Why So Touchy?

What is it about babies that makes everyone feel the need to touch them? They’re like little tractor beams for rubs, pokes and pats. The bad thing is, most of these are unwanted gestures of affection that usually come without warning. One of our doctors warned us about this phenomenon upon our exit from the hospital: beware of germy hands that feel the need to fondle your little sack of joy. Women, men, kids, dogs, neighbors, grocery checkers, hobos….they all feel the need to come up and give a little touch. Why is this? Is this some sort of tribal welcoming ritual that was in the “raising a baby” handbook that I missed? Hummm, I don’t remember seeing that chapter.

To help avoid this little problem we went to Target and purchased a cover for our stroller and car seat thinking that this fabric force field would deter all the touchy feely attackers. Well friends, we were wrong.  I’ve never seen so many people who have no shame, not even asking before they lift the covers and touch away.

If you think about it, this is the only time in one’s life where touching someone in the face seems appropriate. These poor little babies can’t fight back. Unable to swipe stranger’s fingers away they’re forced to squint and take these unwelcomed cheek pinches, head rubs and chin yanks.

Here’s a fun experiment – the next time you’re at work, try doing this to one of your unsuspecting co-workers. Brush the back of your hand against your boss’s face in the break-room. Or maybe while you’re out getting your morning coffee, reach across the counter and give the barista a little ear wiggle. Think she’ll like it? Here’s a good one, the next time you’re using the restroom, engage the urinal on your left and pinch the guy’s nose. Probably won’t go over too well, eh?

Consider this blog post a public service announcement to new parents and for those who don’t have kids yet. Be prepared for the onslaught of dirty hands waiting to accost your sweet little child’s fresh face. Skip the fancy baby covers and just place a cardboard box around your baby’s stroller – it might prove to be more effective. And to all of you with the greasy, grabby hands, please stop touching without asking. If you do, be prepared for an annoyed parent to stick THEIR fingers in YOUR mouth.

From Colorado Parent June 2015