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How to deal with stupid comments.

My daughter was born with a left sided cleft lip and palate. She is 9 months old now, had her surgery on her lip and nose at 4 months. She looks beautiful even before her surgery. My question is how do you deal with idiots that think they can put their two cents in about they way she looks. The first bad comment was from a doctor where I work. Before her surgery I took her to work to see the girls I work with and the doctor came up to her, looked at her and said "what wrong with her nose" he sounded disgusted. I was left speechless, the charge nurse kind of let him have it. Another time my husband took her, after her surgery, out for coffee with a few of his friends. This guy comes in, sits down at a booth next to them, takes one look at her and asks "what's wrong with her lip?". My husband just polietly stated " There is nothing wrong with her lip, I don't know what your talking about" hoping the guy would get the hint and shut up. No he doesn't, he is yelling at this point and states " yes there is, I noticed right away, maybe your wife should have breastfed because she damaged her lip with the bottle or did your wife hit her.?'
My husband at this point was trying very hard to keep his cool, his friends at the table told this guy off and he left. We had other minor stupid comments made like when we got her picture done with santa at christmas. It was before her surgery, two old witches were standing there, watching and I heard them ask each other "why the hell would the parents want a picture?" Or before her surgery, we would go out to eat someone at another table would walk by to go to the bathroom and when they get back to the table magically everyone at the table had to go to the bathroom, they would walk by our table and we can see them looking, like we would not notice, this had happened also with the restruant staff, this one time when we went out I think everyone that worked there asked if we needed more water or something else.

How do you deal with stuff like this. We don't want to go through life telling people off or beating them up. My daughter is too young to be affected by it now, I'm afraid that when she gets older and starts to understand what people are saying and doing it's going to affect her and the we react to the stupid things people say and do is going to affect how she is going to deal with it. She is such a happy person and I don't want that to change.
Sorry for the rant but I just had to get it off my chest.


  • That is awful, I am sure that she is a beautiful child and how rude of those people to point out her flaws. I would find it hard not to ask the person that says whats wrong with her nose, what is wrong with their face! I would tell your daughter as she gets older if she has any problems with comments that some people are very rude and we just don't listen to people like that. After her surgery though I doubt that it is even noticible other than some possible scarring. I can not believe people are so ruse they are treating her like a freak because of such a small flaw. Nobody is perfect and if they start pointing out her flaws I would find something not perfect about them and start asking rude questions. My goodness the poor child give her a big kiss from me I bet she is so cute. Sheesh no baby is perfect my kids were such fat babies they have evened out now but my kids are not perfect, I would never say anything to my gorgeous little girl but she kind of has ears that are a little big, they aren't gigantic or anything but in preportion to her head they are a bit big. She is the most perfectly beautiful little girl I am afraid for when she is a teenager we are going to have boys lining up around the block despite anything because everyone has flaws and no one is perfect. Even super models have things they don't like about themselves thats why plastic sugery was invented. Luckily though it can also help with medical problems like your little sweety has.

