You are holding my baby… and I am allowing it… is this wrong?

by Our Little Pickle on March 7, 2010 · 6 comments

Everly and I took a trip to Vancouver last weekend to take in all of the sights and ambiance of the 2010 Olympics. I had myself convinced that I would be a bad mother if I didn’t take her. I didn’t want her to say to me, as a teenager, why didn’t you take me mom, it was only a boat ride away, that’s lame… teenagers do things like this, I know because I was one of those teenagers. I have an Auntie who would fly to the moon and back to make me happy. She used to have me over to her house for visits when, (and this is a direct quote from a 6 year old), “I really needed to get a break.” I knew her number and would call her up myself to ask if I could come over. I think what made time with my auntie so special is that I felt special. I was the only one, just me and her and it was all about ME, what kid doesn’t like that. It’s sad to say, but it’s still this way (yeah I am blushing a little bit). We all need one person that dotes on us don’t we? Well my person is my Auntie. So now that I have gone into detail about how much I love my auntie and how great she has always been to me, I can say how pissed off I was when I found out (at 24 years of age) that there is a pool in Stanley Park and she had never taken me- the nerve! I called her up on my cellphone and casually said, did you know there is a pool in Stanley Park? She said yeah… I said hmmm, that’s interesting, because I DIDN’T, yes I was acting slightlylike a spoiled brat, but don’t worry it was 90% in jest anyway. So knowing how I reacted to the pool in Stanley Park, I knew that I had to take Everly to Vancouver for some Olympiana and photos to prove it!

We took the ferry over on a Saturday and came home Monday night, it was a whirlwind of a trip that resulted in a lot of fun memories, one of which was locking Everly and my keys in the car…  read all about that here  and we took lots of photos, of course, see below…

Olympic mama and baby!

On the ferry on our way home Everly was wide awake and ready to play, it did not matter that it was the 9:00pm sailing! I was secretly hoping that she would fall asleep on the drive to the ferries and then stay sleeping the entire voyage while I read magazines and ate Cheezies (mmm), yeah no dice. She did fall asleep on the way to the ferries but she woke the minute the car stopped and she was revived and ready for action. I took her up into the children’s play area and we attempted to find our way among extremely overtired bigger kids, I realized after her 4th brush with death by smushing that we needed to relocate. We found a nice little nook near the gift shop where she could admire the pretty jewellery through the glass and walk along the wall- walking and sparkly things equal a happy Everly.

While she was playing an older gentleman came towards her and started talking to us. He was of a grandpa’s age and had that warm personality that makes you feel like you have known the person forever. Everly started smiling at him and jibber jabbering while he asked me all sorts of grandparent type questions… how old she is, what her name is, how she sleeps and of course the ever constant comment of how busy she is for her age- tell me something I don’t know! After about 10 minutes of small talke he put his hands out towards her and said do you want to come see me and the little Judas just trotted on into his arms (so much for separation anxiety hey), and then he stood up holding on to her.

My immediate thought was that he would take her and run away and steal her, but I soon came back to reality and realized that I could probably outrun this frail older man. She was laughing and trying to grab his glasses, he was telling me about when his grandchildren were her age, they were clearly having a good time, but I was not. I could not get past those wiggly thoughts in my mind that kept saying, what if he takes her, what if he is a pedophile, what if, what if… Even after he put her down and she returned to playing I sighed a breath of relief and considered myself lucky that nothing happened and I berated myself for remaining in an uncomfortable situation like that. Why didn’t I say something, or better yet, why did I feel that I had to say something? would I have felt different if it was a grandmother type holding her? why was it a problem in the first place? why do we think everyone is going to steal and/or hurt our children? This got me to thinking about when I was a little kid; when I was 7 years old I used to walk myself to school and ride my bike alone (gasp) to the gas station, these things are unheard of today. When did the world become so unsafe? Or is it any less safe; is it our perception of safety that has changed? Did our parents worry about this kind of stuff? I think it is sad that today we parents have to worry about things like this all the time, or is it just me? I think it is sad that I couldn’t take that moment for the touching moment that it was and that I was so paranoid. What would you have done, or has this happened to anyone else- what did you do? Any thoughts?

