Dear ‘people that think children are public property’,
I’m not sure if you got the memo, but if you didn’t, I just wanted to let you know: it is not okay to touch another person without their consent, even if they are a child – children are people too.
There seems to be a select group of individuals that see a child as an invitation to interact, that’s not how it works. I didn’t like people touching me before I got pregnant, and hormonal me certainly did not like strangers coming up to me in the street to rub my belly and pass on well intended but misinformed advice, while I tried to wrangle a screaming, planking toddler into a buggy. London tube rules such as don’t make eye contact let alone think about starting a conversation with a stranger, still apply even if I have two ‘cute/gorgeous/perfect’ monsters in tow.
So why do it?
My initial reaction is to blame ignorance with underlying racism. W has a lovely crown of curls adorning his head, while B has long dark straight hair, streaked with blond. Once ethnicity is ascertained, the language is changed; W’s hair becomes a ‘frizzy afro’ and B’s becomes ‘good hair’, both become specimens that certain individuals seem compelled to ‘handle’. I might be wrong, but I often get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as my children are treated as some sort of science experiment or genetic mutations. Unfortunately this isn’t exclusive to the people that start a conversation so that I can at least have the opportunity to call them out. It will be the random guy at the airport that runs his hands through W’s curls as he walks past like some sort of lucky charm, or the woman who tugs B’s hair as he holds my hand at the cash point.
I have no real way to conclude this post, I’m just astounded by the number of people feel that it is acceptable to TOUCH a child they do not know, WITHOUT PERMISSION. All I can really say is…
KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF AND OFF OF MY CHILDREN!!!
~FYI I am now actively encouraging my children to kick anybody that touches them without their permission – be warned.~