Saturday, August 06, 2011

Don't Touch My Baby, Lady

It never ceases to amaze me how few boundaries some people have.

I am ALL about boundaries. They hold hands with my Control Issues.

This afternoon we went to Costco to see if it was worth renewing our membership. Why I thought going to Costco on a Saturday of all days was a good idea is beyond me, except these days I'm desperate to get out of the house so it seemed like a fabulous idea at the time.

It was a complete zoo.

One of my top pet peeves is (are?) less than intelligent people and today they were all hanging out at Costco. Walking like molasses. Stopping in the aisles to stare off into space. Cutting in front of people with those honkin' big shopping carts.

They sure are big carts, aren't they? I kind of wanted to climb in and ride around. But remember, I am all about boundaries, and one if them is to not make an ass out of myself in public.

(ooh..I said ass on my blog. I feel all badASS now)

I was looking at the meat counter when this woman who would be in her late 50's grabbed my cart (with my baby in it) and jerked it out of her way so she could get in front of me. I would have said something but I was shocked at the way she was dressed. Very inappropriately for a) the location and b) her age. I just kind of stood there with my mouth hanging open. I wish I had said something at the time, and believe me, I've thought about ten things I could have said but you'd just have to have seen her outfit to understand my silence.

I have a very sharp tongue and I have to work very, very, hard to keep it in check. The outfit silenced me. So did the hair and the excessive makeup, but I don't want to talk about those things because then I would sound really mean.

Anyway, whenever I go to Costco I start out thinking that there is no way we need so much of one item and that the prices aren't that great. By the time I get to the checkout I'm thinking how we need all sorts of this stuff and we'll somehow find a way to store it, and isn't $3.99 awesome for that big box of Oreos, Ian!?!

(It was a good price for that big box of Oreos and we did buy it.)

By the time we got to the cash register Matthew was a wreck. He was fussing constantly so I had been carrying him in my arms. Ian wanted to go back to look at one last thing while we waited in line so I put him back into his carseat so I could put my items up on the belt thing.

And this is where we get to the complete breach of boundaries.

It's taken me long enough to get to this point, hasn't it.

So I'm putting things on the belt thingy and Matthew is screaming his little lungs out... and this woman came over from the next lane and started stroking his face with her whole hand, trying to soothe him. His cheeks, his eyes, his mouth... her hands were all over his little face.


I quickly went to his side just as she was jamming his soother into his mouth trying to shush him, all while speaking to him in another language.

"STOP!" I said loudly, then tried to temper myself and be more polite. "He doesn't like that, thank you, but please don't do that ... please let him be...he's fine." and moved myself in between the cart and her because she was continuing to try to touch his arm.

I felt like such a witch but WOW. I would never touch another woman's child like that. EVER.

So now I'm so embarrassed that my kid is screaming himself hoarse that I have tears in my eyes. Then a different woman came over and started rubbing his legs and telling him to stop crying. I asked her to please not do that and pulled the cart out of her reach.


Once we were done, we stopped for a cold drink while I fed Matthew. He was so upset. I think he was completely overstimulated by the store and just couldn't settle himself down. Poor little guy.

So here I am, hours later, feeling guilty for speaking so harshly to those women.

What would YOU have done so I can handle it better should it happen again?



  1. I would have done the same thing. No one should ever touch someone's child without permission. If I had seen you were stressed, I would have offered to help put your items on the belt, so you could tend to your baby... Don't feel bad. Though I'm sure she had the best of intentions, she crossed a line.

  2. Apparently people in America don't have boundary issues because I can say with 99% certainty that no one here would have tried to soothe someone else's baby. They would have just stared and given dirty looks.

  3. Don't EVER feel guilty for something like that! I would have done the exact same thing. Numerous time with my son I did do that as I was more comfortable taking him out when he was younger than I did with my daughter. I'm sure they were trying to help, BUT, you never know what kind of germs people have. Etc. Ugh! So sorry you had to do that. But, the important question is, did you get your M&Ms?

