STOP Saying Sorry!
27th May 2016
The Day She Almost Died
28th May 2016

Strangers: How Close is Too Close?!

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How are we already half way through April? I thought yesterday was Christmas and now tomorrow we are practically in Summer! Of course, as I said last week, now that we are getting further into the year, the weather is starting to change and we are seeing much brighter and sunnier weather which is definitely encouraging us to get out and about more. It is this that brings me to the topic of this weeks post…

 If you follow my blog or just simply follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I love dressing Alyssa. She has some absolutely beautiful clothes and I always like to make sure she looks nice especially when we are going out – though I swear even in her onesie at home she looks gorgeous but I am biased!! Anyway, one day last week it was quite warm and incredibly sunny and so I popped Alyssa in a beautiful pale pink summer dress with a white cardigan and

 white frilly socks. I finished the outfit off with some little pink shoes and a flower headband. I personally thought she looked absolutely adorable and she was grinning from ear to ear and preening for several minutes whilst my mum and I told her how gorgeous she was (such an attention diva!!) Anyway, we packed our changing bag, loaded ourselves in the car and off we pootled with both Asda and Tescos on our “to visit list.”

Now we spent a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes in Asda (we went there because it is much better for certain vegetarian foods and we went to the cafe for a bite to eat too) and a total of 45 minutes in Tesco grabbing some other bits from there. Anyway, despite the fact we were on the move pretty much the whole time with the trolley, permanently engaged in some form of conversation together and pretty much looked like we were on a mission, across both stores we had 10 people come up and talk to Alyssa – 7 of which made contact with her in some sort of way by either shaking her hand or stroking her cheek. 85% of them were probably over the age of 70 and these were the ones that made physical contact with her. She didn’t mind and after a brief moment of staring at each one of them, she turned on the charm and gave each and every one of them a beaming grin. Now, I don’t mind the odd person saying hello to her, but 10?? I’m also not too sure how I feel about them touching her in any way either – I felt like turning into a lioness and snarling at them for

daring to step a foot closer. But what do you say? How do you prevent it from happening?

One of the first thoughts that went through my head was “Is this my fault? Should I not dress her this way?” However, I realised that is silly. I have not dressed my daughter in an inappropriate manner, she merely looks nice and pretty and like a cute little girl and for some reason this creates an open season invitation for people to come and greet her and fawn over her. Then if I look at it from another point of view, another thought I had was “Is it really a problem?!” If it makes someone happy to say a few words and get a smile in return that may well just make their whole day, should I really be objecting? What harm can it do.

Oddly enough, it occurred to me that I was more uncomfortable by the attention that was shown to her by the younger people than I was the older people? Why is that? What has caused me, as a mother of a beautiful little girl, to be so protective that it worries me when strangers say hello to her and tell her she is a pretty or “bonny little thing?”

The truth is, at this age there isn’t really any harm in it is there?! However, when she is older, if Alyssa is comfortable talking to strangers and sees that Mummy is at ease with them talking to her too, this is where a problem may develop. Already, I am thinking about the need to protect her from strangers, before she is even able to walk. The problem I have with them touching her is that whilst I am not an OCD clean freak, you don’t know where people have been, what they have been touching and how long ago they washed their hands! Does all this make me over-protective, over-bearing or worst of all a big fat meanie?  When it comes to strangers, how close is too close?

 I then realised, what double standards I have!! I share pictures of bubba on my blog and instagram all the time and people quite frequently leave comments about how gorgeous she is – and the internet is a hell of a lot bigger than 10 people round two supermarkets. Granted, I am careful about the type of images I share and what information I give out about her but millions of people all over the world can see her here, so why did 10 people in a supermarket bother me?

Answer… I don’t know. One thing is for sure, I don’t think I should stop dressing my little girl nicely just because it draws attention, but what can I do to prevent people feeling so open about coming up to her and touching her? Do I need to stop this? Is there actually any harm in it? I have a lot of unanswered questions on this subject and obviously there is an ongoing debate among both parents and professionals on this very subject. There have also been countless newspaper articles written, designed in a way to scare the living daylights out of parents – more so than we already are about every little thing to do with our cherubs. Among a group of my friends recently, we were having a healthy debate about how much is too much to share on our blogs and all have varying opinions and ways to share our experiences with our children. The main difference with sharing with you here and now and the supermarket, is that you cannot reach out and physically touch or interact with her, whereas those people in the supermarket could. So I am left with a dilemma, or several in fact…

Do I stop dressing her to look so nice?

Do I say something to people who approach her and ask them not to touch her?

Do I do nothing and see it as the harmless event it probably is?

Do I cut down on the photos I share of her online and slowly remove her from my blog?

Do I change nothing at all?

When it comes to strangers virtual or otherwise, how close is too close?

That’s all from Alyssa and I for another week. Don’t forget to head over to The Baby & Toddler show and see what amazing exhibitors you can expect to appear this year!

Any exhibitors attending  The Baby & Toddler Show this year who would like their products featured in a weekly blog post, pop me an email to admin@mummyinatutu.co.uk

Anyone looking for tickets for this years Baby & Toddler show head over to the website here for all the details

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