My son kisses me.
Which is a relief, since one of my fears about having a boy was that he wouldn’t be affectionate. But when he was just a year old, he crawled to get a book, brought it to me and sat down in my crossed legs.
But this is not normal father-son kissing. It’s not a tight-lipped cheek peck of thanks for playing with his Thomas & Friends train set with him.
The first time it happened – a few months ago, right after he turned two – I figured it was an accident. He doesn’t have great control of his motor skills. He runs like he’s being pushed and throws a ball by dropping it in front of him. So when he went to kiss my mouth and wound up licking my soft palate, I figured the guy just didn’t have lip smacking down yet.
By the fifth time, I knew this was not an accident. Though he mixes up his style, this is how it usually goes down: We’ll be talking, usually about cars or trains, and he’ll put his face close to mine, somewhat menacingly. Which puts me off guard. Allowing him to do what he wants. He puts his hands on both sides of my face and pulls me until our mouths touch. He smushes his mouth hard against mine and then starts to lick my lips. A few times, he bit my lips gently. Then he pushes me away.
None of the baby books tell me how to do deal with this. Do I kiss him back? It seems weird and a little gross, not just because he’s my son but because he’s got the grooming habits of a homeless man. There’s food on his face. He doesn’t wash his hands a lot. He often smells of urine.
No one has told me how to feel about this ether. I’m sort of freaked out, sort of disgusted and sort of thrilled. I mean, I must be a pretty good dad for my son to like me this much. He clearly wants to get super close to me. Again, I’m sort of freaked out.