My nephew, Tucker Birkey likes girls, provided they aren’t too much older than he is. Tucker is a typical seven year old boy, and little girls are very interesting, but when it comes to older girls…like aunts and such…well, he’a little bit too macho to be seen hugging them. It might be ok if none of his friends see it, but in reality, he would feel a whole lot better if he could just wave and call it good. Of course, you know how aunts are. We like hugs from our nieces and nephews, and we don’t always consider their feelings. I would probably feel bad about this situation, but like most aunts, who love their nieces and nephew, those hugs are simply important. I mean, lets face it aunts love their nieces and nephews.
For Tucker, at seven years of age though, girls usually have cooties, and I don’t know for sure, but maybe the older girls have more cooties than younger ones. A while back, Tucker was visiting his grandma, my mother-in-law, Joanne Schulenberg at the nursing home where she lives, and when the visit was over, another of the elderly women mentioned that Tucker was cute. She asked if she could give him a hug. His mom said yes, and Tucker…not knowing what he was getting into, obediently gave the woman a hug. All seemed to be ok, until she planted a kiss on his cheek. It was an innocent enough thing for an old lady to do, and Tucker did his very best not to make it a big deal. Nevertheless, as he walked away with a scrunched up face, that was filled with disgust, he was trying in vain to scrub away that kiss. I never really thought of old ladies having cooties, but I guess to an almost seven year old boy things could seem very different.
The thing that really amazes me though is that while a little boy, like Tucker is completely grossed out by the kiss of an aunt or an old lady in a nursing home, having his dog lick his face is nothing more than funny. There seems to be nothing gross about that at all. I guess it has to be a dog owner thing, because I know that I don’t exactly like being licked by a dog. Tucker, on the other hand loves everything about his dog, and I’m pretty sure a doggy kiss would be no problem. I’ll bet Tucker doesn’t even think about cooties when it comes to doggy kisses. All I can say is that I think Tucker and I have very different ideas about where cooties come from. Today is Tucker’s birthday. I think my gift will be…no cootie filled aunty kisses. Happy birthday Tucker!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
With boys, hugs and kissed usually stop in their toddler years…at least what we all know as PDA’s (public displays of affection). They are learning to be a man after all, and men don’t show emotion right?? I used to think that it was mostly boys whose dads were worried about them being wimps that caused their sons to act this way. Of course, this thought came from a woman who had 4 sisters and no brothers, and then 2 daughters and no sons. I know better now that I have 3 grandsons and only one granddaughter. Boys instinctively know that they have to be tough, and just like girls who are learning to be nurturing by playing with their dolls, boys learn toughness by pushing back their emotions…and the first thing to go is those good old PDA’s. I mean, “A guy could get beat up” right!!
The good news is that those things will come back into play when they get to the point where they actually like girls again, which must happen after the girls get over their case of the cooties, or the boys get vaccinated from them anyway, because as we all know cooties are the worst germ out there!! So as women, we either need to vaccinate our little boys against cooties…try convincing them that the shot is a good idea…or wait the whole thing out and plan on missing those kisses and hugs until we lose the cooties.
Sometimes, however, something a little boy does is so sweet and thoughtful, and it takes you so by surprise, that you can’t get it out of your mind. It’s almost as if they forget themselves for a moment and just let the emotions flow out of them. Last night I was having dinner at my mom’s house with Mom, my sister Cheryl, and her kids, Rob and his wife Dustie and their kids, Christina, Raelynn and her friend, Matthew, and Audrianna. I was sitting in the chair that was right in front of the door as you walked into the house. As they arrived, the girls all came in and said hello to me, as did their parents. But, when Matthew came in, he walked straight up to me and gave me a big hug!! Now, I am his great aunt, and I know he loves me, but most of the time when I see him, I either have to expect that there will be no kiss or hug coming, or I might get one after the wrestling match it takes to get him down long enough to steal one. Not so last night. That sweet little boy came right up to me and hugged me. I almost cried. It was a precious moment. Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that he will continue to do that, because he is only 6 years old, but it was such a loving and thoughtful gesture, that I think I can let the times when he doesn’t do it slide, because he is after all…only 6 years old.
We all do it…throw kisses to people we care about. Most of us don’t even give it a second thought. But when it comes to babies we spend hours trying to teach them to throw kisses and laugh about the funny attempts at it. And there are many funny attempts. There is the back handed kiss, were they see the back of your hand so they think they need to use the back of theirs, so instead of kissing their palm or finger tips, the kiss the back of their hand. Then there is the kiss the palm, but forget to throw, where the hand just stays on the lips. I have even seen where the child sticks their finger in their mouth and then pulls it out. Somehow that one just doesn’t seem like a kiss, but what do I know. I guess they have seen their parents throwing a one finger kiss, but couldn’t quite get it right, so the finger went in the mouth instead up to the lip.
One of my favorites is the one my little granddaughter always did…the two handed kiss. She loved throwing kisses, and she would always use both hands. I guess she could throw bigger kisses if she used both hands. And maybe she just loved her grandma…that’s the best reason I can think of. I loved those thrown kisses, and now that she is so grown up, I miss that little girl, so bubbly and full of kisses and hugs. But, she has grown into a beautiful young lady, and I am very proud of her.
All too soon, the days of little baby thrown kisses are over and kids don’t want to throw kisses to parents and grandparents so much. Then you try your hardest to get those toddlers to throw you a kiss. The best way I have found is to tell them you want a hug. This might get the hug, but if it’s a boy, much of the time, they will throw a kiss instead…because hugging a girl…even a grandma, is…well, eeewwww!!
As adults, we no longer feel the embarrassment over thrown kisses, as we did as adolescent children. Then the thrown kisses start to happen more often. The kisses are different though…as we all know. They use the hands less, and are mostly meant to tell our loved ones how much we care. They can also be an expression of deep love for a spouse or significant other. They can even be used to attract someone we want to meet. Whatever we use them for…we never really stop liking those thrown kisses.