E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A foolish, fond parent. Here fond does not mean affectionate, but silly. Chaucer uses the word fonne for a simpleton, and the Scotch fou is to play the fool. Shakespeare has fond desire, fond love, fond shekels of gold, fond wretch, fond mad-woman, etc. Fondling means an idiot, or one fond.