  4. Um, I just had that happen with Peyton today! I was in a store buying jeans for the big kids who were wandering in the mall with their dadda and I had PB with me in the stroller... she got totally spun up and wouldn't chill out - she HATES to be strapped in to something unless she's moving - but we were standing in line to check out. She was WAILING and I don't really mind it - I was in THE CHILDRENS PLACE so if people couldn't handle a crying baby, they should probably not be shopping there - I knew what was wrong, I knew I'd fix it as soon as I could and I just needed to complete my transaction. Well next thing I know, the woman behind me has started holding Peyton's hands and PB was trying to pull fingers into her mouth and there was all kinds of nonsense going on that I was about to bust someone up over - pushing my stroller and singing to her etc. I had no idea what to do except to tell the lady I had it under control, wish her a blessed weekend and snatch my baby away. So. Weird. I've given other mothers a sympathetic look or a pat on the back - AT MOST - to show that I understand, don't mind the crying, and wish them well... but I would NEVER attempt to soothe someone else's child without invitation.

  5. Anonymous11:33 p.m.

    I agree, this is totally innapropriate behavior! I'm curious where you live Kate? I've been reading for a little while, but never commented. I know you're Canadian, but the mention of Sherkston in your last post makes me wonder how close you are. I'm in St. Catharines.


  6. Um, wow. I actually think I would have been angrier at the person who moved my cart with the baby in it, because obviously she was just being pushy. BUT, I would have been annoyed with the people touching my kid too. However, since they speak a different language, then in their culture maybe what they were doing was trying to help out, reach out to another woman in "distress". BUT again, if I don't know you please don't touch my kid.

  7. UGH.....happened to me in the grocery the other day too. Only it was a FATHER telling his small DAUGHTERS, "Do you want to see the baby? Look how cute and soft he is!" right there in the bean aisle!! I smiled, grabbed my cart, and got away as soon as I could! I can't believe some people!!!

  8. Although I am sure those strangers had sweet intentions, they totally crossed appropriate boundaries! I cannot believe not one, but TWO women, decided that they needed to put their hands all over your baby! Think of the germs, let alone the invasion of personal space. And the fact that you said something and they still didn't stop? Unbelievable! Here, in the South of the US, you would have gotten some sympathetic stares and maybe a few "bless his little heart!" comments, but that's it!

  9. I think that their intentions were good, but to touch his face was inappropriate. I know I have seen mom's struggle with their little ones and gone over to the baby. I have never laid hands on the children, but I do try and distract the baby. ex-I might say in " Oh dear, what's a matter little man? Your too cute to be crying!" Usually they stop for a second or start to giggle. I never thought it was inappropriate as I am trying to help.

    Your shopping cart story reminded my of when you were preggers with Sam. Do you remember that person bumping into you with their cart??

    Hey Carrie, we live near each other! Small world :)

  10. I don't know what I would have done. But you made me laugh out loud... is that rude of ME? Or am I maybe, hopefully, possibly laughing WITH you?

  11. I don't like people touching my newborn, but at the same time I wouldn't be nearly as up in arms as you seem to be, and some of the other commenters. These people were trying to help you and being kind. I would have said something to the woman who moved my cart. People are way too overactive about "germs" too, that's why so many kids are sick so often, it's rediculous. Honestly sometimes we need to look at the big picture and just get a grip.

  12. I don't know - where I live that's completely normal. I wouldn't touch a NBs face of course, but I would help someone if they were, for example, trying to get through checkout with a screaming baby.

    I ask first, though- have had very people refuse. I think the germs thing is overrated too- if you knew how many germs are on the surfaces you touch everyday, you'd become OCD for sure (check the research).

    Anyway, I live in a different country, so I guess it's different here. Thank goodness.

  13. OH LORD HELP the first stranger to put their nasty, germ-filled hands on my precious baby!! I don't see it going over all!!! Happy to hear that it isn't just a 1st time mom thing! :)