    Will she need more surgeries? Poor little tike atleast you are getting the horrid surgeries out of the way early when she will hardly remember. It sounds like you might have a tough road ahead I would be worried about school kids can be so cruel but if you are getting the surgery out of the way now she would be fine by then wouldn't she? I don't know much about it so sorry if I sound awful but I am trying to get a realistic view on this. I have seen cleft lips in photos before and it doesn't look like anything that can't be fixed it seems wierd people would be so hung up about it. I don't know about cleft palates though. I had to have a CVS (genetic test) on my unborn baby today and its a pretty good chance the child has a genetic problem as I said to my friend who's baby has hearing problems if at the end of this all my child comes out with is what your baby has I will count it as a blessing. If you feel ok about it you should post some photos of your little girl so we can see how stupid these people are being I bet she is so cute and don't forget the next time they ask about her lip the appropriate responce is "what happened to your face" lol see how quick they shut up.
  • People can be so insensitive, I think it is down right rude to make a negative comment about anyone but for some reason people think its ok to do it about a baby or child. I would like to think I would politely reply that nothing is wrong with her but obviously they need to learn manners. However I know from personal experience that I would probably say nothing. On Friday I was in Sainsburys at the self scan checkout when the assistant came up and said that Isaac was getting big, I smiled and replied yes he was then she said, yes he's too big to be in that pushchair he should be walking!!! WTF is that about, he has only just turned 2 in April anyway so he wouldnt be walking everywhere and he has a problem with his joints and a weakness in his muscles, I just smiled and left, then when I got home I realised I had left my shopping, I was so upset, how dare people comment, it is none of their business.
  • She will need a revision of her lip and nose. We knew that before she had her first surgery. Most babies have the revision done when they fix the palate but since her's intact except a small piece of her gum we have to decide when to do it.
    We are thinking for the revision the sooner the better but absolutly before she starts school, as you stated kids can be mean. I swear the day someone calls her or states she has a 'hare lip' is the day I will lose it.
    She will also need a bone graft of her jaw when her adult teeth start coming in at about 9 yrs old. The cleft clinic stated that most girls have their nose redone just before they graduate from high school or when they hit late teens. We are hoping she will only need about 3 surgeries but we don't know how her teeth are going to come in and if she will need oral surgery to fix any teeth problems. I'm so glad plastic surgery has come a long way. A guy I used to work with was born with a very bad cleft lip and palate, he stated he had about 25 surgeries and still can have more done. He also stated the 25 surgeries he had would probably done in 5 in this day and age.
    I have tried to upload a picture of her but this site keep saying the size is too big. Will try again later.
  • Oh I'm so sorry, it is so hard to deal with interfering bodies whatever the situation and I can't begin to imagine how hard it is for someone who has a visable 'problem'
    My son is visually impaired and was blind up until 9 months, I had so much trouble accepting it as there wasn't a clear diagnosis and people would cobstantly try waving and cooing and doing all the usual baby things. At first I used to not say anything and let them think what they want to think, then I began if someone was rude about it just being really blunt and telling them he was 'blind' and walking off, it made them feel incredibly small.
    I think in your case you need to accept the she has a cleft lip and if someone asks just say that's what it is, as like you say you don't want your daughter to feel she has to be ashamed of it. Surgery is incredible these days and aside from a small scar I am sure it will be very unnoticeable once all the work is done. I think the best thing to do is just love your child and let them know they're beautiful and react to peopes comments in a way that only leaves the asked red faced. People think with children they can do and say what they want and yet you wouldn't dream of going up to a stranger and pinching their cheeks or something would you!
    I am sure your daughter is beautiful and I do believe if a child with a diasability is treated as a child without they come on in leaps and bounds, good luck and I know you'll get there image
  • Well from your reply I can see why you are mad OrthoPed it sounds like such a tiny problem how silly of them. Watitingforbaby I think thats terrible that people commented on your son not responding to them what if he had a serious disability that would have been devistating. I think all of these children are so lucky to be being born in this day and age because cures are happening each day. I am hoping by the time my little girl grows up and has babies she wont have half the worries I did as eveyrhting will be able to be cured anyway. I know some people oppose it but this is why stem cell reserach is so important. Ihope everyone on this forum that comes on this thread knows how special their kids are and how stupid society is. My 4 year old has some learning delays and he can be very trying at times buit he is just trying to communicate as he can't speak properly yet. I am so close with him and love him more than life itself and people do comment but I have never really had anyone say anything in a rude way. Except when my neighbour put me in to CPS because she got some stupid idea in her head I wasn't having my kids seen to as my daughter had a very minor speech delay too. Of course as soon as they found out this woman was full of it they dropped the case but the only thing I can do is wish her dead now. I hate her more than anything and I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire as my dear old nan used to say.
  • I am so sorry people are so ignorant. people are rude to me all the time (completely ot) as im going to have 4 under 3 which i think is a blessing but most people seem to think is a curse. What im saying is that people are rude about everything and everyone so try not to take it personally, i think i would say 'yes she has a cleft palete but surgery is going to correct it, i can see that nothing can correct your manners.'


