Saturday, June 03, 2006

Can't Touch That

My feet were starting to ache a bit from a very long walk as I was dealing with the electronic touchpad in the Trader Joes. Kaylee was beginning to fuss and squirm. The woman behind me said, in slightly accented English, "She lost her pacifier."

"I know." I told her bluntly as I pressed the "amount OK button" and waited for the signature line to pop up so I could attend to my baby. The whole process takes about 25 seconds.

But it was apparently too long for the random woman behind me in line because when I looked up she was popping the pacifier in my 3-week-old-baby's mouth. I was furious. I glared at her and got the hell out of there. Who the hell was she to touch my baby?

I regretted not saying anything.

So, today I was at a party at my cousin's house. It was a large party full of people that I've seen over the years, but never really bothered getting to know. My cousins have a lot of strange and unhappy friends, but my cousins are wonderful and I really wanted to see them.

I left my kids with my mom for about two minutes while I got some crackers and fruit for The Boy. Kaylee was buckled safely in her carseat sleeping at my mother's feet, wedged between a couch and a coffee table, well out the way. When I came back, somebody said Kaylee is awake! And I saw a Random Party Guest, who had squeezed between the coffee table and the couch leaning over the carseat with his hand in the general area of her face.

I went ballistic.

"Excuse me," I said. "I don't know you. Please don't touch my baby."

"I was giving her a pacifier." he said defensively, almost scoffing at me. "I'm not going to kidnap her or something."

"I don't even let my own mother touch her unless she's washed her hands in the last 10 minutes. I DON'T KNOW YOU. Please don't touch my baby."

He was clearly upset by this exchange. I was too. I hated making him feel bad. But Kaylee is 7 weeks old with a limited immune system. I have no idea when the last time this guy washed his hands, or whether he's been around sick people recently.

I think I'm pretty relaxed about letting people snuggle with Kaylee as long as they wash their hands first.

My family thinks I over reacted. My husband thinks what I did made sense.

I feel pretty lousy about the whole thing. I really wish random strangers wouldn't try to "help" so much.


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