Later afterwords when we were at the Nagoya Castle, standing outside the toilet in the park waiting for Ihsan done pooping; suddenly we were approached by an obasan. The typical conversation took place again as normally it does which started with where are we from so on and so forth and followed by comments on the baby like kawaii and such. As always we got on with the conversation although tried to make it as minimal as possible accompanied with smiles and giggles every once in a while. But the conversation didn’t end soon as expected. Okay… instantly I realized that was another one very friendly acquaintance we had there. Honestly, I still didn’t mind at all. After all, the obasan was quite a nice person. Although I’m not sure but I think she was alone there. She didn’t really looked like visiting the castle but might be happened to just walked accrossed that area. She wore more like a jogging attire and there was face towel around her neck. But it was already afternoon. Well, I don’t know.
However suddenly what I silently worrying in mind started to happen. The obasan started to talk with Ihsan. That’s still okay. After that she touched him with her hand briefly. That’s also still okay but we were starting to be alarmed. Then as predicted my fear really did happen. She touched him again and again with both of her hands by brushing Ihsan’s cheeks, pinching his cheeks, playing peek-a-boo so close to his face, holding and rubbing his hands and rubbing his head. Tsk tsk! All we could do was looking towards each other in gasp although at the same time maintaining our smiles on the faces. Due to that, I slowly held Ihsan closer to me and checked whether he had done pooping or not. I tried to make busy and started to move already into the toilet to change his diaper and at the same time trying to avoid the obasan from touching my baby again while hubby was still talking to the obasan. To cut the story short, the obasan also went into the toilet to do her business while I changed Ihsan’s diaper. Before going out, I washed my baby’s hands. The story end there. We then headed towards the hotel to check-in.
Later in the evening, we went out for dinner at a Halal Indian restaurant. In the restaurant we were sitting at the most behind and our table was the closest to the toilet. We were just arrived and were discussing on the menu. Two tables away from us, there were an ojisan and a girl eating. I think they were just about to finish already. Then I noticed the ojisan went to the toilet. Now… another story going to start. Once coming out from the toilet, the ojisan took a peek towards our table and to be exact looking at Ihsan who was in the stroller. Ihsan was being fussy since the time we just arrived and he kept making noises wanting us to pick him up. Back to the ojisan, he then started with the usual conversation. By that time, I picked Ihsan up and sat him on my lap. After a while, the ojisan extended his hands towards me as a gesture wanted to hold Ihsan. Instantly I looked at hubby in rather perplexed and chuckled while handing over Ihsan towards him. He held Ihsan nicely undoubtedly, conversed with him, let Ihsan touched his face, held Ihsan’s hands and all.
The ojisan went on talking about many things while we just once in a while responding to him. I kept looking at hubby as a hint for him to do something and take the baby from him. The ojisan was way too friendly to our convenience. In fact the situation took like forever to end, seriously. Fortunately, Ihsan then made fuss so I extended my hands to take Ihsan from the ojisan. The ojisan then called her granddaughter to come over and see the baby. And before going back to his table, he told us he has 3 granddaughters and all. The ojisan kept touching Ihsan even he was already being held by me. Finally the ojisan went away and only came back again to say goodbye before going home. We thought that the ojisan was kinda a bit drunk looking at his way of talking and all. Might be he also happened to like a baby very much. Then, just after we talked about giving Ihsan another bath when we went back to the hotel later, Ihsan projectile vomiting; which surely required a full bath afterwords. Good.
This matter never bothered me before until the day I became a mom myself. Although I’m not sure this could be an issue to other moms too. But to me, I always feel rather uncomfortable for other person especially complete strangers to have a direct contact with my baby what more with excessive touchings like the 2 incidents above. They were both nice, really. But the matter is they were total strangers who we hardly know of. Beneath, the feeling is different when people you know touches your baby compared to total strangers. Truly I don’t mind for close person or at least people I know of to touch my baby or even kiss my baby. In fact I might do the same to others’ babies too. Somehow now I too realized that I should be careful before touching other babies. Deep inside, might be the mom does mind. At least I should have the courtesy to ask for permission first especially if the mom happens to be someone I might not be so close to and if the mom hesitates I should totally understand and not resent at all. Sometimes a mom just don’t want her baby to be touched even briefly merely for the baby to be at piece.
Why am I worried for others to touch my baby? Which in this case I’m referring to total strangers. I think it’s simply because when we don’t know the person, our protective instinct will automatically arise. We will be aware of any possibilities that might harm our babies. Harm number 1, I doubt the strangers’ personal hygiene. She could be touching a dog or a cat right before that or picked her nose. Or he might be just forgot to wash his hands before going out from the toilet. I don’t want my baby to collect dirt from others although I know my baby himself or even us ourselves might not be at our most clean. Secondly, sometimes some people could be very ignorant and selfish that he or she doesn’t aware or simply don’t care that he or she is spreading sicknesses to others. For example flu or cold that can be spread through air droplets. A baby can be very vulnerable to catch those viruses since their immune system isn’t that strong like us adult. Thirdly, for safety reason I don’t like strangers to be extra friendly towards my baby. What if suddenly the strangers grab my baby and run away with him? Obviously I’m the one who will feel sorry later. Fourthly, sometimes I just don’t want my baby to be disturbed especially when I just had a rough time putting him at ease. Handling a cranky baby especially during outing could be tensed already and over friendly strangers definitely won’t do any help at all. Fifthly… well, I think those 4 reasons are the most mattered at the moment.
To me, honestly I don’t mind brief touching on my baby. But please don’t touch the baby’s face or palms or fingers. Although no touching at all is the wisest. Because those are the sensitive parts and baby likes to put their fingers in the mouth. The view of all the dirt and germs from the strangers’ hands getting into my baby’s system is obviously a nightmare. Keep a distance with the baby if you are actually not healthy and currently infected by contagious illness. So how irresistible you feel towards the baby, please don’t go near to him or her if you are actually sick. Although if you are as healthy as an ox make an effort to at least ask first if you are already so itchy to touch the ultra kawaii baby. Even honestly, you shouldn’t even think of it. And owh please, perhaps I won’t meet anymore over friendly perfect strangers like 2 persons I told about. Maybe next time if I ever to meet such strangers again I too should learn to be more firm rather than just to be nice. Or always be ready with logic excuses, perhaps. Anyway, things gonna be different with the people I know of especially close ones. But in a few circumstances, I think there’s no harm for us to at least follow some rules though.
By the way, this is not about feeling good of ourselves or looking down to others or judging others or anything. It’s simply the feeling of a mom (read: hubby and I) will always feel when facing total strangers. Call me paranoia, I don’t mind at all. Keep my baby in the closet? Well, say all you want. It’s my baby I’m talking about so I have the right to voice out whatever I’m feeling. Truthfully, I’m not that fussy but I do have my limits. Somehow, it always felt good getting across very nice complete strangers although of course I wished he or she would keep very minimum contact with my baby.
So, to what extent you don’t mind a stranger to touch your baby?