Friday, June 26, 2009

Kate and the camel

Okay, I love babies as much as the next gal. Before I had Kate, I always would poke my husband and point at adorable kids, toddlers and infants, to make sure he didn't miss the cuteness. Sometimes I even had the nerve to, from a distance, wave or make faces at said children. So sue me.

But what I've learned in the last three months is that many people have no, absolutely NO personal boundaries. Do I know you? Yes? Well then yes, you can coo at my baby. But you, strange woman who just WALKED OUT OF THE BATHROOM? No, you can not pinch my baby's cheek and make some odd kissing motion with your hands that was either a blessing or a curse on my children's children. And you damn well better have washed your hands.

You see, I get it. I understand the appeal of babies. All lovely and squishy and soft. I don't mind the women (it is ALWAYS women) who just want to take a look at Kate and I don't get bothered or worked up when they lean in just a little closer to get a grin out of her. She likes the attention and who am I to deny my daughter an audience with her fan base?

But once in awhile, like today, someone takes it just a step further than I'd like them to. They get too close. They hang around a little too long. They touch, as if they have a right to touch my child. However, I'm sort of a coward and I hate offending people, so I gritted my teeth, smiled at the woman and walked away.

What I really wanted to do was whip out my hand sanitizer and rub it all over Kate's face.

When I was in China, my friends and I were heading up to climb a section of the Great Wall (stay with me here, this tangent has a point). On the side of the road was a camel. A Chinese camel. Obviously we needed a photo of this great creature, but as we all pulled out our cameras a man ran over and stood in front of us, waving his arms and keeping us from taking the photo. You see, you had to PAY to take photos of this camel. This Chinese camel on the side of the road. And forget about touching the camel. Riding it cost extra.

We were all a little confused. The camel wasn't behind glass, or in a cage or foreclosure. The camel was just SITTING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. How come we couldn't just take a picture or pet an animal sitting on the side of the road? Well, excuse the comparison, but I think babies are all a little like this Chinese camel. Everyone wants to stop and stare and touch. And they see nothing wrong with that, because a baby, like a Chinese camel is a pretty compelling site. But I think that from now on I'm going to take a page from our China experience, and if someone tries to get a little too up close and personal with Kate, I'll be standing in front of her, waving my arms and letting folks know that she isn't currently available for photos or petting.


Annie said...

OMG. I am one of those people. Granted, I don't touch others children, but I coo. Oh, and in the airport they flock to me, and suddenly there are 3 small children I'm making faces at. I'm going to pretend I'm an exception and the every other parent thinks it's cute when I smile and wave at their children.

Liz and Jeff said...

HA HA HA!!! So funny! Great comparison. Oh the Chinese Camel. We learned a lot that trip...for sure.

You are a great writer Liz!