So I had an interesting experience today that I had to share to get some feedback. I was at Walmart (don’t judge, I love Walmart) picking up some sunscreen and bubble-juice, as my daughter calls the bubble liquid for our Gazillion Bubbles products. I only had Nevaeh, my 2 year old, with me which made it easier to shop. While I was paying at the check-outs she asked if she could go over to the little ride area. You know, the rides that used to be 25 cents when we were little and are now $1. Frugal me does not pay for these rides, so my kids have never been on them there (besides, we’re going to a fair in a few weeks where I’ve already spent $$ on the ride bracelets ahead of time, my kids get to ride…just not at Walmart).
So it’s my turn, and I’m keeping an eye on Nevaeh while the associate is scanning my items. I see two women walk up with 2 kids and put them on one of the rides. Nevaeh is watching curiosly but at a distance. The kids start arguing so the grandmother grabs the kids and hauls them off the ride. I’m not sure if her tactic was to use my 2 year old as an example or if she actually thought she was doing something nice but…
I hear, “Do you want to ride sweetie?” to which of course my 2 year old shyly nods yes, and then, “Ok sweetie, come here.” She then lifts up my child and places her on the (still moving ride). At this point I’m already right there, having seen her reach for my child. I grab Nevaeh, pull her off the ride, saying “Uh. NO.” and turn on my heel to walk away.
Behind me I hear, “Oh? Does she get dizzy?” from the grandmother. And all I could think was, no she doesn’t but you’d be dizzy if I clocked you like I’d have liked to! Nevaeh is two and a half years old and 28 pounds. She’s tiny and trusting.
WHAT gives people the ok to touch another child? I don’t care if she’s cute, I don’t care if she nodded yes she’d like to go on the ride. This woman didn’t even look up to see if a parent was nearby, nor did she seem to care. We have to be so careful about our children and as a community we should be watching to ensure all children are kept safe, not encouraging behavior like that!
If that wasn’t MY child standing there I think I still would have walked over and looked around for the parent thinking, “Why is this woman picking up someone else’s child that she obviously doesn’t know?”
I wondered if my friends would think I was overreacting when I posted about it on Facebook but so far, others feel the way I do.
What about you – is it ever ok for a stranger to touch, to pick up, your child without your permission?