  • I like that one doublebubble, Or you could say well she wont always have a cleft palate but sadly you will always be an ass.

  • [Modified by: OrthoPed on July 01, 2009 03:05 PM]

  • Sorry I have been trying to post a picture of her and I can't

    [Modified by: OrthoPed on July 01, 2009 08:22 AM]

    [Modified by: OrthoPed on July 01, 2009 08:26 AM]

    [Modified by: OrthoPed on July 01, 2009 03:12 PM]

  • Well I finally figured out how to post a picture of her. She is 7 1/2 months old in this picture, she had her surgery at 4 months old. Her cleft lip was quite wide and the first surgery was for functional reason. Overtime and as she gets bigger and face changes the scare tissue retracts ,in some alot and other a little that's is why the need for revision. Her left nostril used to be flat as it spanned the cleft and after surgery the affected nostril usually does collapse a little. We were supposed to massage the scar after surgery to help it retract less but she wouldn't let me do it much, infact I had to literally put her in a head lock to do her wound care, I felt horrible doing that to my 4 month old baby but I would have felt worse if she had gotten an infection. I know I sounded mad in my original post, most people are kind to her and the ones that stare at her all she has to do is flash her beautiful smile and giggles at them and they are done. I think it was the nurse at the mommy and me class had asked me when do we plan on doing her revision. I stated that I didn't know, she said that it should be done before she starts school as kids can be mean. She doesn't understand now but when she is 5 she will. That made me think out those stupid comments and wondered how are we going to deal with it when she does understands and is hurt by them.
    I had to fill out forms one day for maturnity benefits and the women asked me about her cleft. Afterwards she apologiszed because she suddenly felt rude for asking, I almost hugged the women and told her I don't mind people asking me about her cleft as long as it not stupid or mean.
    Thanks everyone for your support and allowing me to vent.

    [Modified by: OrthoPed on July 01, 2009 04:29 PM]

  • i dont blame you for getting mad you have a very beautiful little girl
  • Oh she is absolutely gorgeous and from what I understand of your description it looks like they've done a fantastic job. It must be very hard having to do the massage, it's so hard as we can't explain to babies it's all for their own good.
    I'm glad letting off steam on here calmed you down and I have to say that nurse was very thoughtless, the 'professionals' seem to forget that us patents could do with a bit of support too sometimes and could do with a friend rather than a dictator of medical jargon. I'd also like to say I don't think you have to worry at all, yes children can be mean but it's a eflection of their parents and far more likely to come from a 15yr old than a 5yr old. When I was at school there was a boy of 7 with a fake arm (think cbeebies) and rather than avoid him he was actually one of the most confident and popular children in the class because it made the best fart noises and he'd play pranks on teachers by shaking their hand and yanking it off! There was another child who wad burnt from head to toe, he was older and I think found it harder but he had friends and you never saw children running in the other direction in disgust. I think it really is down to bringing up a confident child and picking the right school, a family type vibe rather than so many kids you don't know their names hth

    Anyway don't want to ramble just wanted to tell you my observations of school children. Good luck with the review and follow ups and I hope you find a group of supportive lovely people around you.
  • before I start I just want to say how absolutely beautiful your little girl is, she really is gorgeous. I couldn't believe what you were saying in your post how can people be so rudeand so stupid, where do you live? don't people know what a cleft palate or cleft lip is? I've got a friend who had surgery many years ago to correct a cleft lip (she's in her mid 30's) and she has a scar but it's only noticable because we know it's not even an issue though and I'm sure this will be the same for your little girl as she grows up.

