Author Topic: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby  (Read 6759 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2012, 05:08:17 PM »
I don't think Pamela sounds very responsible. (Hardly a shocking opinion, I realize.) The way she reacted when Cynthia tried to correct her about things, for example--it seemed very juvenile, like she was angry that her pride was stung, rather than making her stop and think about how she should treat the baby differently. The way she sarcastically "apologized" for the seasoned salt shaker part is another example--IIRC, that was the only incident where one of the baby's parents (DH) actually told her to stop doing it; and later, at the end of the evening, that's the thing she chooses to comment on, that she has apparently been thinking about for a while, her tone and words implying that she is in no way at fault, and that the OP is overprotective.

I think one can come up with a lot of reasons why she chose to act the way she did with the baby (different standards than the OP, etc.). But to me the point is that when her opinions were challenged, whether by Cynthia or one of the baby's parents, she seemed to become angry and defensive, instead of considering that they might have a point or at the very least, that she should be following the standards of the baby's parents even if she doesn't agree with them. I don't want to project too much and come up with dire speculations of doom, but it's possible someone with this kind of attitude might think they know better than the parents and in the future let the baby/child do things that the parents have specifically forbidden--not believing the parents about allergies, for example.

So, I wouldn't let Pamela hold the baby again, at least not for a long time. It can be framed as "safety trumps etiquette," or it can be framed as, the OP isn't going to be able to relax and enjoy the party if she feels like she always has to keep Pamela and the baby in view.

I wonder if the OP would be able to talk to some of the other club members, like Cynthia, to see what their opinion is? At the very least it might be good to have extra eyes available to swoop in and take the baby away from Pamela, if someone else unknowingly hands him over to her.
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whatsanenigma

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2012, 05:36:56 PM »
I am going to take a little bit different of an interpretation here, but I'm just throwing it out as a possibility to consider, and I know I could be wrong.

Is there any chance she just really doesn't know how to handle a baby? I can really hardly believe I am asking that about an adult, to be honest.  But if she's otherwise so immature...it might be possible that she is just uninformed. Has she ever been around babies or small children before?

This is not saying that the OP should not keep her baby away from being alone with this person unless and until this person learns how to handle a baby, if this is the case.  Safety is the primary goal and the most important thing, of course.

But if this person really just doesn't know, then I think to write her off all together, to say she can never hold the baby again, that might be a little harsh.  Maybe she can be allowed to interact with the baby under close supervision for a while, and maybe this is a conversation that could be had with her, to find out her actual experience with babies.  And it might be a kindness to help her mature and learn to interact with babies properly, again, under very close supervision, because the baby always comes first!

I will very readily concede the point if I am off base on this.  I don't know this person beyond what the OP says about her, and the OP knows the situation best and I won't take any offense if told that there is no possibility that this is the case.  I'm just throwing out an alternative possibility that, as bizzare as it sounds, has a possibility of being true. And if it is, that would change how the OP would approach the situation with her.

Rivaini

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2012, 05:44:28 PM »
Is there any chance she just really doesn't know how to handle a baby? I can really hardly believe I am asking that about an adult, to be honest.  But if she's otherwise so immature...it might be possible that she is just uninformed. Has she ever been around babies or small children before?


From the OP:
I should mention something I forgot - Pamela has raised three children herself. I'm not sure if that's relevant or not.
Err on the side of awesome.

NorCal

Moray

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2012, 05:49:24 PM »
I am going to take a little bit different of an interpretation here, but I'm just throwing it out as a possibility to consider, and I know I could be wrong.

Is there any chance she just really doesn't know how to handle a baby? I can really hardly believe I am asking that about an adult, to be honest.  But if she's otherwise so immature...it might be possible that she is just uninformed. Has she ever been around babies or small children before?

This is not saying that the OP should not keep her baby away from being alone with this person unless and until this person learns how to handle a baby, if this is the case.  Safety is the primary goal and the most important thing, of course.

But if this person really just doesn't know, then I think to write her off all together, to say she can never hold the baby again, that might be a little harsh.  Maybe she can be allowed to interact with the baby under close supervision for a while, and maybe this is a conversation that could be had with her, to find out her actual experience with babies.  And it might be a kindness to help her mature and learn to interact with babies properly, again, under very close supervision, because the baby always comes first!

I will very readily concede the point if I am off base on this.  I don't know this person beyond what the OP says about her, and the OP knows the situation best and I won't take any offense if told that there is no possibility that this is the case.  I'm just throwing out an alternative possibility that, as bizzare as it sounds, has a possibility of being true. And if it is, that would change how the OP would approach the situation with her.

