For one thing, I work for myself, and when I catch a cold, I either suffer lost wages or miserable work days; I make sure never to share glasses or bites of food with the kids.For another, it frankly just creeps me out to see a child's face homing in on mine for a kiss while making full eye contact; I've taken to swerving and giving him a kiss on the cheek and a hug, or kissing my hand and putting it on his face in a silly way, but I can't do this forever.Read Prudie’s Slate columns Mallory Ortberg: Good morning!Some perennial advice: If you feel yourself about to say something terrible, stuff your mouth full of delicious, dry saltines until you can’t speak.It doesn’t matter if some other families do it and feel comfortable, and it doesn’t need to be objectively, unilaterally creepy for you to say that you don’t want to do it.
When I asked my friend about this, she said that "she is an American now." I know it's not my right to butt into their parenting, but this breaks my heart. And her ability to speak both languages, I think, would be an asset and a gift.In the past year since I moved in with them and my husband, we've experienced a lot of new stepparent drama, but we've all survived and become fairly functional.I still feel the exhaustion of our first year as a family, during which at least one of us at a time would nearly always be in tears, and I definitely haven't entirely let go of that stress.The girl was badly in need of medical care and surgery, which my friend provided for her. The problem is, my friend has a strange rule that bothers me: The girl is under no circumstances allowed to speak a word of Russian.When the girl first came over, she only spoke Russian, but she is learning English quickly.