Saturday we all went to the Tucson quilt show. Iddo was a big hit with all the old ladies. I purposefully left her sunhat on her while we were there so nobody would touch her head. I told Brett this when we got back to the car and he laughed it off.
Then we went out to our favorite deli for lunch. While Brett went to place our order at the counter I found a table and Iddo and I sat down. The old lady at the table next to us reached across the space between our tables, across our table, and touched Iddo on the head. Brett stopped laughing at my prediction that old ladies would touch her head.
It’s rude to reach across a table for the salt. Why is it not even more rude to reach across the table, a table that is not even yours, to touch someone on the head? If she had reached across the table and touched my head it would have been considered completely inappropriate, equally so if I had reached across and touched her head. It would be rude for the person behind us in line at the store to reach out and touch my stomach, pregnant or not, why is it not equally rude for them to reach out and touch Iddo’s stomach?
I remember in kindergarten being taught about “good touch” and “bad touch.” We were taught to not let people touch us anywhere our swimming suit covered. I remember wondering why it was okay to touch little boys on the chest but not little girls.
I’m not going to teach Iddo “good touch” and “bad touch.” I’m going to teach her “wanted touch” and “unwanted touch.” I don’t care if her swimming suit doesn’t cover her head. If she doesn’t want people touching her head then she gets a say in that and they don’t get to touch her head. If she doesn’t want to be tickled or have her cheeks pinched, then she can say no, no matter who it is. The one exception will be holding my hand when we cross the street. That I’m going to insist on for several years to come.