Attempts At Adulthood

Why Having a Baby is Like Getting the Hiccups

I am tired of getting advice from total strangers on how to raise a baby.

Last week I was harassed in the 59th street Subway station by a woman on the platform who went on for about ten minutes about all the things I was doing wrong, and how hopefully if I had another kid I would have a second chance to do things her way– aka, the right way.

While I was pregnant people used to warn me that this would happen, but I didn’t really understand it because before you have a kid most people don’t approach you out of nowhere to give you advice.   People don’t just walk right up to childless people and go, “Hey, I have some advice for you!  I’ve been watching you and I think you’re doing a bunch of things wrong!”


when you have the hiccups.

When you have the hiccups total strangers will come out of the woodwork to give you their hiccup cure advice.

*               *               *

Which is why I have drawn up:


*               *               *

Step. 1

First, you get the hiccups.

baby hiccups 1

Congratulations!  You have the hiccups. 

Next, someone you don’t know shows up and offers to help you get rid of them.

hiccups baby 1

And then someone else…

hiccups baby 2

And then someone else

hiccups baby 3

And THAT is when a seemingly normal/super aggressive nutjob shows up.

hiccups baby 4a

hiccups baby 4ab

They will give some inane reason as to why you should trust their advice over the advice of other total strangers.

hiccups baby abb

And maybe part of you will go, “Well, they ARE wearing a very expensive, fitted blazer.  Maybe I should at least listen.”

hiccups baby 5

hiccups baby 6

hiccups baby 7

hiccups baby 8

“What?’ you think.  “That sounds like the stupidest thing I have ever heard.”

But they will continually insist that their way of doing things is wonderful.  And sometimes you will start to second guess yourself.  You will say things like, “Well, I guess I want to keep an open mind about things?  Maybe I’ll think about a white horse on a hill for just a few minutes. “

hiccups baby 9

They will insist that their method of curing hiccups is the most valid way because “they read it somewhere.”

hiccups baby 9a

hiccups baby 9ab

hiccups baby 9abc

And if you do not sufficiently swoon over the fact that their hiccup cure was listed in a book, they will start to quote numerous vague “studies.”

hiccups baby 9b

hiccups baby 9bc

(Yes, they kind of are.)

And what’s that now?  You seemed unconvinced by their reference to both their book and their “studies?”  Well you know what that means!  Time to pull out vague, crappy statistics!

hiccups baby 9c

hiccups baby 9cad

hiccups baby 9cd

And if you do not start nodding and going, “Uh huh, yes of course, white horse on a hill, got it,” they will start to freak out a little that maybe you are not going to listen to them and maybe you are going to keep doing things DIFFERENTLY FROM HOW THEY DO THINGS.

hiccups baby 9d



And that’s when suddenly you will look at them, and you will stop hearing whatever they’re saying.  They’ll still be talking.  But all you’ll hear is silence.

hiccups baby 9f

And you will say, “Hold on a second.  This person is a total lunatic.  Why I have I bothered listening to a word they’ve said?”

You will picture them being escorted away in handcuffs.



But don’t listen to them.   Surround yourself with people who don’t push their own agendas onto you.

Find people who’ll offer support if you need it, but who think you’re doing a great job on your own.

It’s ok if they’re a little weird.

hiccups baby 9gh

hiccups baby 9ghi

hiccups baby 9h

*               *               *

Enjoy the post?  Like The Ugly Volvo on Facebook.   I try to post once a week.

For anyone upset about my incorrect use of the word “their” when I should have been using “his/her,” I apologize and please see my About Me.  If there is other grammatical stuff I missed, feel free to let me know.  I am not perfect.

11 Responses to “Why Having a Baby is Like Getting the Hiccups”

  1. A. van Nerel

    Congratz on this post…I will keep it close, to give to anyone who ever tells me what it is I should do. That oughta silence them. I thank you for that;)

  2. Rebecca

    Ah so true. A year into this parenting gig, I wonder why I spent so much time listening to those jerks in the blazers.

  3. aliceatwonderland

    This is so perfect. I would have liked to have given it to the people criticizing me for giving my baby a dreaded bottle instead of breastfeeding, but they probably wouldn’t get it. BUT THERE ARE STUDIES!!!!

  4. toomuch

    I can’t believe you won’t give your hiccups the benefit of at least trying the white horse method. It’s not just proven in studies I see it work great with everyone who has read the book.

  5. Cate

    My dad had hiccups for a month. Try telling him to visualise a unicorn! Plus, I liked your use of ‘their’ – I assumed you were being very inclusive and not designating your drawn characters gender by their outward physical appearance. Go you!

  6. Alyson

    His/Her is not a good thing. It is unpleasant for people with nonbinary genders and some transgender individuals to read and to view.

    Meanwhile, Jane Austen, Chaucer and Shakespeare all made routine use of singular “their”, and it was completely accepted until a small group of 18th century pedants lobbied to stop it.


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