    I've had a few comments directed at my little boy since he was born. The nurse (who is lovely normally) at my local dr's asked in a very acusing tone 'and what's this?' it was his biopsy scar which is what I said but i felt horrified that she might have thought i had done something to him, it's quite a noticable scar and looked quite big when he was tiny so i was absolutely horrified when she said that it stresses me out thinking about it now.

    I get loads of people saying is he walking and everything then? I just say no he's got a rare muscle disorder, we've both got it and then you just have to deal with the 'oh that's a shame look' instead which i'm fine with I can deal with that. I know what you mean about feeling horrible having to do stuff your baby doesn't like, one of the things we had to do when he was very little was to literally force Paul to put his head on his left side as he would never do it himself. I had to hold him and pin his head down and make him play or lie like that loads of times through the day to make sure he didn't have more problems because he wasn't doing it himself. it was really hard sometimes he really didn't want to and it must have hurt a bit too as his neck must have ben stiff.

    I think you have both done well to stay calm, my husband would have flipped if that had happened to him.

    I'm very lucky as i go to special needs groups with my little fella twice a week and we get loads of time to chat to the other mums about this sort of thing which has been a godsend since he was born.
  • OrthoPed,

    My friends little girl was born with a bi-lateral cleft (which also extended to the top gum) & an incomplete palette. She is 11 now and just like ur daughter, absolutely gorgeous!! If you ever want someone to talk to etc, let me know as I can get her to make contact with always helps knowing ur not alone and to speak to someone who understands all ur fears etc.

  • I had an experience with a very ignorant person (passing judgement about my little boy) at a baby group that I go to and I just went away thinking that I feel sorry for the fact that she is so ignorant that she has so little knowledge of anything. I am greatful every single day for my beautiful little boy and I know that I cherish every minute that I spend with him...can she say the same about her life?
    Your little girl is beautiful, feel sorry for the ignorant people who are un-educated and un-knowing, its their problem, not yours.
  • Hi...Just want to say that your daughter is gorgeous! Also, I am a PA to a young woman who has a disability and a tip I learnt from her mum was to ask people to repeat what they had said when they passed their small-minded judgements! This usually works as they have to think about what they have said...making them look the fools that they are!
  • Didnt want to just r&r your daughter is sooo beautiful and very brave for having all these opertons at a small age, I have a 23 month old boy and 10 month old twins born prem at 31+3 weeks so only 13 month gap fortunately so far there seems to be no problems with the twins so my situation is nothing compred to yours but i still get the comments like gosh only 13 momths between, etc etc you can imagine what people say, you have your hands full etc etc why cant people just see that i have 3 beautiful sons under the age of 2 so what that its hard etc etc. some pics of them on the twins section if you interested.
  • What a happy, beautiful baby!!!!!!
    I take my hat off to your hubby for keeping his cool with the rude guy.
    Please try to ignore these thoughtless people...easy to say I know but please try. Your baby looks amazing x
  • She is beautiful! Your pic made me smile when it loaded. Im not a mummy yet (so please excuse my rude avatar - its a good luck charm us girlies are using in TTC) but I work with children with special needs. I find it very upsetting when ignorant people stare or make comments. Over the years I have perfected my 'death stare' where I stare anyone down who I see staring at my kids. It usually ends with them blushing and walking away with their head down. Haha! xxx
  • My son was born with a cleft palate and later he was diagnosed as having autism.He had his surgery at 9 months and again 2 weeks ago(he is nearly 5)
    Somepeople are sooooo ignorant you just want to punch them(not a violent person really)
    People say things to me all the time like'still in nappies,thats not right and why cant he speak properly etc etc.
    i just say ' he's autistic' that usually shuts them up or starts a conversation about how many kids they know with autism.
    just one of those hurdlesin life we have to get over.
    Your daughter is absolutly beautiful try not to let the comments get you down.people are prats!!!
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