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I'm conflicted here because I don't know if I'm overreacting and paranoid about all of the child molesters roaming society in professions where they have access to kids, or if it was something innocent that I should just shrug off and pretend it's the good ol' 1950's where friendly strangers did not necessarily = danger.

My 2.5 yr old DD hates buying shoes. For some obscure reason, she's terrified of the foot measure. Preschool is starting in September and I needed to buy her some new ones so after much pre-talk about what we were going to do, I took ehr to a local children's shoe store, staffed by people really good with kids. Anyway, an amazing salesman descended on us and somehow managed to get DD's feet measured and fitted for shoes. He charmed her into stunned silence by talking and talking and using all of his kiddie tricks. I was shocked myself as DD wanted nothing to do with the process as soon as we entered the store.

Flag #1: He lifted her off of the fitting couch and put her in a mall buggy, then reached under her bum to get the seat strap. It kinda twigged me in the sense that I don't let strangers touch her. Shrugged it off quickly.

Flag #2: I was paying at the register when the salesguy came around to give DD a sticker, bending to her level at the mall buggy. My eyes were not on her when I heard a kissing sound. Head whips down but the salesguy had already sprung up to come around to take my payment. DD had a stunned expression on her face and was looking at her sticker. I had a stunned expression and quickly paid and left, wondering if I'd just heard what I heard. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it to DD but later asked my DH about it, who thought it was wierd, and asked another GF who shops there who knows this particular salesguy as he's so 'good' with kids to the point that they ask when he's working. Her comment was 'yeah, he's a freak of nature' (referring to his ultra kid-friendly interactions) but she'd never had her girls kissed by him.

In the back of my head was the fact that one of the teachers affiliated with her preschool - not teaching her (it's an arts centre) is under suspicion of inappropriate behaviour with students and suspended until notice. I'm also a social worker who's done SA investigations. Wondering if I'm just more sensitive or if some real flags went up.

Wierd? Overreacting? Would you let strangers touch your children like this? I'm trying to teach my sensitive, passive little girl to respect her own body space (modified form of stranger danger) and even more stepped it up.

WDYT?

Thanks.
 

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This happend to us too....a little different. We were at Walmart getting pict taken (the LAST time that will happen there) Grace 2.5 and Mason 3mo were taking a pict together. Mason was fussing so I said 'Give him a kiss' dd was sitting right with him and I was behine them. The photographer bent over and kissed him
I did not know what to say so he snapped the pict right away the kids fussed I picked them up. He wanted to take another pict, one I didn't want and told him nothing with the bkgrds. He set the whole thing up, I was still shocked and didn't know what to think as soon as he was ready to take another picture I siad the kids were too fussy and we left.

I didn't call the store or anything. I was shocked that he could have possibly thought I was talking to him...I should have said..."Grace can you give Mason a kiss" I have learned my lesson.

No more Walmart for me.

JennP
 

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To me that would raise a red flag. Not sweet at all
: . Not sure if I could have composed myself to actually say something but would definetly call the manager or company and voice a complaint.
 

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haha was that payless?

Sorry i just know my son gets stickers everytime we go to payless for shoes..

Anyways, he likely just kissed your DD on the sticker after he put it on her hand, which would explain why she had a shocked look on her face while looking at the sticker.
I wouldn't worry about it.. it sounds pretty harmless to me.
If he was a real threat ( being that VISABLY interactive with kids ) he would have been caught and put in jail by now, and that shoe store wouldn't have hired him as he would not be allowed to work with children..

I understand that you would want your daughter to PROTECT her body, and know how to say NO and DONT TOUCH ME, but I think this is just one of those situations where someone thought they were doing a good thing, and didn't really have any sexual intents behind thier actions.
 

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i used to get so freaked out when strangers would touch my baby. Especially men. Now, she is 13 months and so incredibly charasmatic. We were in LA shopping district and this old russian man, called his wife and sister from the backroom to play with my dd, then gave us a 20% discount. We have women and men play with her everywhere, sometimes if she cries for things at the store, strangers offer to buy them (i hate that). But my point is, would you have gotten red flags if this was a woman? We immediately get defensive when a man is "overly" good with children. I wouldnt leave my DD with ANYONE that I didnt know, so I dont think I would worry unless either my dd was upset by the contact or that the contact was inappropriate. Unsolicited kissing= slightly odd, id keep my eye out... maybe even say something to the management. Not that it was molestation, but that some do consider this inappropriate and that in this day when predators are everywhere- maybe he should watch it.
 

