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Touching a stranger's baby

(97 Posts)
Granny3Rose Sun 26-Aug-18 11:36:17

Would you ever go up to a baby in a pram and touch it without the parent's permission? This is about my friend from childhood. She has always been very dominant - telling me what to do all the time and me finding it difficult or impossible to answer her back. If it were not for the fact that she is now the only person with whom I have shared memories of our time growing up in our home town I probably wouldn't choose her for a friend.

Yesterday I was at an evening event with her. We were queuing up for refreshments when she went up to a baby in a pram. I think the child was probably a couple of weeks old. It was just lying in its pram, looking at what was going on - not crying. Without asking the parents' permission she put her hand on it and gently rubbed its chest and abdomen saying ''Poor baby, you want to be at home in your cot, don't you?" I didn't see the parents' reaction because there was such a crush of people. But I thought it was not only wrong in general for her to do this, but maybe she could have done the baby harm if it had some medical problem or had just had an operation or something that she couldn't possibly know about. She was clearly very disapproving of the fact that the parents had such a young baby out with them in the evening.

But, because of how my relationship with my friend seems to work I felt unable to say anything to her about it.

Hellosunshine Sun 26-Aug-18 11:43:38

I think she was well out of order touching the baby, ok to speak (I wouldn't criticise the parents though!) but I also understand how you feel about your friend as I have similar feelings about a friend of mine who does and says things I wouldn't dream of.

MissAdventure Sun 26-Aug-18 11:54:08

I would be nervous of going out and about with a friend like that.
One day, somebody will take real offence - touching a baby!
I wouldn't dream of it, let alone criticising the parents into the bargain!

Oldwoman70 Sun 26-Aug-18 12:05:23

She was definitely out of order. I think I would rather be without a friend who tries to dominate no matter what shared memories we had. When walking around the supermarket I will often smile or wave at a child sitting in the trolley but would never ever touch him/her.

Newmom101 Sun 26-Aug-18 12:15:34

I wouldn't, but I'm not a baby person. And I'm wasn't bothered when people came up to DD and touched her chest or head or cheek. Bit more annoyed when they would come up and grab her hands and feet as a newborn because her hand would be in her mouth a second later. In that situation I'd be more annoyed with what she said than what she did, it wasn't on for her to criticise the parents. My mom and nan both do things like this and I walk away when they speak to strangers in public.

Worst thing that happened for me was a woman who spoke to us and was playing with DD and stuck DDs hand in her mouth! I pulled her away and said 'don't do that to someone else's baby', probably came out ruder than I intended but it shocked me someone would do that! Especially when you see a lot online these days about how the virus that causes cold sores can be so easily transmitted to children and cause meningitis.

merlotgran Sun 26-Aug-18 12:16:51

I really must make an appointment with Specsavers. I read the thread title as 'Torching a stranger's baby.'

shock shock

Missfoodlove Sun 26-Aug-18 12:53:57

I don’t think shared memories are enough to justify this relationship, your friend really doesn’t sound like a nice person.
Put your time and energy in to creating new memories with kinder friends.

MissAdventure Sun 26-Aug-18 12:55:59

Now that really is a step too far, Merlot grin

Riverwalk Sun 26-Aug-18 13:21:30

Merlot grin

I often misread thread titles e.g.

'What shall we call our kitten' (whatever you like luv, as if anyone is interested in your kitchen, as I keep reading it)

'Moving to Gosforth' (well Newcastle is lovely but I don't know how that will help anyone moving to Hampshire)

GrannyGravy13 Sun 26-Aug-18 14:16:01

Totally unacceptable.

She will get told off severely one day.

NfkDumpling Sun 26-Aug-18 14:33:05

No, never! Nor would I touch someone’s dog or or speak to their child without their indicating it was ok to do so and speaking to them first. The only exception would be if the baby/child/dog was in danger.

(Although I am occasionally known to pass the time of day with a dog if it approaches me first)

silverlining48 Sun 26-Aug-18 14:53:36

Riverwalk. I thought hampshire too... and again, as for naming the kitchen; whatever you want. grin

Eloethan Sun 26-Aug-18 15:21:12

She sounds rather unpleasant, especially commenting "poor baby", and I too think it was out of order for her to touch the baby.

