Thursday, May 17, 2007

Please Don’t Touch My Baby

Why do complete strangers feel they have the right to touch my baby? I’m getting used to all the smiles and the ever so popular “how old is she?” question. But I am noticing a lot of folks like to get too close for comfort. Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing how cute she is (what new mother wouldn’t?), but there appears to be a surprisingly large number of people who are willing to cross the etiquette line.

Walking down New Hampshire Avenue the other day, a nice enough looking woman stopped us to check my daughter out. After asking her name, the woman reached out for Priya’s feet. Foot touching, or foot kissing in this case, is acceptable, I guess, although Priya does put her feet in her mouth quite frequently. I continued to politely chat with the woman (who appeared to be a tourist) but tried to signal we weren’t in this conversation for the long haul. She then started telling me I need to break my daughter of the “binky” habit. She told me that her daughter had become dependent on her pacifier and that she had had to resort to extreme measures to break her child’s fixation. They’d even had the binky fairy visit a few times.

Then this lady’s husband appears. As I planned my get-away, she called her husband over and started on the binky rant again, but this time she reached out for Priya’s pacifier. She managed to get her hands on the corner of the “binky.” In my complete shock at the audacity of her actions, I subtly moved the stroller back at which point she removed her hands and I wrapped it up in an effort to get back on my way. In what world is it OK to manhandle someone else’s pacifier? How is that acceptable behavior?

Talking to a friend (also a new Mom) reaffirmed that I’m not alone. While she was waiting at baggage claim at Dulles with a crying, hungry and generally cranky 5 month old (a 4 hour flight will do that), a strange woman came over and actually took the pacifier out of the stroller and tried to stick it in my friend’s baby’s mouth. Now that is just crazy!

So I’ve decided that’s it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. I’m done being polite to people who want to touch my baby with their germy hands. If you really need to touch a stranger’s baby, at least have the decency to ask first.


Sujay said...

dude, i would be totally grossed out if anyone touched my baby.

love the blog!

Skylight said...

Even though I'll never be anyone's mom anytime in the future, I'd have to say that I agree that touching someone else's child seems inappropriate. It also reminds me of when a woman is pregnant, and suddenly everyone wants to feel their belly. It always seemed weird to me, but everyone just accepts it.

Anyway, cool that you've started a blog and I hope you keep it up. You're welcome to read mine if you find it at all interesting.

Chabela said...

Right on! Babies are people too, with a right to privacy. Nobody walks up to strangers and grabs their hands, feet, and cheeks, and says, "Wow! You are really good looking!"

As the new Mom at Dulles airport, I support the position of "stop being Mr. Nice" and voice out our babies rights! :o)