Thursday, February 26, 2015
If kissing your kids on the lips is bad, then I am evil
Every morning, I'm awoken by a kiss. Not from Dave—from Sabrina. She leans over our bed and plants one on my mouth. And like Sleeping Beauty (or the frizzy-haired mom version thereof), my spell is broken and I rise.
I am in good company, as I noticed the other day when Vanessa Lachey posted a photo on Instagram of husband Nick lip-kissing their two-year-old, Camden. Last year, Jessica Alba admitted to Redbook that she kisses her little girls on the mouth—and seemed surprised to learn that some parents don't do that. As she noted, "Really? Why?! It's your baby. People allow dogs to lick at their mouths."
I didn't kiss my kids on their lips when they were infants: Tots haven't yet built up bacterial and immune defenses and are particularly vulnerable to nasties you can catch from germs in saliva including colds, the flu, cold sores and even cavities. Besides. Max has always been about cheek kisses, and one of Sabrina's first phrases was "NO TISSES!" ("NO KISSES!"). I had to beg or bribe her for smooches. But as she got older and more affectionate, she liked to kiss me on the lips. Quick, little, absolutely delicious pecks.
We're a pretty kiss-y family, although Dave doesn't kiss the kids on the lips. (Neither one of us have parents who did.) Some people think dads doing that with older girls crosses the line, let alone adult ones. Earlier this month, when New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichik and his 30-year-old daughter Amanda locked lips after the Superbowl win, the Twitterverse exploded with people deeming it "super weird" and "creepy." My only thought was, I love that this big, burly tough guy isn't shy about showing the world how much he adores his daughter.
Sometimes, common sense gets ahold of me—especially during cold and flu season—and I'll offer a cheek or head off Sabrina's lips and go for her forehead. Or I'll put a hand over her mouth and kiss my hand, which makes her giggle. Usually, though, I can't resist those kisses: the expectant look on her face when she puckers up, how she grasps both my cheeks with her hands, the tenderness of her little lips, the subsequent demand of "More!"
I'm not going to apologize for this kissing habit. Childhood passes too quickly, and for me these kisses are one of its sweetest pleasures. If kissing my kid on the mouth is one of my worst crimes as a mom, I can live with that...and love it.
Image of Belichik: WCVB