Many a pregnant woman dreads the belly rub from a stranger. I was fearing it myself a few months ago, as my expanding belly became more appealing to the common groper. I am happy to report that it never happened, despite my apprehension that it was just a matter of time before someone would touch my abdomen without my permission. Some close friends rubbed my belly after I gave them permission and that was a-ok. My mom rubbed it once after asking me, but it turns out I really meant to say no, so I backed away and that was that. Thankfully, no one else tried to cop a feel.
I was taking a walk yesterday with gummy in the mo.by. This woman clad in a completely coral outfit (coral sweat pants and coral t-shirt. Did she have coral socks and coral underwear? I didn't care to know) came up to me cooing over my baby. And then, she did the thing that annoys me the most: she tried to touch my baby's face.
This happened twice before, which annoyed me then too. Granted, once she was touched by a 2.5-year-old who was excited to see her. I wasn't as annoyed with this child, as I was scared for my own. The 2.5-year-old had just been sick with a cold and my baby was only 3-weeks old. I could picture myself in the emergency room AGAIN in short order. But no. My baby was fine. The other time, we were walking downtown and this woman from church tried to touch my baby's face. I wanted to punch her.
Faced with the situation of strangers touching my baby's face, I see only two options:
Barricade myself and gummy inside our home. Deal with crushing isolation and develop PPD (like I'm not already at huge risk. So, no.)
Option 2 (the option I've been exercising)
Swat at the ladies' hands like they are flies. Yes, you read correctly. Swat at them.
I'm incredibly surprised at how emboldened I've become as a new mother. I don't want anyone's germs on my brand new, immuno-fragile (what's the word here, science bloggers?) baby. So I've been, reflexively at first, and now consciously, swatting people's hands off my girl. It goes against every fiber of my good-girl upbringing, and it is incredibly satisfying.
So if we see each other on the street and you want to touch my baby, please identify yourself as a fellow blogger. I'll bust out the hand sanitizer and let you tickle her very fat cheeks.