Krista - posted on 11/03/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )
This is a bit of an offshoot from the "strangers touching your baby thread". It reminded me of this one time...
I was at the grocery store and needed to use the bathroom, so off I went to the ladies' room. The only other people in there were a mother with a toddler and an infant. The toddler was doing his business in the toilet, and needed his bum wiped. The mother, obviously exhausted and frazzled, hadn't thought to bring her stroller or get a cart (she'd probably gone into the bathroom as soon as she went into the store). So what to do with the baby? She didn't want to lay her down on the bathroom floor, obviously, but she couldn't hold her and wipe her boy's bum at the same time. Seeing her distress, I offered to hold the baby while she attended to her son. She thanked me profusely and went to attend to her son while I held the (absolutely delightful) baby and evaded his enthusiastic attempts to stick his index finger up my left nostril.
So this woman basically trusted a complete stranger to hold her baby. What would you have done in her situation? Do you think the fact that I looked her age and was dressed "respectably" had anything to do with it? Upon what do we base our trust when we deal with strangers, how much do stereotypes come into play, and is it fair of us to rely on these stereotypes when entrusting our kids to a stranger?