A little distance, please, people!
October 1, 2009 5:39 PM Subscribe
Help me say, nicely, "Please don't touch my child".
posted by lottie to Human Relations (54 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I am the mother of a two year old boy. Lately, it seems like in public he's getting a lot of attention. When we get public transport, people can't help but reach out and touch his cheeks, pat his legs or feet, stroke his hair or tickle his ribs, saying things like "Oh, how cute..." etc. People even kiss his head before I get a chance to say anything. The attention is a daily thing if I take him out. This reached a point of complete lunacy yesterday on a crowded bus when no fewer than three people AT ONCE were pawing him from different angles - a nice elderly lady who had helped us onto the bus, a young, sweet handicapped guy with no sense of personal space (really, truly meant no harm - sort of petting his legs and playing peek-a-boo, which my son enjoyed heartily), and a friendly, middle-aged lady - oh, and the elderly man sitting across from saying "what a good boy, how sweet" etc, while reaching out towards him. It really started to get overwhelming for me, but my kid seems to take it in stride, if not enjoy the attention. I watch him carefully to see if he's uncomfortable at all, and want to put a stop to it before it comes to that.
I don't mind that he seems to be liked - I get a kick out of watching people make cute faces at him while we're sitting in a cafe or something.
What can I say? I don't want to lie, and say something like he's sick with a cold, because son doesn't need to learn to lie casually like that. I just want to say something firm, clear, yet still friendly.
Yes, yes, this should be easy for an adult to handle, but I am looking for some well-worded suggestions that I can feel good about, particularly since these people just seem to be good, well-meaning folk on the whole - you know, nice people who give up seats for us, or help us onto trains. I just don't think it's a good idea for my son to learn that it's OK for people to touch him whenever they feel like it. It's really getting kind of wierd and cloying.