Pinch my kid and you’d better be ready to run.

While I’m highly unlikely to engage in physical violence, there are some things that get my adrenaline up and make me aware that I could, in fact, be violent should the need arise.

This whole St Patrick’s Day pinching thing has got me all uptight today. Friends have been commenting that their kids were so afraid of being pinched at school today that they refused to wear anything that wasn’t green (better safe than sorry). Others’ kids forgot their green today but their teacher gave them a green sticker so they wouldn’t get pinched. I don’t know, but I think the response I would want from my kid’s teacher is more along the lines of, “Don’t worry. No one has a right to touch your body but you, especially not to pinch you. If someone pinches you, let me know, and I’ll punish the little bugger.”

My daughter asked what St Patrick’s Day was about. I told her I really didn’t know, but that it seemed to have something to do with Ireland and maybe snakes and that people wear green and drink a lot of beer and eat corned beef and cabbage. She decided to wear one green sock with her otherwise pink outfit. I had not told her about the pinching thing. My son and I did not wear green.

At gymnastics today, a little girl worried aloud that, because she had no green on her leotard, that she would be pinched during class. Her father said that he was pretty sure that gymnastics class is a pinch-free zone, regardless of what color you’re wearing. My daughter became apprehensive that someone would pinch her since she was wearing a pink velour leotard and matching pink velour scrunchie.

“No one has a right to touch you, Honey,” I explained. “If someone tries to pinch you, you tell them that.”

I was going to tell her to tell her coach, but I’m not 100% certain the coach wouldn’t just say, “Well, you’re not wearing green…” and then pinch my kid herself. I considered telling her to just hit anyone who pinched her, but I’m not entirely convinced that’s a precedent I want to set.

Luckily it was a moot point.

Other than the pinching thing, my kids enjoyed St Patrick’s Day, for what little we did to celebrate. Basically, I just made corned beef and cabbage, which we all loved (“Mommy, I love cabbage! And this pork is delicious! I love pigs when they’re alive and when they’re dead.” “That’s pretty cool, Honey. But just so you know, it’s beef, not pork.” “Well, I like dead and alive cows, too, live ones to look at and dead ones to eat.”).

Then I celebrated with a traditional Irish yoga class. I didn’t wear green there, either, and luckily no one pinched me. Because I would have decked them.

Erin go Braugh!

Corned beef and cabbage. It's not just for St Patrick's Day. (and it's not super-red because it's small-batch market-made)

6 Replies to “Pinch my kid and you’d better be ready to run.”

  1. I think pinching, like most of the supposed St P Day traditions can be stopped. But, I can just hear parents respond, “you’re over reacting. It’s just a pinch for St P Day. I was pinched when I was a kid and I turned out just fine. Lighten up.”


    1. I heard that little voice in my head as I wrote this. There are a lot of things people tell others to lighten up about. And there are a lot of things that happened to us as kids that we wouldn’t want to happen to our kids. I don’t consider that a great litmus test for determining what’s OK for our kids. (I know you don’t, either.)


  2. I am not a fan of the pinching either. S’s (otherwise very sensible) teacher commented that if anyone pinched it would have to be softly and most of the parents voiced their opinion that pinching should just be off-limits. Maybe I missed the memo, but I don’t remember St. Patrick’s Day being such a big deal when I was a kid, unless you were Irish. If people start giving their kids St. Patrick’s Day presents, though, I might have to be more vigorously against it rather than just neutral on all but the pinching.


    1. Yes, I always kind of thought of it was more of a grown-up holiday. Although in kindergarten, my mom did participate in a fake leprechaun visit to our classroom. We returned from recess or something to find small green footprints all over (windows, walls, floors) and little chocolate coins for everyone. When I found the old pair of sneakers with green paint on the bottoms a few months later, my mom tried to play it off. Why it was so important to her that I believe in leprechauns, I have no idea.


      1. I did not know anyone who did any fake leprechaun anything until I was an adult. Maybe I had a deprived childhood. 😉


      2. Clearly you did have a deprived childhood. I think I may have mentioned that I was never the type of child who liked being fooled or surprised in any way. My mom might have done better to visit your kindergarten class. Then you wouldn’t have been deprived, and I wouldn’t have been disillusioned.


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