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Touched August 8, 2014

Filed under: India,Mouth full of potatoes — Kolika C @ 12:15 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

pinch_your_own_dang_cheeks_t_shirts-r60117af2ca024990ae91e194c5e08523_f0c6y_512I come from a culture where it’s okay to touch other people’s children’s faces and tell them how you cute and chubby they are. Growing up my face got touched a lot. My heightened sense of needing space, my irritability and introvertedness probably have something to do with that. I hated my own face and for the longest time I hated my cheeks. Somehow there was this belief among them that my chubby cheeks entitled them to pinch me, often so hard that I would burst into painful tears or swear to cross the road when I see them next. I would’ve crossed the road if I knew how to walk and eventually when I learned to be on my own, I did cross the road… In fact I crossed several oceans just to get away from people who invade my sacred space.
I wish someone would stand up for me, you know parents, family and the like. But this is not a post about how I blame my family for never saying no to those morons.
This is a post about me as a parent. The grown-up, yet-to-be-parent in me would swear that nobody would ever come close to my kids, unlike my “cheeky” childhood.

This picture from http://mainelysane.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/an-introverts-guide-to-parenting/ and the post too had be laughing  out loud (on the inside in quiet chuckles, because the little monster is napping and we can't wake him up)

This picture from http://mainelysane.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/an-introverts-guide-to-parenting/ and the post too had be laughing out loud (on the inside in quiet chuckles, because the little monster is napping and we can’t wake him up)

The pregnant me was always scared of people touching my bump, petrified of the “touching” stories I would hear from others. Thankfully there wasn’t a hideous situation like that. Of course there was a barrage of questions- unnecessary questions, stupid questions, invasion-of-privacy questions, most of which I dealt with humor but that’s another post.

Then came baby. And with that came a fretful mom who somehow was not being able to maintain the standards she once set for herself.
We were at the local greenhouse when a warty old guy came and said what a sweet baby and touched my 4 month old’s fingers with his muddy gnarly ones. I smiled, I liked that guy and I love his flowers and J seemed to enjoy his time at the garden. Who was I to say no?

That was all of five minutes and J just put his whole fist in his mouth then I ran for the sanitizer in the car.
Then came the “aw-cute-baby” nudges, and hand holds and threats of pinches from Facebook. They came one by one as older ladies who would cross the street to see his face, the Indian gentleman at Sunday’s brunch, the law school student in Harvard Square. And part of me swelled with a little mommy pride and part of me cringed at the thought of being touched by someone else. The rest of me laughed at myself.
Then of course was the virtual chatter about baby and baby rearing, the never ending stream of comments that are supposed to have stemmed from concern. But they only reek of “I know better” and “you’re doing this wrong”. thanks aunts and grandmas and randomly prudish know-it-all jerks. In a way, in every way that was touching me inappropriately. Until I started vocalizing the unsaid and saying “you are no one to say that”, “it is none of your business” etc.
How quickly your care can get tiring and frustrating

How quickly your care can get tiring and frustrating

What’s worse? When other mommies in shoes just like me ganged up. Is he rolling yet? Crawling yet? Sleeping through the night? Are you feeding him this? Not that? Why not blah blah and more blah keep-calm-and-don-t-touch-113blah? Time came for a gentle reminder, “dear stranger (yes, you too. To me and regarding this topic, you are a stranger) stop meddling”. Politely it was “He will do what he has to do, in his own time, I am in no rush”. To those who didn’t get it quickly enough it was “Lets not get into this, it’s not fair to the babies. It’s a trip we shouldn’t fall into” Those who didn’t get that either got a dose of “really dude, you should stop”. Then came the “block” on social media (real life block is too easy). Dark curtain pulled on all the drama.
Really though, stop touching, stop invading and stop pinching. Blame in on my overdoing neighbors, I am really on edge about it and it won’t take much to snap. So stop.
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