Now imagine everything happens in person –there’s the well-meaning lady who says this to the mother, while the child, now ten, is present. The mother kind of seconds the comment to be polite, but feels uneasy about it. The exchange is held over the child’s head as if she’s not present. The child, of course, understands everything, but by now knows to keep her mouth shut and just be cutesy.
This happened to us, just yesterday. Reading this, it’s now stark clear to me why I felt uneasy. I’m horrified to no end.