Overheard in the Stroller (One Baby, One Mother and Weird Strangers)

Mark and I at Nepean Point, Ottawa, June 2013

Mark and I at Nepean Point, Ottawa, June 2013

I’m pretty friendly with strangers and chat­ting with peo­ple is nat­ural to me—most Cana­di­ans are super friendly.

That said, some peo­ple are just plain weird. Espe­cially when you hap­pen to have a child in a stroller with you.

Here are a few “WTF” inter­ac­tions I had with peo­ple lately.


(I am brows­ing the mag­a­zine sec­tion at Chap­ters with Mark in the stroller. A middle-aged woman has been observ­ing us for a good five min­utes. Even­tu­ally, she speaks out.)

The woman: “The baby… he wasn’t born here, was he?”

Me: “Huh?”

The Woman: “You baby wasn’t born in Canada, was he?”

Me, pretty loudly: “Oh, I can guar­an­tee you he came out of my vagina! I have pic­tures of the labour too!”

(The woman gave me a death look and walked away. What? Never seen bira­cial babies before?)


(Mark finally passed out in the stroller and I am read­ing a book at Chap­ters when two older women walk by.)

Woman #1: “Oh, look at the lit­tle angel!”

(She pokes Mark, who was nap­ping in the stroller, on the cheek)

Woman #2: “Look how deeply he is sleeping!”

(Mark opens his eyes)

Me:Was sleeping…”


(Mark and I are at the neigh­bour­hood play­ground. A mother starts a conversation.)

The mother: “Is it a boy?”

Me: “Yes, his name is Mark.”

The mother: “Your first one?”

Me: “Yes.”

The mother: “What did you do to have a boy?”

Me: “Er… I… got preg­nant and there was a 50/50 chance?”

The mother: “So lucky! I only got girls so far. Hope­fully next time I will have a boy. If not, I’ll try one last time. I really want a baby boy!”

(I felt sorry for her two lovely baby girls!)


(Mark and I are at the check­out at the super­mar­ket. Mark is smil­ing and a woman stops to smile back at him.)

The woman: “Hello you! She is very cute.”

(Although I do dress Mark like a baby boy and I think there is lit­tle doubt on the fact he is a boy, I know it’s some­time hard to tell with babies, so I don’t take offense. I usu­ally cor­rect peo­ple nicely.)

Me: “Thank you! His name is Mark.”

The woman: “Hello lit­tle doll! She has the nicest smile!”

Me: “I guess HE is in a good mood today!”

The woman, wav­ing bye-bye: “Be a good girl, okay?”

Me: “… He will!”


(I’m brows­ing the “baby foods” sec­tion at the super­mar­ket, look­ing for new snack ideas for Mark—crackers, fruit purees, etc.. Another woman is brows­ing as well, a frown on her face.)

Me: “It’s not easy to find foods they like, isn’t it?

The woman: “What? Oh my God, I would never give my baby any of this crap! This is poi­son! I cook all of her meals from scratch, of course. Using organic products.”

(So what the hell you are doing brows­ing the “baby foods” section?!)


(I’m hav­ing a cof­fee with a friend. A guy walks by and Mark smiles at him.)

The guy: “How old he is? Three? Four?”

Me: “… Eight months.”

(Hint: when a baby is not walk­ing, not talk­ing and has no teeth, chances are he is less than a year old!)


(I’m try­ing on sun­glasses in a depart­ment store. I’m stand­ing in front of the dis­play and Mark is in the stroller, right beside me, hap­pily chew­ing on his toy. A sales­per­son walks up to me.)

The sales­per­son: “You can’t do that. Store policy.”

Me: “I’m sorry… do what?”

The sales­per­son: “You must have one hand on the stroller at all time. Store policy.”

Me: “I’m right beside him!”

The sales­per­son: “One hand on the stroller please. It’s a crazy world out here.”

Me, walk­ing away: “It’s Ottawa, on a Mon­day after­noon at 2 p.m. and there isn’t a sin­gle cus­tomer in your store!”


(I’m hav­ing a cof­fee and Mark is play­ing with one of his socks. That’s his newest trick: he takes off his socks and plays with them, or plays with his feet. A woman walks by.)

The woman: “I’m sorry but your baby is chew­ing his sock.”

Me: “I know, that’s fine.”

The woman, with a look of dis­gust on her face: “Baby, socks are yucky. Yucky!”

Me: “Not his! We wash our clothes, don’t we, Mark?”

(What? It’s a freak­ing sock! Mark isn’t even walk­ing yet, chew­ing on a sock is like chew­ing on a toy!)


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Oh man, those were funny, espe­cially liked the baby police! And yes the girl/boy thing is hard until they are well into their 2 or 3’s… I cor­rected peo­ple all of the time too…

  2. oh, you have twins!“
    “it’s a boy and a girl, right?“
    “no, two boys” (even if I got sick of blue at one point, I always dressed them with boys clothes. For the record)
    “really? but this one has such pretty curls! He should have been a girl!”

    (WTF? Since when is curly hair reserved for girls?)

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