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Am I a bad person?

I was grocery shopping yesterday and a handicapped woman(sorry, I don't know what the politically correct term is. She wasn't in a wheel chair, she was just mentally disabled) came up to me and started talking to my baby. She was nice and all, I told her my daughters name etc.
But when the woman reached to touch my baby I stopped her and said "please don't touch her"
She looked really hurt but I didn't know what to say. I always see disabled people with their hands in their mouths, I just didn't want her to get germs on my daughter.
But when I started walking away I heard a woman say "It's not contagious" in a really snarky way.

Would you let her touch your baby? Was I being ignorant?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:47 AM on Sep. 9, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (26)
  • It's Okay - what a tough situation! I'd feel bad too... but I'm with you and would have done exactly as you would have. You never know how clean a person's hands are, disabled or not!

    Answer by mevxoxo at 10:50 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • i dont think you were being ignorant. but maybe it could have been said different. i know in the moment its hard to say things the way you mean them. it drives me crazy when ppl touch my babies hands. bc he puts them in his mouth constantly. and im sure the person that made the remark has just seen this person hurt so much they thought you were acting like unsensitive ppl. i think the reason some of the mentally challenged ppl have their hands in their mouth is bc mentally they're still children. so i dont think you're being a bad person, you just acted in the moment. maybe if the situation occurs again, just say your baby is sick, and you dont want them to get it. what someone says to that is their own deal. dont stress it too much.

    Answer by AmandaN1 at 10:52 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Well, it is a little scary, I am always worried that they might hit them or something. They could be talking to them very sweetly one minute and then hit them the next. Not sure why, but that is what always worries me. And to be honest, I don't like just anyone touching my baby. Just the way I feel.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:52 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • i wouldnt let anyone touch my child i do not care if your black white spanish or green or the pope himself if it happens next time just say in a nice way i really dont let anyone touch her im slow and i know what your saying but as a mother you have to do what you think is right for your child too no i do not think your wrong there are germs out there and right now you have to worry about the swin flu

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:52 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Do you let other strangers touch your child? I can understand you not wanting germs on your child but any given person can have tons of germs (and most likely does) on their hands. Don't be too hard on yourself. Its your child so if you choose to allow certain people to touch then fine. My brother is disabled and I can see how maybe not knowing him, one could feel a little taken aback. I have a child too and I won't let many people around her so...all in all its your call.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:54 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • As a parent you always have the right, and the responsibility, to act as the gatekeeper for who approaches your child and who doesn't. You are never obligated to let anyone, let alone a stranger, put their hands on your infant. Would you have let someone you didn't know who was not obviously disabled touch your child?

    Having said that, you could have framed your answer in a different way, that indicated that any stranger would be asked the same thing, but, no, you were not being ignorant

    Answer by laurelsmama at 10:55 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • I think it was just the wording, or maybe your tone came across as too harsh.
    I have asked people not to touch dd's face or hands, but I've said it was ok to touch her feet (mainly little kids).
    Next time just try saying that your baby is sometimes afriad of strangers and doesn't like to be touched. Or carry a mini thing of Purell, and say that you just like to make sure everyone who touches her cleans their hands first. Honestly, if you had the baby in a store in a shopping cart, and if you touched your keys, wallet, money, etc, your hands were probably just as dirty as the person who wanted to touch er.

    Answer by raybird1031 at 10:57 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • OP-
    I sometimes let people touch her...I mean if they seem clean and decent or if I have met them before. Usually they just tickle her foot or feel her hair.
    Some of my friends work in kitchens or work in construction and their hands are always dirty so I tell them not to touch her face or her hands. But usually they have the sense not to anyway.
    But I guess what I was thinking is that a disabled person wouldn't know better that if their hands are dirty that they shouldn't touch a baby. Know what I mean?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:59 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • I would never let anyone touch my child, no matter who. But i did always try to say something like, "he might bite". He never bit, but that little fib seemed to work just fine w/o hurting anyone's feelings.
    Your not a bad person, you were in a situation you weren't sure of. I just try to be a little extra nice to those who may not understand as well. Sometimes they can take it more personally than another person, b/c i'm sure they are discriminated b/c of their mental capacity, and that's not fair.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:59 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • "Honestly, if you had the baby in a store in a shopping cart, and if you touched your keys, wallet, money, etc, your hands were probably just as dirty as the person who wanted to touch er. "

    Ya I've thought that before, I mean just becuse she's my baby doesnt mean my hands are sanitized at all times.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:01 AM on Sep. 9, 2009

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