Here in Australia, people like to call a calm baby placid. Maybe it’s because we don’t use the word placid often in the States or maybe it’s because placid rhymes with flaccid. Either way, every time someone says it I cringe.
By definition this word means “calm and peaceful, not easily upset.” I should feel good when others notice how well-behaved and peaceful my angels are. Instead, my neurotic supermom tendencies and the influence of 30 odd years lived without using that word urge me to feel insulted. When these Aussies say “placid” I hear “without life.” When they say “he’s a placid baby” I feel as though they’re saying “why is he so quiet, is something wrong with him?”
Maybe it’s just me. Or maybe it is a phrase – like sarcasm – that says one thing but wants you to interpret another. An expat like me just can’t tell.
PS – Want to read about more annoying phrases? Tell me your favourite most annoying thing to hear as a mother!