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DD and the homeless guy

(38 Posts)
Dakin1 Fri 29-Apr-16 11:05:31

Please tell me if IABU about the following. DD is 10 months old and my PFB and I think I am possibly being over protective.

We live in a square with only one route out that is buggy accessible. A friendly homeless guy sells his Big Issue on the path between my house and the shops and I pass him every day. He is a really nice guy and I often buy his Big Issue and stop for a chat.

Now, whenever I walk past with DD in the buggy he enthusiastically tries to touch her (squidge her cheek etc). I am not keen on strangers touching her anyway, and his hands aren't the cleanest. No surprise really, he sleeps on the street.

When she was smaller it was easier to stop him as she was usually asleep but now she is bigger she greets him by waving enthusiastically and he always high fives her and shakes her hand... which of course then goes straight in her mouth.

I had the brilliant idea of putting a dummy in her mouth as we walked past so at least I could wipe her hands down before they went in her mouth. BUT oh dear, this morning he bent in to say hello to her and DD very sweetly took her dummy out and offered it to him (good sharing skills) he put it in his mouth (!) and did a whole 'yum yum' routine and then tried to give it back to her shock I managed to grab it before it went back in her mouth.

I have tried many times to say politely 'please don't touch my DD' but he completely ignores me and says things like 'Oh she doesn't mind' so short of ignoring him or throwing myself across her I am not sure what else I can do.

So AIBU and a snob? I realise I am prejudiced because this guy is homeless because I am sure the liklihood of her actually catching anything isn't much more than she would catch at playgroup. I just dread leaving the house now as I don't want him touching her.

NeedACleverNN Fri 29-Apr-16 11:07:38

Yabu...and very pfb APART from when he put the dummy in his own mouth..

That was a bit gross.

Touching problem

WorraLiberty Fri 29-Apr-16 11:11:23

I can't see his hands or mouth necessarily having more germs than anyone else's tbh, so yes I would say you're definitely prejudiced.

Yanbu about the dummy thing. That's just weird, I mean who does that?

If you dread leaving the house, then stop buying the magazine and pretend you don't have time to stop and talk.

Or have the money ready and just quickly buy it before rushing off.

HeartShapedBox Fri 29-Apr-16 11:11:31

Just touching her hands/ dummy I'd see as you being pfb, but putting the dummy in his mouth? Urrgghh, no, that's not ok. The human mouth is teeming with germs. I wouldn't like anyone putting my childs dummy in their own mouth.

MattDillonsPants Fri 29-Apr-16 11:15:49

Put a rain cover over her. He'll get the message. It really doesn't matter if she yells or if it's sunny.

Just do it.

It's NOT ok for people to touch your children when you have expressly asked them not to. He could be in an expensive suit and Rolex...driving a Ferrari but his hands need to stay OFF your child if you say so.

MrsJayy Fri 29-Apr-16 11:16:26

The dummy thing was gross id have been horrified yuck but him touching her and being friendly is fine but if you really hate folk touching your baby then let her wave but keep walking smile and say hi in a rush just dont stop

SarahVineTory Fri 29-Apr-16 11:18:48

I would avoid him when with your child.

He is likely homeless partly due to his social struggles so I wouldn't avoid him altogether.

Dakin1 Fri 29-Apr-16 11:19:21

MattDillonsPants yes! A Rain cover! What a great suggestion thank you

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 29-Apr-16 11:21:37

OP IMO you are not being at all U. Whatever your reasons, it is reasonable to expect other people to not touch your DC if you don't want them to.

Apart from that, it is totally logical to deduce that the likeliness of his hands being dirtier than most is really quite significant. Simply because of the practical reality of how they live. Anyone saying any different is just trying to show off with their wonderful, wide armed tolerance of others.

Having said that, I don't how what you can do. You're just going to have to be rude and rush past without stopping. Can you really not find another route?

Dakin1 Fri 29-Apr-16 11:32:31

Thanks WhatThe - the only other route out has steps so I can't take her that way with the buggy. Fingers crossed she will be an early walker!

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 29-Apr-16 11:39:53

ooh.. what about putting some trainers on and going for a 'run'?

WorraLiberty Fri 29-Apr-16 11:40:03

Is there a reason why you can't bump the buggy up and down the steps?

Lots of people have to do this when they live in flats that have only a couple of floors and no lifts.

If learning to do that is an option, I'd go for that.

shovetheholly Fri 29-Apr-16 11:41:30

I am a bit OCD (in the sense that I genuinely have the edge of a problem) and I can totally understand why this grosses you out. I would be bothered too.

