I know my babies have the sweetest, most delectable looking curls you have ever seen. So enticing in fact, that you may find your hands wandering in its direction.
I’ve only recently began to notice just how frequently it happens. Last week we were waiting in line for a cookie at the mall when a little girl behind us started stroking my daughter’s head. Lil’ J looked at me like ‘Ma, who is touching my hair?’. I looked back at her and said “Oh, thinks your hair is pretty,” loud enough so the little girl’s mom would hear and maybe be prompted intervene. Yet she wasn’t.
I was torn between asking the little girl to stop, swatting her hand away, or just letting it go. I let it go.
The sad truth is, my daughter is pretty accustomed to people she doesn’t even known touching her hair. She used to frequently tell people “You can look at my curls but don’t touch them” but it’s not something I’ve heard her say in a while. I don’t know if she’s grown tired of telling people, or just gotten used to the attention, either way I still want her to know it’s not ok without her permission.
I could go on about the psychological aspects behind a child understanding their body is their own. But I’ll stick to the main point here… You touch my kid, I’ll cut you.
I know these strangers aren’t ill willed–The opposite in fact. Some cultures actually believe touching a child’s head is good luck.
But here’s the thing… I don’t know where your hands have been. I finally reached my boiling point when I ran in to grab a drink at a convenient store, son on my hip and daughter at my side. We were setting out things on the counter when one of the store clerks walked behind us, and as he did he grabbed my daughter’s pony tail. He didn’t yank it, but just kinda felt it like ‘oh that looks soft, I want to touch it’. He gave me a friendly smile as he did it but I couldn’t contain my stink eye, and had my son been in my Ergo and not in my arms, I might have smacked his hand, or punched his throat.
In that instant it hit me how often I have let it go. People want to rub my son’s head just as often, though usually when he’s close to me people will at least ask, my poor daughter is the perfect height for wantering hands that just have to know what her bouncy curls feel like.
Yes, they’re fabulous I know, but they also take a lot of work to get them that way and I have to start all over again after your grubby hands grace her sweet locks.
Yes, their curls are irresistible, but I beg of you, please, resist!