Hear ye, hear ye. . .(hands off my kid!)

>> Monday, October 26, 2009

This message is addressed to all strangers and acquaintances who apparently live under a rock. Since you obviously haven't heard, it is flu season. You can tell because the leaves are changing and dropping to the ground---much the way that people drop from Influenza on a yearly basis. In addition to the regular old, run of the mill Influenza virus, there is also the additional fun of the Swine Flu. Now, the swine flu is a new kind of flu that humans are contracting from pigs. It has spread, and has now become a pandemic. This is serious people.
And who are the people who are at greatest risk of having serious complications from the flu? Here is a list, and it includes children under 5. Guess who is under 5? MY BABY!

Now, I am sure that you all know this already. I am quite certain that you have read the news, seen updates on tv, looked at signs and posters, taken note of the hand sanitizer stations in malls, hospitals and other public areas. So why, why, WHY do you think that it is okay to come up to my brand new, totally vulnerable baby with his underdeveloped immune system and TOUCH him?

Just think about it. Take a moment to think about why you do this.
Even if it wasn't flu season, I would never come up and touch a stranger's baby. Never.

And I love children. I am not the type of person who only likes my own kid, I love all children. I have been baby-sitting since I was eleven years old, have been employed by the nursery of every church I have ever attended, worked as a nanny for years, have my Early Childhood Education certification, did a 600 hour internship as a Play Partner for the YMCA, and now have a child of my own.

I get it. I like kids. I like babies. But I have never in my life touched a stranger's child. Because it's just not okay. A child is a person. My son is a person. Would you go up to an adult you didn't know and start fawning all over them? No. No, you would not. Because that's just rude, impolite and a social no-no. So what makes you think it's okay to treat my baby that way? He doesn't know you, and its not okay.

Moving along from the social aspect, there are warnings about this horrible flu everywhere. Why, WHY, WHY can you not remember that when you get in my baby's face? You have germs. If we are at the mall, or at church, or the grocery store or anywhere at all, you have touched something that other strangers have touched, and you have no idea what those people are infected with. Don't take your filthy, flu-covered paws and use them to maul my child! Do what you learned in kindergarten, and keep your hands to yourself!

And another thing. When you come up to me in a public place and I have my child covered in his stroller, or wrapped up in some kind of infant carrier, and you can't see his face? That is not an accident. I have done it on purpose. It is not an invitation for you to come up to me, his MOTHER, and ask me why my baby is covered up, comment that you can't see him/didn't get to see him/want to see him, or tell me that he's unhappy because he can't see.

I'm his mom. I make the parenting decisions, not you. My kid is just fine, he is not crying or screaming, and let me tell you if he was unhappy that is exactly what he'd be doing. But on top of that, I totally see through you. You are a nut, who thinks that because you "love" babies, everyone should just walk around with their kid exposed for your viewing pleasure. Well, guess what? I guarantee you that I love him 100000000x more than you do, and I am protecting him. So back off.  Your indignation has nothing to do with my son's happiness or comfort, and everything to do with the fact that you think you're entitled to moon over him.

Well, you're not. And in answer to your question, the reason my baby is "covered up", the reason I am "hiding him" from you, the reason why you "didn't get a chance to see," is because I do not want germy strangers breathing all over him, touching his hands and face, and possibly giving him something that could be fatal to him.

So the next time you see a stranger depriving you of what you think is your right to touch their child, and you wonder why they're doing that, remember this rant. The next time you have the urge to reach out and touch a baby's hands, which they put in their mouth, just think of death. Maybe that'll motivate your to keep your hands to yourself.

Thanks for coming out.


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