I do stroke other people's dogs and talk to children if they initiate the conversation. It hadn't occurred to me that some people might not like it.

MargaretX Sun 26-Aug-18 15:43:50

I almost can't believe it. I could not be friends with that kind of women even if she was the last person I knew from my school days.

stella1949 Sun 26-Aug-18 15:51:21

I'm sure that many people would not know anybody from their growing up days - I'm one of them. It really isn't a good reason to stay friends with someone as toxic as this woman. Give her the flick - I'm sure you'll feel better to have her out of your life.

pollyperkins Sun 26-Aug-18 15:51:50

I sometimes smile and say hello to babies or yound children if they look at me and the motgers usually smile back. I wouldn't touch a baby though. However I was at the playground recently with my GD and was on the other end of a seesaw when another little child came up and wanted to go on it so I lifted him on (it was a safe one). I thought Oh dear I shouldn't have done that! and when the mother came up I apologised. She smiled and said That's ok, thanks for helping him on. Phew!

Granny3Rose Sun 26-Aug-18 16:09:21

Thank you for all your replies. Some of you have said that I should stop being friends with her. A few years ago I actually did have the nerve to put the phone down on her when she was upsetting me, and I followed that with an email explaining how I felt about the way she treated me. There was no reply and I felt huge relief. The rift lasted about two years, and I never saw her anywhere because we live an hour and a half's drive apart. But then my son died and she heard about it from my aunt. The very next day, without warning, she got in her car and drove up to see me to say how sorry she was. And I did appreciate that she did that. (She can be very caring as well.) And so we started seeing each other again.

NfkDumpling Mon 27-Aug-18 06:55:12

Have you explained to her that these days she’s likely to get herself into trouble by approaching babies/children without their parents permission? Perhaps she’s just not noticed that things have changed since the days when a mother could leave a baby outside a shop and if it cried, some passing lady would rock the pram until mum returned and no offence taken. I know someone who has a heart of gold but is so self confident she would likely do the same as your friend. After all she knows she wouldn’t harm the child and would assume that even a stranger would know that!

Granny3Rose Mon 27-Aug-18 09:01:42

NfkDumpling I should have done what you say, but the opportunity didn't seem to arise afterwards.

Nanny41 Mon 27-Aug-18 09:06:37

She had no right to either touch the baby or give comments to the parents.

Harris27 Mon 27-Aug-18 09:14:12

Seems a very dominant woman and very dangerous in these times of blame and claim she could get into trouble even just verbally if she's not careful. I work with children and it's a different ball game now with parents who can turn at the drop of a hat when roused about anything!

Barmeyoldbat Mon 27-Aug-18 09:20:00

No never ever, I often talk to older babies as they seem to have the habit of staring at me and then either smiling or laughing and mums don't mind this but touch no. I would suggest building up new friendships and dropping this one.

Craicon Mon 27-Aug-18 09:21:03

Social media is great for staying in touch with old school friends. I live abroad so never visit my home town but in your position OP, I’d keep friends like that at arms length and just keep in touch via the internet or even just swap letters.
No need to meet up if you don’t want to.

SpringyChicken Mon 27-Aug-18 09:23:32

Outrageous of your friend to touch the baby and indirectly criticise the parents. Maybe it’s time for another email to her. Don’t break off contact if you don’t want to but say you are uncomfortable with her behaviour

sarahellenwhitney Mon 27-Aug-18 09:24:51

Who needs a friend hmmlike that. You admit she dominates you so why tolerate her. ? I would not touch another persons baby. I certainly would not want a stranger to have touched mine.If she wants to do it then one day someone is going to put her in her place and it will happen but it is not your responsibility.She is a dominating person and that sort are never in the wrong.
You say after you ended the friendship she came back to you on learning of your bereavement and the friendship resumed. You do not owe her anything. Do you really need her ? ask yourself. The ball is in your court.