May 18, 2018

Little old lady wants to engage with us in public? Bring it on.

First off, I need you to understand that every child’s space and body should be respected, no doubt. My reason for writing this post is to give a different perspective on people wanting to interact with moms of new babies/young toddlers. Immediately, parents want to jump to the “creepy stranger!!” label when 99.99% of the time that’s not the case at all. Of course, all children should be taught that they are in charge of their bodies, and my girls have always been taught that; however, a simple pat on the head or pat of the foot from a little old lady in Target probably isn’t going to be detrimental to my 9 month old. 

That said, here goes:

You know when you have a little one out in public and people you don’t even know want to come up and chat?

Or touch your child? Or pat their little heads?

I don’t mind that one bit.

Did I mind it in the past?  You darn right I did.

So what changed?  Multiple miscarriages.  And a more open mind.

(also, the greater number of kids you have, the the more relaxed you become)

Now listen, with Emily (the oldest), I didn’t really mind people coming up to us because she was our first baby and I was DUMB.  I wasn’t allowing it because I was being sensitive to the feelings of others.  I was allowing it because I was naive and didn’t think about germs or creepy people.  (although the chances of the people approaching being actual creeps is slim) When Allison came along, I was a bit more freak-out-ish when strange grandmas would want to touch her feet or pat her head because I had a bit more experience under me.  Also, I was trying to keep one within reach while keeping the other from gnawing on the grocery cart.  Don’t try to distract me Ms. Sweet Blue Hair.

The same goes for when Caroline was a baby.  I even remember wanting to get one of those hang tags that say “please don’t touch my child” for her carrier.

Then, the miscarriages came.  One after another and with a vengeance.  Seeing other moms with babies was painful.  And you know what?  I REALLY WANTED TO TOUCH ONE OF THEM.  If only for a little teeny second.  I wanted to hear their baby voices.  I wanted to ask the mom ‘where’d you find those adorable sandals?’.  I wanted to have just a small moment with that little one because God had ever-so-rudely stopped those little ones in my house.

So now?  These days?  I don’t mind if people come up to me wanting to talk to Josie.  Wanting to ask about her hair.  Or her shoes.  Or even touch her little toddler hand.

I don’t mind because that person could be someone who just simply wants a baby in their life.

I don’t mind because that person could be someone who just simply remembers a baby in their life.

I don’t mind because that person could be someone who just simply became a grandma, but Baby lives thousands of miles away.

I can promise you that there’s a 99.99% chance the stranger who wants to talk to you or touch your toddler’s forehead is just a person who misses (or NEEDS) babies in their life.

They aren’t going to snatch up my kid.  Besides, those safety buckles at Publix are way too hard to undo quickly anyway.

And by the end of our little chat, and since this is the fourth kid, I may just end up asking the question ‘Do you babysit?’.

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  1. Michele says:

    Great perspective – never occurred to me from this point of view. ❤️

  2. DJ says:

    Just read this and it made me cry real tears. The kind that just come before you know it’s happening and stream down your face and make your nose run. 
    Thank you for getting it. Thank you for sharing your most prized treasures with those who need or want their small touch in their day. It is a generous thing you are giving to the stranger world and we are all the better because of it.