Look with your eyes ...
Not your hands. I seem to remember that when I was a kid. Be careful. Don't touch. You might break it. It isn't yours. Respect other people's things.
So why is it that the senior citizens who would've said those things to me then, have no problem getting all grabby-hands with my kid now?
Is their eyesight that bad? Are they reading his face like Braille when they tweak his cheek or touch his nose?
Listen, I appreciate that they think my kid is cute. I think my kid is cute too. I think he's the most adorable child on the planet forever and ever. But he's a lot less cute if he's sick from the germs of some total stranger who felt compelled to feel him up at the grocery store and may or may not have washed their hands first. Geez, at least ask before you touch. Then I'd have the time to say "I'd rather you didn't, but thanks for asking." Instead they go "Aww, how cute!" and dive in before I can react, then walk away, leaving me quietly seething.
I guess this is karmic payback for avoiding the grabby-hands when I was pregnant. I didn't really show until wintertime, and the belly was more or less hidden under sweaters and bulky coats. Also, I've been told I'm intimidating-looking. (How shocking, you say.)
My kid, on the other hand, is a great beaming ray of sunshine who thinks the entire world is his friend. This clearly is pollen for buzzing grandparent-ish types.
Of course, the most recent time this happened, kiddo had the sniffles. Kvetching about the touchy-feely on the way home, DH noted that if they picked up kiddo's germs as a result, it was their loss.
"No, it's their gain," I said. "They gained a cold."