Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hold my kid

I went to the local YMCA today. My wife, son (11 months old) and I went to take a tour and get membership information. The lady who shown us the place was a little on the annoying side. She showed everything there and asked questions but this is not a person you would like to be stuck in an elevator with. Speaking of elevators. While we were traveling up to the second floor, via elevator, she asked to hold my kid. Well she didn't really come out and ask me or my wife. It was the simple, let me as the 11 month old, "ya want me to hold you?"

Being in church work this is a very common request and I usually don't mind passing Dean off to the laity of my congregation. I am fine passing him to family members and friends too. Heck, if I know you, you are welcome to jump in change a diaper, feed him, take him for a walk, whatever. If I have only known you for five minutes while you have shown me the pool and fitness area, that is a different story.

Why is it that people feel like children are public property and if you like kids that allows you to enjoy anyone, even complete stranger's kids? I am happy for people to interact with Dean when we are in public but let me remind people what a 11 month old is going through. They are teething, something that is extremely painful. They have separation and stranger anxiety a lot when they are this age and tend to only trust their care givers and parents. They are moody, depending on the time of day and how close they are to a bottle and/or nap.

I say this to remind people that during all the pain and anxiety they are going through at this age, having complete strangers try to win over their attention and affection in two minutes while in an enclosed space is NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!

Dean, being the smart and wise 11 month old that he is, decided that the safest place was in my arms and when the lady came to try and get him, he turned away and hugged my neck extremely hard. I think I heard him correctly when he whispered into my ear, "Dad this lady is nuts don't let me go EVER!"

After her third attempt we were done with the tour and paperwork and were heading to the car. Both my wife and I, and I am sure Dean, were glad to be gone from her. When we sat down in the car we both came to the same conclusion, strangers are still strangers after a 1o minute tour and you are welcome to make faces at my kid but don't ask him to come to you, it just ain't going to happen.

*I am currently stepping off my soap box for now.

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