i've come along way from the mouthy teenager who would say the first thing that entered her mind without considering the feelings of anyone. it's something that i've worked on... you know, thinking before i speak. since samil was born... well, even before, i suppose, i've had to bite my tongue so much it's surprising that i have any tastebuds left. people stop me on the street to tell me how horrible i am for carrying samil in a snuggly or taking him out after dark. today, on our trip to the supermarket, i was just sad. and i couldn't bite my tongue. for better or worse, i've learned to let 'bad mommy' comments roll off my back, but i hate when people degrade their own culture. it's common here. i deal with it daily. and it still bothers me. from the 'why would you marry a dominican?' questions to the 'this country is horrible' comments to the 'why would you have a baby in this country if you have other options' curiosity, it stings everytime a dominican insults their own people. the cashier looks at me, with one of those long up.and.down looks and asks "why do you carry him in that?" excuse me? "yeah, why do you have him there? and he has no socks on." it's 100 degrees outside, i promise he won't freeze. i look back at her and politely explain that carriers do not deform babies legs, make boy babies infertile nor are they uncomfortable and samil cannot, i promise, fall out. she stares. i stare back. she mutters something about me being irresponsible. i seethe. i'm sure it was visible on my face. so, to "save" both of us, the bagboy chirps in "don't worry, they're tourists!" huh? "yah, only foreigners always take their babies everywhere. i mean, where's your kid? running around at your moms. you're so dominincan." which was worse? that now i'm a tourist or that he completely insinuated that dominican women don't take care of their own babies. i don't get it. maybe i never will. but we each have our own needs. i don't need to leave samil with a babysitter, so i don't. but most women here need to work, so the kids get dropped at grandmoms. not necessarily a horrible thing. it's not like they're leaving them in the street. seriously.