So Proud

In line at Trader Joe’s a nosy old woman leans over and grabs Sam’s hair, saying, “Where did you get this red hair?” Sam shrugs out of her grasp and refuses to answer her, making it totally unnecessary for me to growl at her (but I did glare).

ONCE AGAIN, FOLKS: Do not touch my kid without his permission. And SHUT THE FUCK UP about his hair unless you just want to say how pretty it is.

What kills me is that I’m sure the old busybody was thinking that he got his bad manners from me. I wonder where she got hers.

15 thoughts on “So Proud

  1. Will Campbell

    February 5, 2009 at 1:25pm

    Gah. The effing nerve of people. I’d add one more rule: Don’t ask me or my kid permission to touch him because odds are it’ll creep me out and I’ll have to tell you no and you’ll think me rude and I won’t give a shit.

  2. Uccellina

    February 5, 2009 at 1:51pm

    And if ONE MORE PERSON grabs my kids’ feet, shakes them, and coos, “aren’t they cold?” . . . well, I won’t be held responsible.

    The other day Husband loudly told a woman to “get [her] hands off of that baby.”

  3. Amy

    February 5, 2009 at 2:29pm

    When people ask about his hair, you should come up with crazy responses. Like, “Oh, I dye it.” or “I genetically engineered him that way.” And so forth.

  4. Jessica Gottlieb

    February 5, 2009 at 2:40pm

    Oh, it’s a challenge.

    I told Alexander from the time he was tiny that he could tell anyone “don’t touch me”. We dealt with the subtlety later on, but there’s no reason your son should grow up believing that the world is entitled to touch him.

  5. Cindy

    February 5, 2009 at 6:04pm

    I don’t know about you but I buy all my bad manners at the local five and dime.

  6. K

    February 5, 2009 at 6:13pm

    O, I like the way Amy thinks.

  7. Ina

    February 5, 2009 at 7:20pm

    Wow..being a mom myself I can understand how you felt. I honestly admire your self control because if it was me I probably would have grabbed her hair and asked where hers came from and give it a nice hard yank…maybe then she will have seen how RUDE she was being.

    I honestly don’t understand the nerve of some people and why they feel the need to touch anyone that is a stranger..particularly children knowing that the parents more than likely DON’T like it…it just wigs me out.

    I think his hair is beautiful by the way..he is a gorgeous little boy and is going to break alot of hearts when he gets older….this I fear with my own

    Anyways I love your blog and sorry about the rude cunt you had to deal with…hope all is well and that your feeling better as will…take care.

  8. Jilliana

    February 5, 2009 at 8:17pm

    Eventually Sam will learn to project the “look, but don’t freaking touch me” vibe in his pheremones. Took me about twenty years, but I eventually mastered it. Now most people seem to keep the required eighteen inches of distance without me even having to tell them.

  9. KS

    February 6, 2009 at 8:30am

    Okay, I’m going to be the lone dissenter here. I think our society could benefit from a little more touching. When I had my first kid I was OUTRAGED when people would touch her without my/her permission, especially because she was a serious mama’s girl, but now I look back on it and I think I was also wound a little tight. And since my kids pretty much never wear socks (or shoes until they’re so old that store owners make them), I get tons of comments on that. Or when they’re in the sling and people ask if they’re squished. Or anything else that’s no one’s business.

    I do want to acknowledge that living in a city is not the same as living in a small town or the country. It’s a totally different dynamic.

    I think it’s great to teach our kids to advocate for their own bodies. Heck, once, my oldest had to tell my MOM, “Stop, this is MY body” when she was playing a kissing game and wasn’t paying attention to my daughter’s cues. But I also think sometimes it’s nice when strangers love on my kids a little.

    I just don’t think it does anyone any good to get all worked up about most things people say, even when they’re being semi-stupid or it’s annoying because we’ve heard it a million times. Sometimes just smiling and saying something nice back turns it into a really sweet situation instead of a negative one. Since I’ve relaxed about this issue, I’ve had plenty of times where someone touches my kid in a way that is completely loving and non-weird, and I know that two kids ago it would have made me twitchy, but now it just seems like another human being reaching out.

    Although I do really like Amy’s suggestion as well. ;)

  10. Annika

    February 6, 2009 at 8:39am

    KS, I think I agree with you in theory — but I don’t think it is EVER appropriate or OK to grab someone’s hair.

  11. Bart

    February 6, 2009 at 9:14pm

    Maybe she’s remembering a baby she once had. Maybe the kid died or gotten taken away. At the TJ’s on Santa Monica, I used to see older women with numbers in their arm look at my kids with some real hunger. Grow a little compassion.

  12. Jessica Gottlieb

    February 6, 2009 at 9:23pm

    Bart, we’re in the business of protecting the kids we have.

    We’ll have compassion once we’re done with this mission.

    The Mommies.

    Jessica Gottlieb’s last blog post..Friday Confession

  13. Annika

    February 7, 2009 at 6:39am

    Bart – I think you’re a little out of line. Actually, I think you’re way out of line. Were you there? Did you see a wistful look in her eye? Do you have some insider knowledge on her being a Holocaust survivor? No, of course not. You simply choose to be an ass by trying to make me look like one.

    I was there. She was not sad. She grabbed hold of his hair and made an obnoxious comment. This has nothing to do with compassion. She was in my kid’s face and he didn’t like it. And that’s really the key, thinking of KS’s comment – if she had not made him uncomfortable, my reaction would be totally different. And my reaction, I feel the need to point out, is in the form of a BLOG ENTRY. I didn’t say anything to her. I didn’t have to. Sam made his feelings perfectly clear, which is why I titled this entry “So Proud.” He gets that he owns his body, and he let her know that.

  14. oslowe

    February 7, 2009 at 6:54am

    Wow Bart, your philosophy is fucking retarded. When I see a drunk guy grab at a girls tit, my first thought isn’t: “Aw, poor guy, we should show some compassion- he hasn’t gotten laid in a long time”. Or maybe: “Hey, that poor guy just got rotated back from The ‘Stan or from Iraq- that woman should show more compassion, he’s had his buddie’s brains all over his face-”

    I don’t care. Tough (if I may) titties. Life sucks. Get your fucking hands off that woman, off that kid. No amount of suffering excuses behavior that crosses another person’s personal boundaries.

  15. Tanja

    February 9, 2009 at 10:48pm

    I would suggest grabbing back and asking where she got her blue-rinse, but I think someone already touched on that.

    I had a 65 year old professor pat me on the arm yesterday and ask me if I was pregnant because I was wearing a really loose blouse, loose because I’d, ahem, actually lost weight since I bought it, and it’s comfy like that in the heat.

    The thing is, I’ve gotten so used to kindly old (albeit poorly socialised) professors asking me this sort of stuff, it barely elicits a shrug from me anymore. The 2 other women in the room, however, hissed as they drew their breath in so sharply. Partly because they probably expeced me to crack it.

    Apropos to this, what is the obsession with red hair? One of my former bosses is a red head and I had no idea people with red hair are exposed to so much comment/teasing. I never thought of it myself. It’s just a hair colour, most often a very attractive and distinctive hair colour.

    People are weird. [/nods]

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