Tuesday, February 15, 2005

When Strangers Want To Hold Your Baby

For any of my friends out there who ask to hold babies you meet in super markets and restaurants, I have only one thing to say to you: Don't ask to hold someone else's baby. We are left standing awkwardly, not wanting to appear rude, but the voice in our head is screaming, "NO, NO, NO!!! I don't know you! I don't know where your hands have been! I am actually slightly creeped by your lack of social judgement that you would actually ask to HOLD a stranger's baby that I want you to hold her even less!!!" What I end up saying out loud is generally, "Well, I am in a hurry" or something that sounds convincing at that time. Clearly, being in a hurry is not ALWAYS going to work. If I am in line at the bank, saying that I'm in a hurry will just sound foolish. And actually, I am one of those people who generally, squeamishly, says "Okay." And then tries to look as uncomfortable as possible so that the stranger gives her back.

But today, a woman in the grocery store asked to hold her, which meant taking her out of the car seat. Now, I am actually not under the impression that ALL people are child molesters, and I am not worried about people dropping Helen on the floor. But It just seems to me that asking to hold her is the equivalent of saying, "Oh! What a really cute purse. Can I hold it?" or "Your hair is pretty! Can I smell it?" I just don't like other people touching my stuff, or me and in line with that, my kid. So, back to the story at hand... This woman says, "Can I hold your baby? I promise I won't hurt her! I would never hurt a baby!"

I don't know about the rest of you, but this actually made me think that she MIGHT WANT to hurt the baby. Too much insistence, too soon. A little to emphatic on the "not a child abuser" front. Thank God for her car seat. I got to use that excuse. "Well, it is really hard to get her in and out of her seat and I really don't want to take her out. And I'm in a hurry."

5 comments:

Jake said...

When I visit on Saturday, we'll make a list of excuses you can use. Then when someone asks you, you can pull out the list and read it directly off the paper. We'll do this before you cut me.

Tack City said...

"Your hair is pretty! Can I smell it?" is about the funniest fucking thing I've heard in weeks.
Man.
I'm laughing at my desk and looking like a jackass.
Thanks to you, Sarah, thanks to you.

(FYI: I don't generally need outside assistance to look like a jackass.)

SarahRushly said...

Marty, I am always glad to assist you in any way I can.

Underling said...

If someone were to walk up to me and ask to hold Helen or any other baby in my posession I would look them directly in the eye and say, "Fuck no!"

Scott Jones said...

I'm with you on this one Sarah.

Will I get to see Helen this visit?