my poor helpless baby.
I shook my head, my good mood gone, and turned my back toward the woman as I walked into the store. The woman actually followed me for a few feet, spewing verbal filth at the unpardonable sin of not dressing my baby in a down parka for the polar expedition of walking fifty feet across a parking lot in October.
She finally left me alone. I did my shopping, but before I stepped foot outside the store I confess I looked carefully around the parking lot to see if the harridan was lurking in a corner, waiting to take my license plate number and report me to the police.
That woman, I later realized, was a BUSYBODY. It was an unpleasant experience and left me shaken.
Today my neighbor Enola Gay also experienced another BUSYBODY. You can read about it here.