Last week, Kendi and I had some errands to run. So we packed our bags and went out to the mall to buy some things. That took a bit longer than we anticipated so we stopped for lunch. I ordered the food at the counter and sat down at one of the tables, with Kendi across from me in her push chair. I had to handle some business on my phone so I was not listening to anything Kendi was saying. Plus, she seemed very entertained by one of the wait staff who was smiling and waving at her behind me.
So, as we’re sitting there waiting for our food, this man in a dark suit walks up to Kendi and starts to play with her, pinching lightly on her ears. Because I was on the phone, all I could do was look at the man in surprise (or maybe horror and slight irritation). He continued to do this maybe 4 or 5 times, but Kendi didn’t give him any attention because she was still laughing with the waitress behind me. The man gave up, said something about Kendi being too engrossed with the waitress, and walked away. Leaving me confused and frankly, very annoyed.
I told this story to my mother when I saw her in the weekend and I started in this manner;
‘I almost killed a guy last week!’
‘Why?’ she asked.
‘I’m sitting at this restaurant with Kendi and he just walks up to us and starts touching her. What the?’
‘Why are you mad?’
‘Why are you mad at him touching Kendi?’
‘Because you can’t just go about touching people’s children….I don’t know where his hands have been…. He didn’t even introduce himself… He didn’t even talk to me before, during or after he touched her… He just walked up and went about his business… I should have slapped his hand away like an insect… I should have told the person I was on the phone to ‘just hold on, some ratchet person is touching my child’… I should have…’ I was so annoyed at the question by this point.
‘So you’re mad because he didn’t greet you?’ She interrupted my tirade.
‘Or are you mad because he was a man?’ Tawi, my big mouthed younger sister interjected.
‘No, I’m mad because he was relating with Kendi without my permission’ I replied angrily. I wanted to walk away from them dramatically but we were getting dressed and all my things were in the same room. So I stayed while they speculated at what made that ‘touching’ situation annoying to me.
But I already had it figured out- people need to relate with whoever is with a baby before touching, picking up, or talking to said baby. You need permission from the baby’s guardian to relate with the baby. It doesn’t make sense to just walk up and start touching a baby. I mean, talk first; ‘awww she’s so cute, what’s her name, how old is she…hi baby (touch baby’s ear here)’ That kind of scenario works. The one that happened at the mall last week, doesn’t.
And now, I am equipped- I shall walk around with a fly swatter.