However, I do think that there are some occasions where you have to let it go because there is another value that is more important, in this case making a homeless man feel part of the community, and not excluded. I have been homeless myself as a teen, and I can't tell you how different it feels - like you are not part of the real world, like you are some kind of leper. Don't underestimate how important this contact is for him, or how good it makes him feel. You are teaching your daughter something incredible here.

I think I would be tempted to carry one of the tiny 30p bottles of alcohol hand sanitiser with me, and maybe use it once we were firmly out of sight. But I realise this is because I have issue, and not because it's necessary. smile

EveryoneElsie Fri 29-Apr-16 11:43:34

YANBU. Many homeless people have Hep C and other infectious diseases, and anyone who works with the homeless would tell you that.

Everyone who is pretending its OK to let strangers share bodily fluids needs a wake up call. Its not OK. Tell him to stop touching your child.

WhatTheActualFugg Fri 29-Apr-16 11:45:16

OP has been doing a lovely job of being nice to this man. But now he's just taken it too far. She's already tried her best to politely ask him to stop touching her child. Surely there comes a point when the OP shouldn't feel bad about putting her own feelings before his?

MrsJayy Fri 29-Apr-16 11:48:42

Rain cover is genuis do that you dont have to let anybody touch your baby if you dont like it regardless of this chap being homeless he is handiling money all day and wont have clean hands anyway so it is fair enough you not wanting him or anybody touching her,

ThinkPinkStink Fri 29-Apr-16 11:53:35

Yeah it's gross - not because he's homeless, but because he's a stranger who has ignored a mother's requests not to touch her child.

I am friendly with kids I see around me area, I give them a smile and a wave and have a quick chat, I would NEVER touch one (unless I was stopping them hurting themselves or helping the parent with something).

If you re-wrote this post, and made him 'a guy' not mentioning the homelessness - I think a lot more people who consider your response reasonable.

On one hand that's great, homeless people get a terrible time, people are prejudiced against them, it's a hard life, it's great that the good people of MN are showing their lack of prejudice - BUT it's a stranger, repeatedly touching someone else's kid despite the parent's obvious discomfort.*

*by 'touching' I mean literally that, I'm making no allusions to paedophilic intent.

MrsJayy Fri 29-Apr-16 11:57:11

People can jump the boundry with babies im a bit of a baby botherer grin but I would never touch anybodys baby out on the street

Bravada Fri 29-Apr-16 12:00:47

YANBU. I wouldn't want any stranger touching my face, so there's no fucking way I'd want them to touch my baby. As my DD is growing up, I want to teach her about respect and consent and that nobody has the right to touch you, and you don't have to put up with something that makes you uncomfortable to be nice or polite. I think as girls and women we struggle with this and it starts here. I would find it uncomfortable as well but I think you might just have to say quite firmly and rudely, "Don't touch her!"

Also you're not meant to use alcohol sanitiser on a baby.

angielou123 Fri 29-Apr-16 12:06:26

She's your baby and no one has the right to touch her. I would probably walk on the other side of the road if thats possible and just shout and wave hello at him, then go on my way. You don't owe him a conversation, you've been friendly, more than a lot of people would be to such a person. I don't want to label him but a lot of these homeless people are on drugs, so there's no way he'd be touching my kids.

seafoodeatit Fri 29-Apr-16 12:11:23

YANBU, it's your child and you have asked for her not be touched, the same would apply if he wasn't homeless. I would be a lot more firm next time he tries and make it clear that you're not happy for him to do it and his opinion of 'she doesn't mind' is totally irrelevant.

angielou123 Fri 29-Apr-16 12:12:01

Oh ok,. Ive just re-read and you can't cross over so my first suggestion won't work. In that case can you contact the issuers of the mag he sells and ask them to move his spot? You don't have to get him in trouble, i'm sure they would understand. Other than falling out with the guy by getting shitty and nasty, I wouldn't stop to talk to him anymore. Just keep walking but say hello.

00100001 Fri 29-Apr-16 12:18:22

everyoneelsie anyone could have Hep C...

MattDillonsPants Fri 29-Apr-16 12:22:24


But a homeless person is statistically more likely to.

FasterThanASnakeAndAMongoose Fri 29-Apr-16 12:22:27

That's a really tricky one. I'm sure that interacting with you and your dd brings a lot of joy to a very isolated and vulnerable person.

OTOH the dummy thing is weird and horrid.

Do you think he'd listen and take note if you politely but categorically explained that the dummy thing mustn't happen again? Could you go and speak to him without your dd?

Ultimately your dd is a person, not a doll, and her personal space should be respected.

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