OP said Pamela had raised 3 children. Your theory is charitable, but in my experience, people with little to no experience with babies are even more uptight about not endangering them.

At the very least, her behavior was odd, but what clinches it for me is how she reacted when corrected. LB, I think MrTango is spot on with his suggested wording.
Utah

whatsanenigma

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2012, 07:00:02 PM »
Well, to me, "raised three children" implies that she didn't actually give birth to them and therefore might not have been around them as small babies, though I could be wrong about that.  To me, even gaining custody of a child at an age of say, three or four or maybe even older and then taking care of it until adulthood would still qualify as "raising" that child.  So that led me to the suspicion that she thinks she actually knows but really knows only about older children.

But anyway, just a thought there....and now I really want to hold a baby again myself.   :D

Dindrane

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2012, 01:11:46 AM »
I think the kicker for me was setting down such a small child on the floor in a restaurant with a bunch of adults who could easily have overlooked his presence.  The other two incidents were less immediately harmful, and could more easily be chalked up to different methods of child rearing or generational differences or whatever.

But seriously, who puts a 9 month old baby who can't even stand up on his own between a line of chairs on a restaurant floor?  It does not take a parent or a rocket scientist to see the potential danger in that scenario.  Particularly if there were enough people standing around that LB couldn't easily get to her son.

This actually makes me think of my niece, who was about 9 months old the last time I saw her.  My family ended up in restaurants a fair bit with her, and while she was active enough to enjoy being passed around to some extent, she was always in a high chair, in her stroller, or on someone's lap.  She liked to sit on the floor and play, but it never even crossed anyone's mind to let her do that in a busy public space.  And she wasn't even crawling yet!

So for Pamela, I agree with GlassHalfFull that safety is not a reason to be rude to her all by itself in this situation, and you probably shouldn't even be overly blunt (at least to start).  Others have given you good suggestions for polite and non-confrontational ways of preventing her from holding your son, so I wouldn't escalate beyond those unless they don't work.

And personally, if I ever had to give Pamela a reason for not allowing her to hold your son, I'd be inclined to mention the floor thing before the other two.  It's the most obviously and unequivocally dangerous, in my opinion.  But I'd also try really hard to keep the baby away from her without actually giving a reason.


LB

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2012, 12:58:25 PM »
Well, to me, "raised three children" implies that she didn't actually give birth to them and therefore might not have been around them as small babies, though I could be wrong about that.  To me, even gaining custody of a child at an age of say, three or four or maybe even older and then taking care of it until adulthood would still qualify as "raising" that child.  So that led me to the suspicion that she thinks she actually knows but really knows only about older children.

But anyway, just a thought there....and now I really want to hold a baby again myself.   :D

Hmmm. I didn't mean to imply that, sorry. To clarify, Pamela has given birth to and raised three children. At least one of her children now has a child as well, but I don't know how much time she spent around him when he was a baby.

BarensMom

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2012, 04:12:06 AM »
I'll admit I don't get the butter knife thing, those things are so dull and don't have a point so I never understood why kids cannot have them.  After all their kid kitchens include plastic ones.


This is not a "kid", this is a baby. Play kitchens are generally not intended for 9 month old babies.

Here is my story explaining why I don't think it's a good idea to have even the plastic cutlery in children's kitchen sets.

When I was teaching Sunday School in the preschool department, a donor gave a full kitchen setup with all the plastic pots, pans, plates, and cutlery.  Sometimes the classes would have to be combined when a teacher called in (1 year olds would go in with the 2's and 3's, etc.).  In my 3-year old class, was a little girl named Jacey, with a 1-year old sister, Debbie.  Jacey was not exactly thrilled with having a younger sister.  I turned my back in class for a minute and came back around just in time to see Jacey take the play knife and start to come down onto the top of Debbie's head.  After that day, the knives and forks were not permitted in the class room.

shhh its me

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2012, 05:29:10 AM »
I am going to take a little bit different of an interpretation here, but I'm just throwing it out as a possibility to consider, and I know I could be wrong.

Is there any chance she just really doesn't know how to handle a baby? I can really hardly believe I am asking that about an adult, to be honest.  But if she's otherwise so immature...it might be possible that she is just uninformed. Has she ever been around babies or small children before?

