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."