The title of this post is a direct quote said by my husband to a man sharing an elevator with us when my son was a mere 3 months old. You see, my baby was sucking on a pacifier and this man, someone who ostensibly lived in the same apartment building as us, looked into our son’s carseat-stroller contraption, and instead of telling us how gorgeous our spawn was (he was), said, “That is the worst thing you can do for your baby. Pacifiers are terrible. They ruin your teeth and will give your child an oral fixation.” Hmm — was my first response, followed by (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Gee, I thought that letting my baby play with broken glass or giving them crack-cocaine was the worst thing I could do. But pacifier, you say?” Obviously, this man was not expecting my reaction, and I think was less prepared when my husband said, “Have a nice day. And oh, thanks for your completely unsolicited advice.” We’re a great team, especially when it comes to dealing with asses. While I’m sure this man had no ill-will, my husband and I had reached our breaking point for advice dispensed by someone other then our pediatrician or by close friends/family who we knew and trusted. Who was this man to us? Did he know that my son was born with a sucking disorder? (yes, that is true) Did he know that my son had digestion issues which precluded him from eating more than a certain amount at a time, and that his paci was a great way to tide him over to the next feeding? How could he? He was a stranger to us, trapped in an elevator for a whopping 1 floor ride (we lived on the 2nd floor, but had a bulky stroller that required us to take an elevator.) Seriously, we were going to be in the elevator for no more than 15 seconds with this man and he felt compelled to share his wisdom with us — I can only imagine the poor person who got stuck sitting next to him on the subway. I understand that people have had experiences of their own with children, and want to share what they’ve learned, but if you don’t know somebody for more than 15 seconds, you shouldn’t be saying anything outside of “How old are they?” or “Oh, look how cute he/she is!” That, in my mind, is all you are entitled to — innocuous questions or obvious observations. My husband and I got such a kick from the “completely unsolicited advice” comment, that we continued to use it in all of those situations, and there were a LOT. I have never been a believer in the “It Takes A Village” approach to raising a child, and will always do what I (and my husband and doctor) feel is best for our children. Your anecdotes and stories, while often times entertaining, are YOUR anecdotes and cautionary tales, and if you want to present them as just that, that’s great; but please do not force your beliefs and horror stories on me and expect me to act on your advice or even take to it kindly.