Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Smoke 'em if you got em - but not around my kid!

Yesterday a woman pushing a stroller crossed the street in front of my car at a stoplight. Immediately I noticed that she had a lit cigarette in her hand. What I didn't notice, until she was directly in front of my car, was the toddler walking next to the stroller, on the side of the hand in which she was holding the cigarette. And I was disgusted. She made no attempt to shield this poor kid from the burning butt she just HAD to have while walking with her kids. And when she exhaled she didn't even turn her head away from the kids but just blew it basically right on them. I wanted to roll down my window and scream at her but who am I to tell her what to do...

I was a smoker for about 2 years, and then a social smoker for about a year after that - that was 10 years ago. I will not lie and say I haven't smoked since...there have been some drunken nights where I enjoyed a butt or two, especially during the two very stressful years it took me to get pregnant. I will say I have not smoked at all since I gave birth to M in 2009, and actually find it rather disgusting nowadays (not saying I will NEVER smoke again of course :).

I don't have any friends that are smokers, and rarely ever come across anyone smoking these days, but when I do I try to avoid them at all cost because I can't stand the smell. And now that I am a mother, I don't want the smell of smoke or actual smoke anywhere around M if possible. This is especially hard as most of my husband's family smokes (more on this later).

We were walking in the park this morning, enjoying this glorious spring day and warm fresh air and all of the sudden I smell the smell of a cigarette and I am immediately caught off guard. Who goes to the Arboretum (this Harvard run nature sanctuary where we walk with the pooch every morning) at 7:30 AM and sits in this glorious setting with bird chirping, and lush landscape and flowers all around...and lights up?? With people jogging all around them? And babies in strollers? I gave this guy the stink eye like he has never seen before.

Yes, it is outside, and a public place, but it caught me so off guard and made me so angry!

As I mentioned, my husband's entire side of the family smokes (save a sister). His father, whom I love dearly, has smoked his entire life, and smells of smoke no matter what he does to hide it. His father's house reeks of cigarettes, no matter how much he tries to clean it in preparation for a visit. My husband, who has terrible asthma and is physically bothered tremendously by smoke (what does that say about him if I was a smoker when he met me! that is love - ha!) can barely breathe when we go for a visit. It has come to the point now that we actually have to stay in a hotel down the street so that he can be comfortable.

I actually have to strategically pack when we go, because the clothes I bring will be saturated by the smell of cigarettes for days, no matter how much I wash them. And this makes me dread bringing M to his house. Yes, they aren't smoking right in front of her, but they do smoke right outside, everyone smells of smoke and it gets to the point where M's hair smells of smoke, and her clothes - it just disgusts me. But I grin and bear it, because I love them all so much and don't get to see them often...I just wish they would all quit!

I feel like I am rambling on now - so I will get to the point....

Don't smoke. It stinks, makes you stink, and it kills you. And if you want to smoke, don't smoke around your kids.

That is all :)


  1. I couldn't agree more. Several people in my husband's family smoke, and when my boys were newborns, I decided that there was going to be a no smoking rule, and I wasn't going to be "nice" about it. When the babies were 2 days old, my brother in law visited with his girlfriend and they both reeked of smoke. I almost threw up. I was so hormonal and nutty that I didn't say what I was thinking - leave, change your clothes, shower, come back, wash your hands, and then you can hold my precious newborns.
    Since then, I've made it clear to my husband that smoking - even outside - is not okay with me. At 2, my boys already idolize their uncles and there is NO way I am letting J+R see the "uncas" smoking, or letting them smell of smoke. One uncle wanted to take them minigolfing in his truck (with car seats of course) and I said no. His mother is furious at me because I won't let the boys sleep at her house - but it is a firetrap (the wiring is from the 1920s)and her son lives there and smokes in his room.

    I think if it bothers you to take M to your inlaws, you have a perfectly good reason that you all need to meet out somewhere - your husband's asthma and your child.

    I know how hard it is, and for me, it's definitely caused friction with my inlaws. But really, I hate to say it, but I don't care about them. They aren't my first priority - if they want to smoke themselves to death, that's their prerogative. However, my children can't make that decision for themselves, and they ARE my first priority. So I made it clear - I love you, it's the smoking I hate. I won't allow it around my children. The End.

  2. I hear ya Mama Sa. Our only problem is that we only see the in-laws once a year, so I feel like I can't put up that much of a stink. Thankfully this time it will be in the summer and we can be out back (where they don't smoke) most of the time, and at the hotel the rest of the time. And this is in upstate NY so it is a 6 hour drive to get there.

    I always feel so badly for my husband because we see my parents (who live in Florida) much more often than his dad (his mom died when he was younger), so I can't say too much...