It starts with a pregnant belly. Something about the protrusion leads people to think it’s OK to pat total strangers. And it doesn’t stop once the kid is externally perched. I’ve experienced several uninvited hand-to-baby contact incidents in the 20 months my daughter has been around. I find the situations fall into two categories: Just Trying to Help and Just Trying to Help Spread Germs.
Take, for instance, these two scenarios.
Scenario 1: Ellie and I are in line to board a plane at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. An older gentleman is behind us and smiling at Ellie. All of a sudden, he takes his thumb, sticks it into his mouth, closes his lips and pulls his thumb out with a pop. I could see the saliva droplets flying through the air. As if to make sure he definitely coated her in his spit, he took the same hand and pinched. Her. Cheeks. I was so horrified that I don’t think I was able to speak, but I did wipe her face off as best I could given the circumstances. Read the rest of this entry →