Invasion of personal space - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-03-2004, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone else get bothered when other people invade your personal space to interact with your DC while you're wearing hir?

Last night the coffee shop lady (works behind the counter at the coffee shop I hang out at) had a little chat w/ DD while she was on my back in the Kozy. DD was grinning and loving the interaction, but she kept bouncing her by patting her but and I found it very annoying!!!

I didn't say anything as DD was enjoying herself, and later let the woman hold/play with DD for a while so they could both get it out of their systems! (She has a DS of her own, he's around 4 or 5, and was at the coffee shop while she was working, w/ her friend or sister or someone like that looking after him).

DD seems to be far more outgoing than I am, and loves it when people are up in her face. I find it disconcerting while wearing her, because they're up in MY face too (or up in my rear, as last night!).

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Old 04-03-2004, 04:47 PM
 
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Me! Me!

I hear that! I just had an experience yesterday as a matter of fact (not the first time). We ran into a neighbor yesterday at the store, I was wearing dd in her baby bjorn, and the woman came up and held both of her hands. I always think of germs when people come up and touch her. There are other times when people I know ( like my MIL) are right in Skyler's face and really loud. They seem to think she's enjoying it, but I can tell she's not because of the wide eyed look she gets on her face. It's my job as a mom to protect her, but how do you tell people to back off?
On the other hand, maybe it is good for her to experience all different kinds of people. However, I don't like it when people are up in my face, and I can't imagine that Skyler does either.
I'm all about respecting baby's sacred space, and baby and mom's sacred space. I appreciate those who feel the same way, and ask if they can enter that special bubble.
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Old 04-03-2004, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SkylerLiz
I was wearing dd in her baby bjorn, and the woman came up and held both of her hands. I always think of germs when people come up and touch her.
People are so clueless. I was carrying my 5 month old in the Bjorn one time and the car parking/valet guy (valet parking is big in Los Angeles) came over to touch him (his hands were covered in - no exageration - grubby dirt - who knows how many steering wheels he touched!!!!) and make faces and I was polite and pleasant on the outside, but horrified on the inside. I ran to the bathroom to wash my son's hands.

Another time I was walking in my neighborhood and had my 6 month old in the sling and an old woman (stranger) starts reaching for him "Oh, I have a cold...."

Why are people so clueless???? I never go up to a baby I don't know to touch them.

Is there any POLITE way to tell people to keep their hands to themselves????

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:17 PM
 
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Tanya, I'm guessing if you carried big scissors labelled "to cut hands of people to touch my child without my permission" that might do the trick... but probably not... people really just go NUTS and lose their social graces when they see a baby.

I see it as sweet, but ANNOYING!!!

I had dd with me at the mall and this older man (70's) stopped her and tried to make her smile for like FIVE minutes... he kept pulling her hands and touching her face!!!

I would try to move by him and he would step in front of us. It was like being harassed. He'd look up at me and say "Now, just give me one more minute to make her smile! I know I can do it"

WHY would she want to smile with a freaky dude in her face pulling her hands and touching her face??
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:48 PM
 
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That has never happened to me. I have found wearing my baby in a sling to be the best way to prevent people from touching her, unlike my first baby who was constantly being touched by strangers everywhere we went. Maybe I just exude an air of "don't touch me" or something
:LOL
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:55 PM
 
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While I do totally understand the feeling in this thread as I myself got annoyed by these things, I am trying to put myself in the other peoples place, esp like the 70 year old man. He knows that his life is near it's end, babies are a whole other world for him. Maybe he hasn't held a baby in 20 years, and just loves to see them and just see the precious smile of a baby. I have a soft spot for older people, and I hope that when I am 70 a nice lady will let me try to make their baby smile.

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Old 04-03-2004, 08:17 PM
 
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In cases where people reach for my daughter's hands I grab her hands first - they can hardly hold her hands while I am, right? My other tactic is to duck and dive in a very subtle way so people can't really get to her. Or I gently sway, hug her, etc. Basically, when someone tries to invade her space, I make her space even more my own. Doesn't always work, but sometimes it does the trick.

Quote:
Is there any POLITE way to tell people to keep their hands to themselves????
This makes me smile... Why is it we feel such a need sacrifice our own comfort so as not to offend other people? (I do this too, so I'm not saying I'm any different!) Not to say we have to be rude to people, but what's wrong with the truth? I think it would be fine to say "Excuse me, but my daughter really likes her personal space and gets a little overwhelmed by strangers getting so close to her. But then again, don't we all?"

This is like when people just run up and touch a pregnant woman's belly. Can you imagine just doing that to a random man or woman at the grocery store? Sounds bizarre, right? But why is it so different when you're pregnant or with a small defenseless child? I do understand it's done in kindness, but I think people need to realize that children deserve the same respect and boundaries that adults expect.

Melanie
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:38 PM
 
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I hate it too and the sling seems to provide no protection against being poked and prodded. I was at the zoo last month and my daughter got more attention than the animals did! At least they have fences to protect them! I joked with the friend that was with me that I should put a sign on her: "Do not touch baby as she is dangerous and may bite."
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:09 PM
 
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Oh gosh, I would really dislike that! I find I attract more intrusiveness in the way of comments than touches. Only a few strangers have got a bit close and personal but I found it possible to let them have a little look and then step back, as they weren't very insistant in their prodding.
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:58 PM
 
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Just imagine how much more exposed the poor babies would be if they were in a stroller... That drove me nuts when i took my son. at the time only 4 weeks old to the mall shoping with me an dh i can't count the # of people that i didn't know at all that would walk up and touch his cheacks or hands... i was ready to scream!!!! Dh told me i was parnoid but with this next baby come along i will wear her in a ring sling/ or pouch for as long as possible in the cradle hold so that people wondering fingers will stay at bay!!! Arrggg!