This is not saying that the OP should not keep her baby away from being alone with this person unless and until this person learns how to handle a baby, if this is the case.  Safety is the primary goal and the most important thing, of course.

But if this person really just doesn't know, then I think to write her off all together, to say she can never hold the baby again, that might be a little harsh.  Maybe she can be allowed to interact with the baby under close supervision for a while, and maybe this is a conversation that could be had with her, to find out her actual experience with babies.  And it might be a kindness to help her mature and learn to interact with babies properly, again, under very close supervision, because the baby always comes first!

I will very readily concede the point if I am off base on this.  I don't know this person beyond what the OP says about her, and the OP knows the situation best and I won't take any offense if told that there is no possibility that this is the case.  I'm just throwing out an alternative possibility that, as bizzare as it sounds, has a possibility of being true. And if it is, that would change how the OP would approach the situation with her.

For a close friend or relative I think the bolded would be fine.  For a person OP sees in a fairly large group monthly  for dinner, I think fit the context  to "retrain" her how to hold a baby.  Not just that it's  a burden to OP but spending 15 minutes going over the new "basics" during a dinner meeting would be bothersome to the rest of the group and more then what (whats her name Cynthia/Pam? I forget who is who) signed on for when asking "can I hold the baby?"  And, I think a person who set a baby on a floor in a busy crowed restaurant to crawl back to their mother about 10-20 feet(?) away , would actually need at least 15 minutes of basics.
It's so much easier to say "I think he needs a changing" , "He's a bit cranky right now" even "I'd preffer to hang on to him at the moment"   IF she even asks again, the baby is 9 months old now this is the first time Pamithia has.  It's likely to only come up once or twice(if at all) before the baby is beyond the "Hold the baby" age.

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TootsNYC

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2012, 01:06:19 AM »
I think it would be best to politely decline any requests to hold the baby again with something like "he is a bit fussy today, he is best sitting here" or something similar.

The spice thing is more gross for other patrons I would think and it is nice you told a waitress.  I'll admit I don't get the butter knife thing, those things are so dull and don't have a point so I never understood why kids cannot have them.  After all their kid kitchens include plastic ones.  I could see not allowing it but it doesn't seem like a run across the room yelling "no" thing, just a simple request.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who never really considered butter knives all that dangerous.

A baby at the "flailing his arms around" or "really still pretty uncoordinated but likes to bang things or wave them around" stage shouldn't have one, simply because they're long and hard. He'll put somebody's eye out with that! Or give them a fat lip.

But yeah, saying "time to go back to mommy" and putting him ON THE FLOOR of a crowded restaurant, w/ chairs and people who can't see him, etc., was WAY out of line.  This 9mo is supposed to know what she means?

I vote w/ the "he's fine with me, sorry" response. As little info as possible.

Summerof81

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #40 on: April 13, 2012, 11:59:24 AM »
If Pamela asks again, just respond with "Now isn't a good time." everytime she asks.  I don't think she'll ask again as she knows that she upset both you and your husband, so I think you'll be fine bringing him in the future.  I think "Now isn't a good time" doesn't say that there will never be a good time, but said over and over again, it implies she isn't welcome to hold your baby. 

And seriously, did she expect your son to just find his way back to the correct set of legs or no adult to trip over him...really?!?  No, she wouldn't be holding my child again.

Talley

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Re: S/O Not allowed to hold the baby
« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2012, 01:35:55 PM »
I have been in similar situations with DD, when she was a baby. With someone who is more of an acquaintance, my reply from now on would be, "I'm not comfortable with that right now." And then I would beandip. No second chance necessary.

If it were a close friend or family member, I would explain my concerns and let them hold the baby again after. If they still disregard the basic safety rules DH and I enforce around DD, then that's it. No more holding the baby until the baby is old enough to know better.

We had to deal with something similar with MIL when DD was about 9 or 10 months old. MIL actually wanted t babysit, but when I left her alone with DD for five minutes and came back only to find that DD was sitting on the floor, playing with a knife (and MIL was right there watching this), I began having serious doubts. So did DH and explained to MIL that this was not acceptable. She seemed to agree, but the next time we left her alone with DD, we actually came back to DD happily rooting through MIL's sizeable collection of medications, we drew the line. MIL was not allowed to be alone with DD anymore until DD was old enough to understand some of the basic rules fr herself, and even then we still wouldn't leave her with MIL for very long. Now, MIL also had three children and raised them, and she didn't see anything wrong with what happened, so we concluded that our parenting styles just didn't go together well.