Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Please Stop Talking to My Kids




What is wrong with people? Seriously.

I know that babies are technically a sign that says, “Talk to me. Tell me about your grandkids. Give your opinion on his/her size and eye colour.” But lately the general public has been creeping me out. Big time.

W and I were at the bank a few weeks ago when an employee of the bank approached us while I was at the teller. She started to talk to W, but he wasn’t into it. In fact, he was burying his face in my leg. Ms. Pencilskirt was not picking up his vibe, and said she had a surprise for him. Still no response. “A ball!” she cried. Then I kid you not, she said, “Come to my office and get it.” What the fuck, lady. I interjected at this point and said something along the lines of “No.”

She looked crestfallen that this little boy didn’t want to ride her office chair all over the place and play with a free bank ball. Maybe she doesn’t have kids — obviously. She also has no social skills and was unable to read the intense “go away” vibe that both W and I were sending.

Then a few days after that, a man on the street said to W, “What a cute sister you have. Can I take her home?” My husband and I looked at each other and W started to cry a bit. Can you imagine saying anything scarier to a kid? Basically, I am going to kidnap your baby sister. Jesus.

Not all people are creepy, and most don’t mean to be. But now that I am paying attention, I have to say a lot of people say creepy things to kids who are complete strangers to them. I have had to start teaching my two-and-a-half year old about strangers already and not talking to ANYONE who you don’t want to talk to. And always walk away from someone who says something you don’t like.

I am also not sure what to say to these clueless people. Nothing, probably. I think most of them mean well. But I suppose what I would like to say to the general public is this: You know how you may see me in line at the grocery store and think I have nice hair? Or that I am short? Or that my shoes are dirty? You know how you think those things but you don’t say anything because we generally accept that talking to other adults (who are strangers) about whatever is in our heads is not normal? It also isn’t really normal to say these things to a child. They are young but they also know they don’t know you and aren’t sure why you are talking to them. Let’s all just keep our thoughts in our heads at the grocery store, shall we? Thanks.

-Tightrope Mama

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