When I had my first child, Caroline, I took her to the store when she was about two weeks old. I was standing at the deli counter figuring out which meat I wanted to get (you know, now that I wasn’t pregnant and could eat all the deli meat I wanted). Suddenly, I turned back towards my cart to see the deli lady talking to Caroline. I thought it was super sweet that she noticed her and of course I was happy that someone else thought she was the cutest thing in the whole entire world.
Then it happened… the deli lady…grabbed Caroline’s hand! She just kept saying “oh hold my finger, hold my finger!” Being super hormonal, my mama bear kicked in and it took everything in me to not scream “WHY IS THE MEAT LADY TOUCHING MY CHILD?!?” She hadn’t even had her shots yet and I was so paranoid about her getting sick (I was a new mom!)
Today, while at the store, I was cornered by a woman. She had sweat dripping down her face and her hair and clothes were slightly disheveled. She asked me for my son’s name and then grabbed his hand. She insisted on him giving her a hug and wouldn’t move out of my way until she got one. I politely declined several times and then just kept walking.
Here’s the deal.
My children are incredibly affectionate. They love to hug people that they love. They do not love to hug or touch strangers. I try to understand the desire for strangers to love on my kids. I know they’re super cute – I think so too. I know they’re super hug-able – I think so too. I know that it feels awesome when children show affection to you because it’s so genuine – but really that’s only when it’s unsolicited.
I will never MAKE my child hug you. And after you have touched my child’s hands with your germ-ridden hands and walk away, my child will put that hand in his mouth or grab his snack with his hand and shove that in his mouth. Then if any illness befalls our family I will forever blame you for passing your germs on to my child and affecting our whole world.
I know this sounds extreme, but I’m a mom. My children are mine. I devote more hours of my life to them than anything I’ve ever done. They are precious to me and what it comes down to is that you shouldn’t touch something or someone that doesn’t belong to you.
I know my kids are cute. I know that my kids are friendly. I can’t hardly go two minutes with out kissing and hugging them. So I totally understand why you would want to hug and kiss them… but don’t. If you wouldn’t hug me, don’t hug my kids. Feel free to stop us and tell me how cute they are. Feel free to talk to them and me and let them show you how old they are or their latest party trick. But please, if we don’t know you, don’t touch!!
*Originally published in January, 2016.