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exactly, cause sometimes I get the willies over the most INNOCENT things.

This guy at office max, was givin my daughter the "eyes" I swear. Then when he realized I was watching, he got all uncomfortable and said, "shes a little flirt just like my daughter" and walked away. Nothing happened, my dd was smiling and laughing, my dh didnt even NOTICE. but it DID freak me out more than strangers touching her has.

****EDIT**** my dh just read this and got pretty upset. he said "i would have wigged the F*** out. what kinda guy would just kiss a kid, dude? Its just sketchy, this is not the 50's, there are too many wolves in sheeps clothing. No way". (but he is a tad high strung..... sooo)
 

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Sounds a little odd, but maybe he has kids of his own or nieces/nephews or little siblings, and doesn't see anything wrong with being especially affectionate to other people's kids. I would mention something to management if it bothers you, but I wouldn't assume he's some kind of predator.
 

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Slightly off topic-people also always say my DD is a flirt. It totally irritates me, toddlers do not flirt. Adults should not flirt with toddlers. Pet peeve, sorry.

Back on topic-I agree with the poster who said it sounds like he kissed the sticker. I think the reaching under her for the seat strap would bother me more than the kiss. The kiss itself would bother me more in a germ way, than a "he's a whacko" way.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaydens_mom
haha was that payless?

Sorry i just know my son gets stickers everytime we go to payless for shoes..

Anyways, he likely just kissed your DD on the sticker after he put it on her hand, which would explain why she had a shocked look on her face while looking at the sticker.
I wouldn't worry about it.. it sounds pretty harmless to me.
If he was a real threat ( being that VISABLY interactive with kids ) he would have been caught and put in jail by now, and that shoe store wouldn't have hired him as he would not be allowed to work with children..

I understand that you would want your daughter to PROTECT her body, and know how to say NO and DONT TOUCH ME, but I think this is just one of those situations where someone thought they were doing a good thing, and didn't really have any sexual intents behind thier actions.
:
I was also thinking that he probably kissed the sticker on her hand. It would probably make the sound louder (you heard it), and would make sense in a non-creapy way (other than that you don't want strangers touching your DD of course)... you know, like the old fashoned chivlry-type thing? And it probably wouldn't seem too bad to the guy either if he wasn't directly touching her skin (just the sticker). Just speculation of course...
In any case, I'm sorry this happened and upset you!
 

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I think it's cute. In many other countries it's common for adults to talk to, kiss, or pick up random children, and there is no fear of kidnapping or creepy ulterior motives. Babies are just cute and kissable! Of course we should be concerned about safety, but I think that's often taken too far. You were right there; I don't think it was an unsafe situation at all.
 

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lol I think my son seriously does flirt... not like adults flirt ( because they like eachother or whatever ), but more of a child flirt....

My son doesn't do this with guys, only women... he will look at them and smile.. and once he has her attention he hides behind me or behind something and keeps peeking at them from around my side or around the corner from what ever he's hiding behind...

He also flirts with little girls too ( toddlers around his age )... he does the same thing... the little hiding, peeking, hiding, giggle, peeking game...

But with little boys he is just normal..
 

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......I'm one of those people who sometimes kiss other people's children. I guess I really shouldn't...I do it I guess b/c I love kids and I kiss my own kids, and I guess I just treat other people's kids kinda like my own. I guess I'm somewhat naive and really hope I didn't offend anyone ever. Perhaps he really did just love kids? Sometimes people don't realize that what they are doing is offensive, and some people are just really friendly. That said, of course you have to keep your eyes out because unfortunately we have people in this world whose intentions are far from innocent.
 

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What country was/is he from? As other said in other countries it is common.

I have been guilty of helping kids into shopping buggies and strapping them up. I could have done that!! Without giving it a second thought.

If the kiss was noisy I would be more inclined to say he was playing with your dd.
 

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You were weirded out by it. To me, that's the best indicator of how you should feel about the situation. It sat wrong with you. Listen to that. I don't care if other people think it's sweet or cute or probably nothing or a cultural difference and neither should you. It sat wrong with you and raised your hackles. Those instincts exist for a reason, listen to them.

Having worked in retail, I cannot imagine a situation in which it would somehow be OK to kiss a customer's kid out of the blue.
 

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ITA w/ the above poster. Isn't this just the point in that book Protecting the Gift? Trust your instinct and don't waste time second guessing yourself afterward.
I think what happened was inappropriate.
 
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