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Kids in Victoria Blog Post « Our Little Pickle
March 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm

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Alison March 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm

You know… I have my moments where things like this bother me but it has happened so many times now (my little gal willingly walks up to people and says ‘up’ and a great deal of older people pick her up – younger ones not so much). The funny thing is that if they pick her up I get nervous, if they dont I think ‘ the nerve!’ haha.
I dont think its just you… we hear of so much awful stuff these days its no wonder one would react this way. Its unfortunate though isnt it?
I just smile and take her back if Im not comfortable with it (and disinfect every inch of her after lol) or I roll with it. Usually I roll with it… be thankful your daughter isnt clingy and is ‘trusting’ of other people because I think it means she is well-adjusted and feels confident she is safe.
Imagine how you feel when she brings the first boy home??? This will probably pale in consideration! ha

Our Little Pickle March 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Yes Alison, I can take the positive that Everly has a healthy attachment, lol! I fear for the first boy that she brings home. She has a very protective daddy and MANY uncles, lol!

Eleanor March 8, 2010 at 12:07 am

I agree with everything. I think it’s sad that things have got to the point where we can’t automatically trust each other, and as a parent I try my best to stay as trusting as I can- within reason. When our son was about 9 months old my husband and I went on a trip to Montreal. We pushed him around the city all day in his stroller and it was late, and we were starving by the time we settled into an Indian restaurant to eat. They brought a highchair over for us but our boy was tired and fussy and just as our food arrived he started freaking out. The owner of the restaurant came over and offered to hold our baby for us and at first I declined, choosing to carry him back and forth while my husband shoved his food down as fast as he could. But the manager kept offering and my son went over to him easily when he reached out so I chose to trust in the situation and we ate the rest of our meal happily while our son was walked around by a stranger. It was one of thoser moments that sticks with me because this was just a parent helping another parent out. I’ve offered to take people’s babies for them in similar situations and have always had my offer accepted and I would hate to think of someone thinking I was going to run off with their child…….but the fact is, I understand them thinking it because I’ve been there. It’s not like when we were kids, like in this blog post I wrote some time ago about when my mum left me with the snack concession man at the basketball game. Say no more.

Shannon March 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I am so with you on the fearful thoughts….I would have had all of the same feelings…what if what if what if and how come I didn’t snatch her back. Now that my kids are older (3 and 5), I find it easier to either not end up in those situations or manage my way out of them but I had tons of those happenings when my first one was little and would come home fuming at the audacity of strangers to put their hands on my child. While he sounds like a lovely man, your feelings are not to be denied as a mother, as those feelings are often our intuition picking up something unconsciously that makes us uncomfortable (it could be that one part of your awareness was picking up on his frailty and wondering if he might drop her – I have this problem with my childrens’ grandparents). My children are so secure they will easily hug and cuddle people they hardly know, so I have to have eyes in the back and sides of my head. Yes, things were different when we were kids and I think many kids were lucky and some weren’t. We’re wiser now. It’s too bad that the world isn’t the safe place it should be for kids, but it just means we have to work harder to seek out those safe places and people. You sound like a great mom.

Rose March 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Couldn’t agree more with your thoughts. But again, she probably went to the arms of that old man because you seemed comfortable with it. I strongly believe my little one quickly checks with me and if I am smiling and trusting he is okay with it. That being said, I was equally nervous when an Asian lady who was visiting her newborn grandchild wanted to hold and take a photo with my son. It seemed strange and for some reason I couldn’t say no. He was happy and giggling and all but I was going crazy in my mind thinking what if the woman threw my baby in the ground or over the fence what if she has a contagious disease etc.etc.. Obviously, none of those happened but I got a very good lesson. I am now prepared with my ‘answer’ if I don’t want to pass my child to a stranger.

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