Two weekends ago I packed up my “mommy mobile” and headed to the Big Apple to meet up with friends and spend a day in the city. After finally getting my super suburban and very heavy Graco stroller to the subway platform, I boarded the 1 train.

I lived in NYC for four years and know all about the subway rule of conduct that suggests you stare at feet, subway advertisements, and anything in the subway car but an actual face. Prior to navigating public transportation with my bambino, I would estimate that about 90% of city dwellers accept and abide by this rule, with the remaining 10% who disobey consisting of beggars, schizophrenics, drunks, and perverts. Apparently, however, when you board the train with a baby the rule is void and all people – beggar, schizo, drunk, perv, seemingly nice man in suit, preteen girls, and traveling foreign father also pushing a stroller – think they have a right to not only look at your baby, but touch your baby.

I was never a germophobe prior to the arrival of my son, but since his entry into the world, I have become a Purell toting, shopping cart sanitizing, germ loathing freak. Needless to say, the fact that strangers – especially a subway car full of strangers with hands on dirty rails – were touching my son flipped me out.

Let me put this out there. If you don’t know me, don’t touch my kid.

I plan on making Brody a vest, much like those bright red vests that service dogs wear. I will affix a patch that dissuades petting. (Come to think of it … I will make him wear it all through his preteen, teenage, and college years too. Anything I can do to discourage petting!)

Furthermore, I think that all people should adopt the General Service Animal Guidelines as found on the State of Indiana’s website (please disregard the fact that I don’t live in Indiana) and apply the rules to babies as well.

  • Do not touch the service animal baby, without the owner’s permission
  • Do not make noises at the service animal baby
  • Do not feed the service animal baby; this could disrupt his/her schedule

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