You can always depend on the kindness of strangers

15 Aug

I went to the Fireweed Market yesterday afternoon to pick up our weekly order of locally-produced goat’s milk. We’re trying as much as possible to subsitute it for cow’s milk for Jade, since it’s easier to digest and is free of hormones and antibiotics and so forth.

It was a windy day, not one that encourages loitering; Jade insisted that I carry her, and I did, despite my back, because it would have otherwise taken 20 minutes to cross the parking lot. I headed purposefully for the booth and put Jade down to ready my cloth bag. Jade wanted to be picked up. Since I was busy, she reached her arms out to the woman standing behind me, who was delighted to pick her up.

One of the women at the booth thought she saw something in one of the Ziploc bags of milk I was given, so she took it back for a closer look. I glanced back and was shocked when I realized that the woman holding Jade wasn’t behind me anymore. Then I saw that she had moved back just a few feet so that Jade could interact with a baby that another woman was wearing in a wrap. I turned back to the folks in the booth, hoping they would hurry.

I glanced at Jade again. She was holding her arms out to someone else. And then to another person. All these people were delighted to hug her, but she was getting farther and farther away and I didn’t know if these people knew who she belonged to, or if they figured she was lost or what. I kept calling out to her to come back.

I know it’s unlikely that a total stranger would kidnap her. I also don’t believe that “don’t talk to strangers” is exactly a reasonable rule. But I do think she needs to learn to be a littler warier. How do you teach an affectionate 2-year-old to limit her sociability? I guess we shouldn’t let her be picked up by strangers anymore, but it gives both her and the other person so much pleasure and it makes me laugh, too. (When I’m not stuck at a booth, that is.)

Finally — finally! — I was just handed a different bag of milk. I shoved it into my cloth bag and rushed away to grab Jade, who’d just been given a French fry by her latest conquest. “I hope that’s okay,” the woman said. I couldn’t have cared less, I was just so glad to get Jade back.

It wasn’t until I got her all buckled into her carseat that I realized I hadn’t paid for the milk. Argh!


10 Responses to “You can always depend on the kindness of strangers”

  1. Carol August 15, 2008 at 8:38 am #

    Oh no!

    Both my boys are shy around strangers so I have never had to deal with such a scenario.

    Total social butterfly isn’t she?

  2. Barbara August 15, 2008 at 6:16 pm #

    It will be worth your while to begin showing Jade and saying things to teach her to be more reserved. But I would not expect her to make the distinctions among who to trust for some time, perhaps for years. Not to discourage you….but to let you know that she will depend on you for a long time yet to keep her safe. You may be able to teach her by telling her how to protect Nugget – ? Hope your back feels better.

  3. Patrice August 15, 2008 at 11:26 pm #

    Aww! That’s so cute! She’s a little social butterfly! haha I would freak out a little, though, if I were in your place! Great story, Happy POW!

  4. compulsivewriter August 16, 2008 at 1:29 am #

    Jade is just like my sister. she once lost her way in an amusement park and ended up having a fun time in the lost and found office till we found her! phew

  5. Mamasphere August 16, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    I’m so wary, but wary of being wary. Does that make sense? My mommy senses are in full force when someone my daughter doesn’t know is interacting with her, but I don’t want to be the overprotective mom, either. I don’t want Gabi to be scared of people, but I want her to know the dangers. Such a hard balance to maintain!

  6. Dad August 16, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Haaaaaaaaaa, sweet revenge !!! 🙂 That’s what you get 21 years later for running off by yourself down that mountainpath in Yellowstone – piggy tail bobbing away around some bend and out of view.

    Ha ha ha! Funnily enough, I was thinking of that very story when I published this post. 🙂

  7. magnusmuhlbradt August 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm #

    Haha, I loved the conclusion for this post. It is so ironic how your paranoia (even though that is a VERY strong word in this case) and your frame of mind in the situation caused you to involuntarily make an act of crime.

    Yes, I was a wee bit distracted! I wasn’t too impressed with myself when I realized it. Fortunately, I was still in the parking lot close to where the booth was, so I parked close by at the side of the road and ran over and paid them. 🙂

  8. Beanie August 18, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    That’s okay. Even if you’d been arrested, no jury would convict you. Just haul Jade into the courtroom to charm the judge and jury. 🙂

  9. Kara August 18, 2008 at 5:27 pm #

    Funny that you forgot the pay!!

    Hunter is the same- he loves everyone we run into. I am not too sure how we will approach the stranger issue in the future!


  1. Blame Caillou « Fawnahareo’s Place - September 10, 2009

    […] 10, 2009 by fawnahareo Jade has always been fearless.  I have previously lamented her complete lack of shyness with strangers and disregard for obviously highly dangerous situations, such as approaching a 52-foot-high […]

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