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Old 04-03-2004, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The few times I've had her in a stroller it seemed to be less of a problem, maybe because people have to bend over to get to her?

The thing of it is, DD loves the attention! I'm uncomfortable, but she eats it up, grinning, giggling, and putting out "play with me" baby vibes.

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Old 04-03-2004, 10:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by wemoon
While I do totally understand the feeling in this thread as I myself got annoyed by these things, I am trying to put myself in the other peoples place, esp like the 70 year old man. He knows that his life is near it's end, babies are a whole other world for him. Maybe he hasn't held a baby in 20 years, and just loves to see them and just see the precious smile of a baby. I have a soft spot for older people, and I hope that when I am 70 a nice lady will let me try to make their baby smile.
Now I agree with that to an extent. We go to a playgroup that has the senior citizens center attached and DD looooooves the people there. She just loves to go and walk with them on the track and talk to them....

But this guy was out of line... he was stepping in front of us and truly harassing us. My il's were with us and they were VERY uncomfortable.

There's a HUGE difference between smiling at a baby and making conversation.... and harassing someone.

Kimberly
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by becca011906
Just imagine how much more exposed the poor babies would be if they were in a stroller...
Ain't that the truth -- I have always thought that must feel tremendously vulnerable, like being in a wheelchair.

edited for typo
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Old 04-04-2004, 01:10 AM
 
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I feel the same way. And horror of all horrors, last night a gentlemen actually came up and kissed my baby while I was wearing him. It all happened so fast I just stood there with a dazed look on my face. I could not believe it!

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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Old 04-04-2004, 10:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by bc1995
I feel the same way. And horror of all horrors, last night a gentlemen actually came up and kissed my baby while I was wearing him. It all happened so fast I just stood there with a dazed look on my face. I could not believe it!
thats just downright freaky!!! I would have said something - dont know what but I am a kinda spur of the moment speaker (gets me into all sorts of nasty situations...) but I would've said something! [not saying you acted inappropriately]

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Old 04-05-2004, 12:12 AM
 
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I dont like people right in my face or right in my kiddos' faces either but as far as approaching us I think its ok. We are always getting approached so I may just be used to it. In fact a few months ago we got a free meal because Mac was giggling at a gentleman sitting behind us and he thought she was so cute and flirty he gave us dinner!

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Old 04-05-2004, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kimberlylibby


There's a HUGE difference between smiling at a baby and making conversation.... and harassing someone.

Yeah, I can totally see the difference! I've been fortunate enough to just have fairly normal people just want to talk with my kids. No one has reached to touch them or really got in my face.

Totally unrelated...but whenever my kids see older people, my dd esp, asks if they are her grandma! The older people LOVE it, they get all into it, like well, not techniqually, but if you want me to be your grandma I will! It is so sweet. I love it that my dd can talk to older people with no fear (I know I was terrified of them when I was young) and the older folks just love having a little 4 year old to talk to!

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Old 04-05-2004, 04:18 PM
 
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I've found (so far) that people tend to leave us alone more with Betty in my ring sling. But she is usally asleep and I put the tail over her, so alot of people don't even realize she's there. I know with DD#1 I would take her alot of places in her carseat and everyone was always touching and commenting on her, or wanting to look at her. Now I only have a few people ask to see "the little one" (Aimee's always with me too, and people still comment on how cute she is). I will give them a peek and that's usually enough.
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:37 PM
 
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i'm the same way - and i'm a freak about germs like SkylerLiz. it's the first thing i think about when some stranger comes up and touches isadora.

i don't mind if someone grabs her foot while she's in the sling, but touching her face/hair?!!

that's just plain old rude. people have done it to isadora and i can almost feel the smoke coming out of my ears. wtf?? were these people raised by gorillas? i'm even betting that gorillas wouldn't be too happy to have some strange monkey come up to poke and prod their little guy so why should we take it???

i've been too worried about hurting people's feelings in the past, but i've been inspired by MamaToFallon. from now on i intend to let strangers/non-friends and family know, with all due respect, i'd prefer it if they did not touch my child.

hope i can do it!
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:01 PM
 
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Strange, I found that so long as DD was in a sling nobody touched her. That was what I liked about it so much, lol.

Still, I try to think of it as wemoon. People honestly aren't trying to be rude. Babies are adorable and I'd rather have someone coo over DD than give me a dirty look for bringing a baby along to wherever I am...

Still, some hand sanitizer in the diaper bag can come in handy, lol.

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Old 04-05-2004, 06:38 PM
 
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drats! foiled already!

i took isadora down to the communal laundry room in her kkacp and we were acosted by a friendly neighbor. of course, this woman treated me like a leper before i got pg (still a 20-something kid, i suppose), but that's another rant altogether.

anyhow, i smiled, gritting my teeth as she coo'ed into iz's face and grabbed her hand and shook it, not once but twice!

why can't i just open my mouth and don't touch my kid? it's not like isadora cares - she's not into strangers and rarely if ever smiles at someone she doesn't know.
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