I Cuddled a Stranger’s Child.

Yesterday was an ordinary day.
I dropped Dex off at daycare and he didn’t want me to go.
I crouched down and I told him about all the fun things he was going to do that day.

There was a little girl standing a little way away.
She was close enough that she could here us.
Dex told me her name. She looked a little lost.
A little bewildered.
She wandered away a little.
Wandered back.

Burst into tears, ran over and threw her arms around me.
Her sobs were heartwrenching.
She was clearly very upset. She wanted her Mummy. Her mummy was gone.

I put my arms around her and I cuddled her. I told her it was okay, her mummy would come back after work.
I patted her back.

And the whole time, I felt completely awkward.
Not because I was comforting a crying child, but because I didn’t know how the daycare teachers would react when they saw me cuddling a child that wasn’t mine.
How the parents would react when they saw me cuddling a child that wasn’t mine.

I cuddled her and I scanned the teachers. They were all helping other children or saying goodbye to parents.
I sent Dex to get one for this poor little girl and still I worried – what would they say?
Had I done the wrong thing?
Would that little girl’s mother think I had done the wrong thing?

I don’t believe I did the wrong thing.
That poor little girl was lost and alone and needed comfort.
I couldn’t just turn her away and hurt her even more. I would have been scared I would crush her tiny spirit.

I hope if Dex or Lola ever does that at daycare, they would receive a cuddle too.
But it makes me sad because they probably won’t.
Everyone is so scared of repercussions, legal obligations.
It makes me sad because I felt bad for that little girl, I felt like I shouldn’t have been hugging her and it was all she needed.

After about 2 minutes, she loosened her grip and took my hand.
I suggested we go and paint her mummy a picture. And she nodded.
We walked over to the paint stand and I handed her to one of the teachers. I explained what had happened and they said thank you, knelt down and asked her if she wanted to paint.
She smiled and nodded.
Just like that, all was fine again.


Would you have cuddled her? Did I do the right thing?


7 thoughts on “I Cuddled a Stranger’s Child.

  1. I would hope someone would cuddle my child.

    I had a similar experience at work the other night. I ended up phoning Crime Stoppers on someone I hope was the father of the hysterical child. I hope that I simply reported a father a little out of his depth calming his child before taking her home to a none-the-wise mum. If my hope isn’t the case, I know I at least did the best I could.

  2. You certainly didn’t do the wrong thing. It was a beautiful gesture unquestionably coming from a mother’s heart during a poor child’s time of distress. You quite clearly successfully comforted her in her time of need and she ended up fine and happy again.
    It’s an awful shame that these days you doubt yourself over an occurrence like this. My grandfather was incredibly disheartened that there came a time when he could no longer smile at a child he didn’t know in public because he feared the judgement of others. Sad Times indeed.

    • As a male I find that society puts men in a wierd position especially in a situation like this. My mother has been in family day care for over 29 years, and I have lived with her for 18 of those growing up. In my house its common place to comfort a child that isn’t mine, it’s a comfortable place for the child to have a cry or share something exciting with you. As a male in this situation I often find if I am to hold a child in public I am often looked upon with the worst of intentions. I’m very comfortable with other children because I have been brought up to treat a child with respect and get down to their level and solve their problems I’ve been taught that a good cuddle is often better than avoiding the issue but it doesn’t help when society makes me feel as though it is not acceptable to do this. Nothing in this world is as fulfilling as facilitating a child through a difficult problem be it a 20 second sob session or when a child learns a small part of the alphabet from your teaching. So don’t feel bad. Any parent that would be uneasy with another “adult” comforting their child needs to take their child back to the bubble of a narrow minded society they came from.

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