DEAR ABBY: A friend I really like has been extremely helpful baby-sitting my 4-month-old son every once in a while. The problem is, she informed me that she rubs his gums and lets him chew on her fingers. I find this gross and strange. Clean fingers or not, I'd prefer she not do this. She only has him a couple of hours at a time, and he has teething toys.
Am I overreacting? If not, how do I politely inform my friend that I'd rather she not put her fingers in my baby's mouth? I can't think of a way to explain it that wouldn't offend her. -- OFF LIMITS IN IDAHO
DEAR OFF LIMITS: What your friend is doing is neither gross nor strange. She was probably trying to soothe your teething baby who was showing signs of discomfort. Her fingers may have been more comfortable to chew on than the hard toy. However, you are the parent and if you prefer no more fingers in your baby's mouth, you should tell that to your friend and she shouldn't take offense.