Baby Snatching Incident

I shared the following on my mommy Facebook group a few months ago right after this happened:

“Something just happened this evening that made me so upset. We were at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants. It’s the second time we’ve taken Alex there recently and the two ladies who work there were all enamored with him- kind of up in his personal space and touching his face, which I wasn’t super thrilled with but I was letting it slide. Anyway, as our meal was winding down I took Alex out of the high chair, got him cleaned up, and then was holding him in my lap until we were ready to leave. He was playing with some stuff in my purse, or whatever. ANYway, then one of the ladies comes up and is like “Stop bugging your mommy” and TAKES HIM out of my arms (which is already a huge pet peeve of mine, even when a friend or family member does it). So then she begins to walk away with him and I’m thinking “what the heck!” but I just keep watching them and then she TAKES HIM OUT OF MY SIGHT INTO THE KITCHEN!!! I. Was. Pissed. Still am, actually. The other girl was still standing by the table and was blabbering about how “oh she loves kids, doesn’t have any of her own” and bla bla bla, but I was just giving her this blank look and staring back toward the kitchen. As I was about to go get him, she came back out, Alex holding the container for my leftovers. I think she would have kept holding him, but I took him back. I was so mad. I can’t remember the last time I was so mad at a stranger. I don’t like that. At all. To me, she really crossed the line. I understand that if she doesn’t have her own kids she may not get it, but it doesn’t make me less upset.


I’m mad at myself too- both for letting her take him in the first place and for then saying nothing as she disappeared with my baby. My husband and I are both upset and wish we’d never let it happen. I guess I feel like- what if he had actually been in danger and I’d done nothing? I hope I’d sense that the person was dangerous and hold onto him, but right now I just feel like I failed at protecting him. It makes me want to cry.


We really like this restaurant, too, and our meal was fantastic, but now we don’t even feel like going back. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough tonight. Were we overreacting, or would anyone be irate?”


While I still, over 3 months later, am not in the slightest amused by the thought of a stranger taking off with my baby, I wanted to share this mainly because the responses from the other moms were really good. They were all very supportive and basically all of them said they would have been furious too, or at least very uncomfortable, but many of them also pointed out that the behavior of these two women was very culturally based.

One mom who’d spent time living in Japan told me that, in Japanese and Chinese culture, taking care of your baby means they consider you like part of the family and want you to be able to eat in peace knowing your baby is in good hands.  That helped me to realize that they were coming from a genuine, caring place and not an evil, I-want-to-snatch-your-baby place.

Still, next time I won’t be letting my baby go.  I’ll probably offer an excuse like “He needs his mother” or something so as not to offend, but he isn’t leaving my arms.  We haven’t been back to that restaurant…..


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nowandevermore
    Jan 17, 2014 @ 01:07:07

    Just reading this my heart started to beat faster! I would have totally felt the same way! So hard to say what I would have done in the same situation, probably the same thing as you and your husband.


  2. andi
    Jan 24, 2014 @ 23:31:12

    oh wow. i dont know what i would have done. i know i would have wished i had done or said something later if i didnt but i frequently seem to not speak up in some situations or at least i used to. i kind of wonder if things would be different now having been in the army. i know i am less concerned with getting yelled at or other things like that now. i think i would speak up more now than i used to but you never know what you’ll really do until a situation arises. i always thought i would freeze if someone blew up near me or shot at me and it turns out neither of those things phased me so who knows.


    • travelnole
      Jan 25, 2014 @ 00:26:06

      I’m so paranoid about waitresses now, lol! Shortly after this experience we went to our favorite Indian restaurant. This young waitress there kept looking at Alex an awful lot and I was really keeping my eye on her. Then, while Dennis was gone to the buffet, she saw Alex looking over at her and came right up to our table and stood close by him and just looked at him. Not saying anything, just looking. Wow, I fixed her with an “excuse me, can I help you” stare, and I didn’t care what she thought! She left.


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