Some things that people find acceptable to do to babies are just weird, annoying, creepy or downright wrong. Here is my list of things not to do to my baby:
1. Touch them.
Complete strangers please refrain from touching my baby AT ALL. I do not know you. My baby does not know you. I do not touch you. Do not fucking touch my baby. You weirdo.
Everyone else please don’t put your fingers in my baby’s mouth. They are the dirtiest part of you. Even if you washed your hands half an hour ago, I don’t care. They are tiny and vulnerable. Or they have teeth and they will bite you. Actually do put your fingers in their mouth and then they will bite you and I will laugh. Just don’t go within ten feet of them if you’ve got the lurgy. I do not want to deal with the dramas of a very upset baby with a viral infection.
2. Kiss them.
Complete strangers do not go near my baby with your dirty mouth you hear me!
Everyone else don’t kiss my baby on the lips. It’s weird and you have germs or bad breath or you stink of booze/fags/cheese/coffee/ a combination of the above. Plus why would you kiss someone else’s baby on the lips anyway?
3. Be offended when they don’t smile at you.
Complete strangers why do you keep saying to my baby “oh don’t I get a smile then?” Again, I feel like I’m repeating myself on this one, my baby does not know you. Why would he smile for you? He’s probably checking you out to see if you are safe or not.
Everyone else my baby is not a performing monkey. He does not smile on demand for me or anyone else. He has mood swings just like the rest of us. Just because he’s not smiling 24/7 doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with him or that he is unhappy. He will let you know when he is unhappy with his screeching howls thank you very much. The rest of the time he mostly looks confused because he is still trying to work the world out.
4. Put your face right in their face.
Complete strangers it is true that babies like to look at new faces but not when they are a matter of centimetres from their own. Plus you’re probably old and smell weird because those are the kind of people who think it’s ok to do this to a random baby in the street or in Marks and Sparks or wherever.
Everyone else if my baby is happy and making eye contact with you, then that’s fine and means he wants to play. You can return his eye contact and make funny faces at him/sing him songs/show him toys etc. If my baby is grumpy and looking away from you it means he has had enough of that thank you very much. He is probably tired and/ or overstimulated. The last thing he needs is your ugly mug all up in his grill. If there are multiple people the effect will be amplified. You know why? Because babies are people too! Tiny little ones. And they also have a sense of personal space. Some babies don’t like being stared at/poked/prodded by random fingers constantly. Sometimes they just want chill time. Don’t get my wrong some babies love all the attention, little divas and flirts they are. But not my baby. He’ll play for a bit but then you need to back the fuck off. Respect him as a person and don’t force your presence on him.
5. Start talking loudly to me/him and/or touch him while he is very obviously asleep in the pram.
Complete strangers just fuck right off.
Everyone else also fuck off because you know how long it took me to get him to sleep in the first place.
6. Call him by unapproved nicknames.
Complete strangers I’m not sure why you would, but whatevs, I’m probably (hopefully) never going to see you again anyway so 🤷🏻♀️ MEH.
Everyone else you know what his name is, please call him by it. Please don’t call him by his initials, add a ‘y’ to the end of his name or use his name twice in a row, which is a big thing these days apparently. His father and I carefully considered a wide range of baby names before deciding on the one that we did. Many names were vetoed (mainly by me). Suggestions that did not make the cut included Wayne Rooney, Aristotle, Axel and Zlatan. Given the trouble taken to choose his name we would appreciate you sticking to it. Ta.
7. Try to give him sugar.
Complete strangers he is a baby and doesn’t want one of your weird, dodgy sweets. Piss off.
Everyone else please don’t feed my baby shit. I don’t want to have to live with it when he develops a sweet tooth and has a tantrum every time he can’t have a bloody biscuit.
8. Sit so fucking close to me or follow me around a shop/park/anywhere I am walking.
Complete strangers I am talking to you. Would you have followed me along to chat with me if I wasn’t pushing a pram. Probably not. (Though I did find that pregnancy seemed to have a similar effect). Why do you think that I want to walk around Tesco with you standing at my side cooing and jiggling toys at my baby? Don’t you have anything better to do? I’m sorry if you feel lonely and I’m happy to stop for a quick chinwag but please don’t then follow me around. It’s creepy.
9. Cry/scream back at my baby.
Everyone please don’t ever do this. This has never actually happened to me but I have heard of it happening to friends of both babies and toddlers. What kind of dickhead thinks that screeching in the face of a baby or imitating their cry is going to cheer them up? Yes it may stun them into silence momentarily but then they will, in all likelihood, begin to scream/cry at a much enhanced volume. Don’t be a prick.
While we’re at it, do not ever dare to tell my child off in front of me (unless you are a very close relative and even then I would still expect to discipline my child myself). I once saw a woman on a plane yell at a child that was not her own “shut up, that’s enough now!” as the flight descended and the poor young girl cried hysterically (probably because her ears were popping and she couldn’t work out what the hell was going on). The flight was from Turkey and the mum did not speak much English but gave the best response possible. “Welcome to England. Fuck you”. Bravo that lady.
10. Withold my upset baby/child from me.
Everyone I really do not know why anyone would do this but again I have heard stories of babes crying in the arms of someone that is not mummy/daddy, mummy/daddy coming to take them with open arms and the person holding baby turning or walking away and refusing to hand them over. I mean seriously, WTF?! Who does that?! Not someone that would be holding my baby ever again I can tell you. Bell ends.
Well that’s all I can think of for now, but I’m sure there will be many more dickish things that people will do to piss me off as my little boy grows into a big boy, and I will add them to the list with gusto.