Friday, April 17, 2015

Dear Enthusiastic Strangers

Can you please get the fuck out of my toddler's face?

He doesn't know you, you don't know him. Why are you even so excited to see him? I know he's cute, but could you perhaps calm down and respect his personal space? You wouldn't treat an adult this way, I'd hope, regardless of how cute you thought they were because you respect their agency. Well, he has his own agency too. Clearly he doesn't want you in his face the moment you see him.

"You'll have to break him of that," you say, trying to sound helpful as he cries and buries his face against my body trying to escape you. But you are the sole reason he is behaving this way! How can you not comprehend that? He was perfectly fine and quiet before you, a complete stranger, decided to tackle him and screech, "WELL AREN'T YOU A CUTIE?!" right into his ear while pawing at him.

He's normally very well behaved, I assure you. It's just when overly enthusiastic strangers such as yourself insist on invading his personal space that this happens. We were enjoying a perfectly wonderful walk/meal/shopping trip/etc. before you came along and ruined everything. Now I'm stuck trying to desperately console him while other strangers give rude looks and you, totally dumbfounded as to why my child reacts so strongly to your utter lack of basic human respect, inform me that his bad behavior needs to be broken. Thank you for that.

It's not that we don't know how to appreciate a legitimate compliment. You need to understand though that compliments are scary when they not only come unsolicited from someone you don't know but are being shouted at you. Especially to a person who is literally still a baby. So, if you could please stop getting all up in the faces of toddlers and children that aren't yours and who don't know you, that'd be great. Do parents everywhere a favor and learn a little impulse control. My toddler should not have a firmer grasp of personal boundaries than a grown ass adult.

It's like the strangers who would randomly come up to me in public spaces and grope my belly when I was pregnant. I don't fucking know you, please get away from me.

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