Thursday, November 10, 2011

Look, DON'T Touch

Today's post was inspired by a good friend's awkward encounter with a rude person.  This good friend, also a good mom, read last week's post (Rude People and Socks) and immediately emailed me the following story:

My friend (Mom) is in the grocery store with her tiny, beautiful, perfect baby girl.  Baby Girl is happily hanging out in a baby carrier, checking out the tomatoes along with mom.  A woman unknown to Mom and Baby Girl approaches them in a tizzy.  Mom assumes she's overtaken by Baby Girl's adorableness (you would be, I swear she's just the cutest baby ever) and must comment.  Not so.  Woman proceeds to berate Mom for letting Baby Girl be in the grocery store without warmer clothing.  Mom isn't too ruffled, she's become familiar with aggressive advice from strangers, but it's still pretty annoying.  Then Woman grabs Baby Girl's shirt sleeves and tugs them down and around Baby Girl's fingers.  Strange, rude Woman is apparently trying to shield Baby Girl's hands from the brutal cold of the produce section.  

This may be two too many stories about rude people in the last couple weeks, but I had to share because there is a bigger story here.  Rude people will be rude people.  This is true no matter how much I complain about it (here, here and here).  New and old moms alike can learn to deal with nosy questions and inappropriate comments.  Everyone can (and must) learn to deal with social ineptness in general, because it's inescapable.  But, touching a baby without permission or touching someone else without permission (i.e. a pregnant belly) is unacceptable.

If some stranger put her paws on my non-pregnant belly I'd call her an asshole and judo chop her jugular.  I shouldn't have to explain this point, but I will: people are entitled to privacy of their person.  This is a social rule and I'm pretty sure a legal one too.  Meaning, touching a stranger's baby bump without permission is wicked rude and illegal (or should be).  The same goes for touching a baby without permission.  Just because babies are non-verbal and therefore unable to enforce their own privacy rights, doesn't mean you may take their silence as a "Sure, make my sleeves into makeshift mittens."  Unless you ask and mom gives you the green light, keep your mittens to yourself.  Period.

Speaking of mittens - I love these (by Birda, $38)


LauEnforcement said...

Your posts are getting better and date this might be my favorite one.

Jessica Morris said...

A Colorado boutique that carries Little Partridge also carries "Touch Tags" - neon green tags that you can put on your baby carrier that basically tell people to keep their grubby hands off your baby. At first I rolled my eyes when I saw them, but as time goes on and I hear more weird/slightly scary stories like the one your friend experienced, I'm starting to think these might be a good idea.

Mother of Pearl said...

Really? That's unbelievable!! But what did the friend (mom) do? I've been accused of being a "tiger" when it comes to my kids, and this rude woman would have definitely seen my claws!