28 September 2010

"Baby, baby, don't get hooked on me" --Mac Davis


So, hypothetically, of course...

You're amongst people you know. In the room, there are, among others, a young couple and their few-month-old baby. The baby has a good disposition and is generally the star in the room. Lots of 'oo'-ing and 'aa'-ing and you do a bit of "aww, isn't that sweet" yourself. Eventually, the baby gets offered up for holding. People clamor to hold the baby. Eventually, Young Parent turns to you, expectantly, and says "Would you like to hold the baby?"

Thoughts that come to mind:

No.

Not really.


This outfit isn't drool-resistant.


Why? I've been watching it for the last hour. It doesn't do much.


I'm fine without that responsibility, thanks.


and similarly (apparently) inappropriate things. It isn't that you have a problem with the baby, you just have no desire to hold it.

Question #1: Does this make you a mean or cold person?

Question #2: What do you say to Young Parent?

and, finally, Question #3: Is it rude to not hold the baby?

23 comments:

The Bug said...

I love holding babies because YOU CAN GIVE THEM BACK!

I don't really know the answers to your questions about etiquette & such, but I have told a parent that I hadn't washed my hands since arriving so I should probably not touch the baby. Of course, that only works on about 90% of the people who are concerned about germs. Especially if it's a second baby the mom sometimes says, meh - I don't care, hold her anyway.

nytova said...

As the parent of a 4 month old baby, I don't think you are cold or rude. In fact, I don't like other people holding my baby (germs). So I suggest that if you are lacking a quick response, just say, "no my hands are dirty" or "I have a cold" or something like that, and the parent won't think twice about your saying no.
I don't like pets, and so if someone asks me if I want to pet their dog or hold their cat I am not be shy about scrunching my face and saying eiwwww noooo wayyyyy! I thik the same could go for babies! LOL ;-)

froggy said...

I loved my own babies but don't have any need to hold other babies. Now, grandchildren.... still a ways off.

Titania said...

(1) No. (2) and (3) that's a tough one, I almost consider it rude for the parent to offer you to hold the baby if you are not drooling over the baby, but that is just me. So, no, I don't think it is rude not to hold the baby, in particular if you are nor comfortable with it as it may even be slightly dangerous.

Now this may make ME a mean or cold person, but, I have a question: why do people keep saying that new born babies are beautiful? Objectively speaking, I think they are pretty ugly. They get beautiful in a couple of weeks or maybe a month, but newly born, I don't think they are. Again, maybe it is just me.

Cyndy said...

It is not mean or cold or rude. I would probably make up something so they wouldn't get their feelings hurt, or just suck it up and hold the thing for a minute. When I was much younger and had not yet given such things much thought I actually got out of holding a baby one time by asking "Will it throw up on me?" I'm a little more tactful these days.

kate.d. said...

Not rude at all. (In fact, it's maybe a little rude, and at the very least a little presumptuous, for the parent to presume that everyone present would like to hold said baby!) In those situations, I find a "no, thank you" and a genuine smile are perfectly sufficient. No need to make excuses or tell little lies - the basic truth, delivered kindly, usually works fine!

spleeness said...

Yeah, I'm not so much into babies either and when people ask if I want to hold them, I usually blurt out (without realizing it sounds rude) "oh, no thanks!". I like what someone else said about hands being dirty or having a cold, will have to try that next time.

WordNerd said...

Not rude, and not mean and cold. I'll usually hold the baby, but that's only because I'm curious these days--before, I'd just politely say no.

Way more awkward for me: being asked if I wanted to touch a pregnant belly, with the woman addressing me as "Newlywed" instead of "WordNerd." When I said no, apparently I was being rude given the looks I got. Who knew!?

Lemon Gloria said...

Before I had a kid, I avoided them like the plague. I used to say "no thanks" when people would offer. Why would I want to hold a baby? Ew.

And now I've had one, and sometimes I have the urge to just snatch a little tiny one out of a mother's arms and snuggle it. It's the weirdest thing.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

Not rude. But sometimes they don't like it if you call them "vectors."

Barbara said...

I NEVER opt to hold babies and I have raised two of them. I actually much prefer them when they are a little older and a little less fragile. But would I hold a grandchild if one happened to come into my family? ABSOLUTELY!

Liebchen said...

I don't think it's rude at all. A "no thanks" and a smile should suffice. Plus, if you pass on your chance to hold the baby, that's just more opportunities for those of us who want to hold them!

Brutalism said...

I don't like holding anything that does not have full control of its neck (e.g., babies...drunks...)unless, I, too, am drunk. Which pretty much takes care of the new parents asking if you want to hold their kid problem.

Try it!

(Saw you on DC Blogs today!)

Alice said...

i wish i could relate. i'm going through some creepy phase where i have to physically restrain myself from snatching babies out of strangers' arms to snuggle.

Merujo said...

When I was a toddler, one of my sisters handed me her baby to hold. I was nervous and not excited about it. I put the baby down on what I thought was my sister's bed, but was, in fact, just a quilt stretched out between the foot of the bed and a footlocker. The quilt caved under the weight of the baby, who fell (cushioned by the heavy quilt)to the floor.

My sister screamed and screamed and screamed at me, I hid for hours - terrified - in a linen closet, and, to this day (I'm 44) I get nauseated at the very thought of holding someone's baby (and my sister @ 60 still blames my toddler self for her daughter being "maybe a little slow.")

Anyone approaches me with a baby to hold, I say, "Nah, I'm a klutz, I'll appreciate from back here," smile and step back. (And then, try to calm the waves of horror.)

Nothing cold or rude about not wanting to hold someone else's baby. Not at all.

Velvet said...

Yeah, I don't really understand why the whole "Do you want to hold the baby" is like a badge of honor to some parents. It's not like you're letting me roll the dice at craps. Now that's good fun!

I never know what to say because I don't care to hold someone else's baby any more than they would care to hold my fresh snot or other body excrement.

Aly said...

Children are inherently evil. I mean CUTE. *laughs nervously*

Felisa said...

Brush off the offer but try to keep it light. Not like "I don't want to be drooled on. Kthxbye." Maybe say your hands aren't very clean? Parents are always freaking out about spreading anything to their spawn. That should let you off the hook.

I love babies but sometimes I don't have the desire to hold someone's baby as well. I don't think it's rude to refuse as long as you don't just leave it at "No thanks" because even if you are not evil, it SOUNDS kinda evil.

Toe said...

Eww, I think it's kind of rude for them to even ask if you want to hold their smelly drunk alien midget. But that's probably why they asked because they were tired of holding the squirmy, smelly, drooly thing themselves.

Mac and Cheese said...

I don't know what the etiquette is, but you just know that the second you pick up a baby, some dumbass in the room is going to say something like, "Oh, look whose getting a little practice", or "Guess whose ovaries are starting to ache again". I pass on baby holding too.

Kate said...

Not wanting to hold a baby doesn't make you mean and cold. I mean, maybe you're already mean and cold, or maybe you're really nice and warm -- the baby's got nothing to do with it.

If I didn't want to hold that kid, I would just say "no thank you" and be done with it. I have to say, I'm surprised anyone in a group setting would offer to let you hold the kid. Usually there's a list a mile long of every woman in the room who already has dibs on holding the kid. I hardly got to hold my nieces and nephews when they were small since their grandmothers hogged the shit out of them.

lacochran's evil twin said...

All: So, it's a split decision between "eff em" and lie! Huh. Thanks, folks.

Gary said...

I don't see anything wrong with saying "no, thanks". I have done this myself while giving the impression that I don't want to drop the baby or something. No one ever seemed insulted.

That is a great cartoon. Off to the gym now!