Thursday, October 29, 2009

Risking Rudeness?

I had an incident today that put me in a bind.

I just signed Frannie up for her first "real" ballet class over at Village Dance Arts in Claremont. If you aren't familiar with it, it is a dinky studio with an even dinkier waiting area (as most studios are).

We got there early, but soon enough lots of families were filing in and it quickly became apparent to me that Natalie's presence was akin to having a puppy in the room. It seemed like every child in there wanted to do "goo goo ga ga" in her face and tickle her tummy and all the rest of it. I usually find it lovely the way children so instantly love babies, but being that it is flu season every time someone came up to her I got a little nervous.

One boy in particular came up and I saw that he had red-rimmed glassy eyes and he looked a bit disheveled and he was smiling so joyfully and grabbed her hands.

In my brain I'm going back and forth- my brain is saying "GET AWAY FROM MY BABY WITH YOUR GRUBBY HANDS!" and then my other side is saying "But he is so sweet and I really don't want to hurt his feelings and I know he just finds such delight with my baby."

So I got up and nonchalantly went to the bathroom to wash her hands.

But then here he comes again, and now his sister is there. His mom can see that I'm getting antsy and she tells her kids to leave the baby alone. I did finally explain to her that I'm just paranoid about flu-season and that I don't mind if they hold the baby's feet.

In a few minutes class lets out and little girls are filing past and one stops and kisses Natalie right on the lips. And my brain does another split-thought ACK! GET AWAY!" vs. "Oh you are just such a sweet girl aren't you?"

Turns out this nice girl was the other sister of the little boy with the red-rimmed eyes. So this lady has such loving kids and all I can think about is wondering how many germs they are possibly harboring.

Next time I'm just going to take a 45 minute walk with the double-stroller while Frannie does her lesson.

Anyways, what would you do? How do you handle baby etiquette?

P.S. Oh yes and Frannie did very well! I like this class much more than the class I took her to in La Verne awhile back. In that class it seemed like the kids spent most of the 45 minutes waiting in line until it was their turn to do some kicks across the floor or a wobbly chaine' turn. But here the girls were moving the whole time, prancing around like horses and running around the room in a big circle fluttering their arms like butterflies. More fun. More work on posture. It's good.


fuentes said...

We were at an assembly last weekend and one of the moms in the nursing room would tell the kids (including family members) that came to see her baby “don’t touch his hands he puts them in his mouth” she was really nice about it and it didn’t seem to bother the kids at all they would just touch his feet and move on. A few of the kids tried to kiss her baby; she wasn’t too happy and didn’t handle that as gracefully.

I have not had kids try and kiss Keelin, I think it’s because we hold her up high and they can’t reach her face. After last weekend I started to think I am probably not has careful as I should be when it comes to kids or people touching her especially since it is cold and flu season right now.

Iris said...

Jamie, it sounds like you feel there are only two extremes to choose from: Rude and nice.

You have a wide variety, within those two.

Just be firm, but polite.

You can say in a you best teacher voice, something like: "You should not touch babies hands or face. They are not as strong as you are because you are BIGGER and STRONGER! Babies are small and can get really sick. So we have to take care of them and help them. You can kiss her feet. She doesn't put those in her mouth yet :) "

If that doesn't work, stand up. Not sure if leaving Frannie behind is a good idea. I think it's best you watch her too. Just move Natalie away. You can also say, Natalie is shy or sleepy :)

Point is, you are the momma bear. Who else will protect Natalie?

Therese said...

I agree with the teacher voice. I would just simply 'teach' the kids that its not a good idea to touch her hands because she puts them in her mouth. You can say it smiling but matter of fact.
If that doesn't work, keep her snug in a carrier or wrap or sling or something where she is up and away from the little ones.

Shannon said...

Ack - I agree those little affectionate kiddos sound sweet, but NOT w/ new babies! Blech. No kissing allowed!

I agree with firm but polite. I've had to do it many times, even with good friends' kids. "No touching faces or hands, feet only. Thank you ... Good job!" :)

I have a hard time "discouraging" little ones, too, esp. when they're just trying to be friendly and sweet ... but not with my "just-building-my-immune-system-during-flu-season" 5 month old baby! He already gets all of his brother and sister's germs - MORE than enough!!

Good luck. It's an awkward thing, but better safe (or rude) than sorry!

On another note - it's great that Frannie is enjoying the class so much! Yey!

The Staker Family said...

You know, I am not a big germ-a-phobe, but this last week I went in to help with Hailey's second grade Halloween party and I was kind of grossed out by the kids. Maybe it's the flu thing, I don't know. I think my kids are fairly clean but maybe someone else would be grossed out by them, who knows. Plus it always seems like it's the germy kids who want to come up and touch everyone and everything, probably why they are germy in the first place!

Jamie said...

LOL @ Kristy- I found myself kind of grossed out too and it is so dumb because I'm sure my kids are the same.

Lots of good advice from all. I need to remember to tell people not to touch her hands and to hold her feet. I was definitely taken-aback by all of the attention and wasn't quite sure what to say.

I still think that next time I may just go for a walk or sit in the van with the kids if it is cold. I'm not sure that I'm really up for 45 mins of teaching other people's kids. I don't really want to sit in that little room the whole time anyways.

Jamie said...

I just realized that my above last sentence sounds kind of dumb because I'm perfectly willing to sit in a little van. :P