Today while wheeling my baby to sleep in her buggy (back and forth and up and down), outside a lovely cafe in the back streets of Hamra, a woman felt it necessary to come out of the building opposite and tell me to stop, because my sleep inducing technique was ‘bad for the baby’s intestines’.
Unasked for advice about child rearing is not uncommon here. It’s true that the Lebanese love babies, and that is one of the things I love most about being a mama in Beirut, but it’s also true that sometimes, in my friend’s words, they act as though they own them.
I love your baby so I can tell you what to do with your baby.
Maybe there is some logic in this equation but it is never nice to be told off by a finger-wagging woman you’ve never met. I felt like I’d been slapped in the face but then I came home and found this article, like a salve, about the 10 most irritating types of advice for new parents. Maybe there should be a number 11: People on the Streets of Beirut.