Old men: creepy or nice?

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies

I had a bizarre experience a a few weekends ago. One that I've been contemplating and wondering about ever since. We had headed downtown and decided to grab lunch at our favourite department store cafeteria. After lunch, my husband went to the bathroom quickly while I waited by the escalator with the kids. Suddenly, a security guard appeared out of nowhere. He shot me a quick grin and headed straight for my kids.

"Hi! Who are you?" he asked Nate, a little too excitedly. I was instantly creeped out.

Nate looked at me to get my approval. I thought I was probably over-reacting and encouraged him to answer the man. "I'm Nate," he replied quietly.

"Hi Nate! I'm Manny!" he stuck out his hand enthusiastically to shake Nate's. "And who's this?"

"This is Lucy!" Nate can hardly contain his affection for his sister.

The man continued for another minute or two with "How old are you?" and other such seemingly innocuous questions. What made me uncomfortable was that this man was not acknowledging me at all. Most people who want to comment on your kids' cuteness tend to make a bit of small talk with you as the parent. No so with this man.

I shot him a look that said, "Shouldn't you be doing your job right now?" and he began to walk back to his post. He didn't say goodbye or anything. He just started walking away, dodging behind pillars and such to play peekaboo with Nate.

By the time Jan rejoined us, all trace of this weirdo was gone. Still I couldn't shake the creeps. Was I over-reacting? How can you tell a perv from a totally innocent admirer of children? Has all this media hype about predators heightened my awareness, or has it made me overly paranoid?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.