Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Day Twelve: Too Much Affection?

When is it too much? When is the affection your child gets from someone that isn't a blood relative stepping over the line and how do you deal with it?

I work in an office that is extremely "family friendly." I think that much of this is due to the fact that our organization deals primarily with families and with children who suffer a specific type of disability -- a disability common in most of the families that make up our staff. This family focused environment is a big part of the reason I am able to work from home for half the week and it is also the reason why there is usually a child of a coworker in our office several times a week, for one reason or another.

With my own work schedule being what it is, especially during this two weeks without Denver Mom, Chunk has also spent some time in the office, running around, peeking in on people in their offices, and generally charming everyone within range of his batting eyes and quick smile. It has worked wonders, because he has brightened a lot of days and made a lot of friends, but one particular coworker has gotten a little weird with him. No, not weird in a Michael Jackson way, just overly affectionate. There are demands for kisses, plenty of hugs, and enough "goo-goo" talk to give you cavities.

Chunk is an affectionate kid, but only to a select few people and only at a select few times. At best, he tolerates the attention. He does that "smile and stiffen" thing that we all tend to do when we're uncomfortable, but playing along to be nice. It seems pretty obvious, at least to me, but she just doesn't get it.

So, where is the line? Where is the border drawn between a friendly show of kindness and an invasion of personal space? Am I teaching Chunk a valuable lesson about people by letting this go on or am I failing my son by not coming to his aid when he needs me?

1 comment:

Pickle's Papa said...

saliva.

or really any exchange of bodily fluids whatsoever. That's where one should draw the line.

I have always found that making a joke out of awkward situations (like waking up drunk, naked and married in Paraguay) is really the best way to deal with them.

I would stand up for him. Do you remember how much you hated having your cheek pinched? You could finally be the father that intervenes and lets his child know that you understand how 'icky' grown-ups can be.