Thursday, August 11, 2011


In our case we get public displays of affection, but we also get public displays of anxiety, anger and even acrimony. Yes, taking a 5 month old out in public in full body cast can often elicit the oddest responses from total strangers.

When Addison and I venture out, we typically do so Dr. Evil style with me wearing Addie in her baby bjorn carrier. Because she is up and facing forward we get a lot of smiles and coos from total strangers wanting to meet or cuddle her. She soaks it right up and for the most part loves the attention! However, sometimes we do have odd encounters.

Mini-me + Dr. Evil

Addison + Daddy

A few weeks back, I was out at a local department store looking for some good walking Addie and I do a lot of walking around these days (seems she has become quite an outdoorswoman). Out of nowhere this woman appears, I kid you not, right in front of my face and gasps "What did you do to your baby?" I am sure people on the other side of the city heard her gasp. Sheepishly I had to explain the situation and reassure this woman (convince her maybe?) that I am not a bad parent. As unnerving as these kinds of encounters can be, at least that woman had the decency to confront me about it. That kind of situation at least allows me to respond and share Addison's story and in some small way help to spread knowledge about hip dysplasia in infants.

The people that really irk me of late are what I call the gawkers. Seems where ever Addison and I travel, they are there. Silently staring and judging. I wonder if these people realize that their face is betraying them because the staring is often accompanied by a look of shock and often disgust. I think that many of them assume that I am a delinquent or abusive parent and that I must have done something to my poor baby. Hip dysplasia is something that is not commonly understood by folks, and they are so unaccustomed to seeing a baby in a body cast that they can't help themselves from jumping to conclusions. I just want to yell at them - "Yes! I got drunk and fell down the stairs with her! Happy now?" Most days I take it in stride, but there have been moments where the gawkers have really gotten to me. On those days I tend to feel like not even leaving my house, but that's not fair to Addie because she loves our little outdoor adventures.

Hanging out at home, away from the gawkers

There are a lot of compassionate folks out there too who approach me and in a very concerned tone ask about why Addison is in the cast. To those folks I am happy to explain the situation and am always responded to with "will she be ok?" and genuine care and concern.

So, if you are out and about and happen to see a baby in a body cast - don't automatically assume that the parents could have prevented it. Be kind, ask about it if you must but by all means please don't stare and please don't judge.
Spica babes need love too!

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