Monday, May 9, 2011

What Would You Have Done?

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Last week Henry and I were at Staples, faxing some documents. Of course, this would have been easier to do three months ago when he was totally content propped on my hip. This time he was running all over the office area, tearing down signs and throwing his toys in the trash. I let him slip away from me for one second and while I entered the phone number into the fax machine, a middle aged man walked up to Henry and squatted down to his level. Henry lifted both hands in the air, showing the man his duck saying, "Quack, quack, quack!" and the man replied, "Oh, you want me to pick you up?" And he lifted my baby into his arms.

Immediately I looked for all of the exits and possible routes he could use to escape. I assessed his weight, age, and height and assured myself that I could at least outrun him. I stopped faxing and slowly walked closer to them, talking real loud to Henry so that the man knew I was there and aware. I didn't want to be rude and tell him to put the baby down but I also didn't feel comfortable with a stranger holding my baby close and talking to him like he was a friend. And still, I let a strange man continue holding MY Henry because I was too afraid of hurting his feelings.

Looking back on this scary situation and recalling the thoughts that unconsciously popped into my head, I wish I would have handled it differently. I want to let you all know that if you feel uncomfortable with something that is happening to your child , don't be afraid to speak up and even be a little "rude". You have every right to tell strangers what to do/what not to do when it comes to your child and any decent adult should be totally understanding of your behavior. If they're not then that's their problem.

We got lucky last week. Next time I can assure you I will not be a quiet little mama bear. I'm not going to be rude or mean about it but hopefully I won't be so afraid to say something. Please ask yourself how you would have handled a situation like this or similar. Prepare yourself ahead of time and have a plan for handling it. Don't let this happen to you because unfortunately you just never know what people are capable of.

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