Monday, June 4, 2012

Touchy People

I feel like I need to do a PSA about people touching newborn's hands. Because now that the weather is gorgeous and I've got my baby out and about with her little hands exposed, I've noticed people are getting really touchy and it drives me crazy. My mother -- an avowed nutface, but still -- always taught me never to touch a baby's hands. Better to breathe your foul, germ-laden breath directly in her face or to kiss her on her forehead rather than touch her hands. But I guess other people didn't have germophobe moms because everyone is freaking laying hands on my baby's hands.

The other day I was in the elevator, holding the baby and standing next to a little toddler throwing an epic tantrum. When he saw the baby, he piped down.

"She's small," he said. It was very cute. You could tell his mother was relieved for the distraction. And then he put his scheevy, dirt-laden hands right on top of Terza's pristine fingers and just pawed them incessantly until we reached my floor.

His mother stood there watching.

"Is that OK that he's touching her?" she asked.

What was I gonna say? The deed was done already. But I would have liked to reply: "If you have to ask, lady, I think the answer is clear. And in case its not -- allow me to clarify. No fucking way. I'd had two toddlers and I know that they stick their fingers up every orifice they've got, and orifices other kids have too. So forgive me if I don't want those streppy-rotavirus-cox-sackie finger tips caressing those of my newborn infant who hasn't of course, been immunized against jack shit yet."

I just smiled and tried to swallow my indignation. Then the mom said, "You should probably wash her hands, though. He's been to the park."

The elevator door opened just in time. Yeah, I might want to wash her hands. I might want to douse them with antibacterial spray, then hose them down with rubbing alcohol and then steam-sterilize them.

As it was, I was running late to pick up my other kids from school so I settled on just simply washing them with soap at the sink. I say "simply washing." but have you ever tried to wash a newborn's hands while you're holding her? The baby can't even keep her head up yet. Its too much to coordinate with my my two arms. She ended up soaking wet. I ended up late. And Seconda ended up giving me a stern talking-to about being the last parent at pick-up. Thanks a lot Elevator Mom.