That’s me trying to kiss youngest on the lips last night at bedtime. The child resists me! Admittedly I did reek of wine and fags…

I engage in mouth-to-mouth with my youngest more often than I do with Gwyneth. I also snog his tummy and kiss his bum and bite his elbows and everyday fight the urge to actually EAT him because he is just so goddam DELICIOUS. (The child, not Gwyneth…though he would, of course, be delighted for me to kiss his hairy bum…oh YAK let me not even think of that whilst discussing my darling child).

Until quite recently I also routinely tickled his goolies (again – NOT Gwyneth…look can we just assume I’m not talking about the husband here?). Tickling your little boy’s goolies is brill. It says: your whole body is wonderful to me; every inch of you is to be celebrated. And my God did that child know how to celebrate his nob. As a toddler he liked to lay it on the coffee table in the front room, stretch it out flat and smack it repeatedly…for the pleasure of our guests…

Now he’s six I don’t tickle his goolies anymore and he doesn’t lay his nob out on the coffee table in front of his Gran. There was no formal agreement about this, we didn’t all sit around that same table negotiating the appropriate terms of my exit from his goolie territory, or his new role as Minister of Not Nob-Stretching On The Table. No, things just changed gradually.

Similarly, I don’t kiss my eldest on the lips much anymore because she is seventeen and I know where she’s been… No it’s not that (it is actually), no it’s NOT. It’s just that we don’t need to express our love so physically, so intimately anymore. I think it’s called growing-up, isn’t it? Plus, I know where she’s been…

I still get in the bath with youngest sometimes. He has a good ol’ mess about with my doughy tummy and lollopy boobs. Then we play an excellent game where he sits on my knees and I make my legs into a water slide and he slips around while we both get thoroughly soaked, goolies and boobies wobbling about while we squeal with drippy glee. Then we get busy with a spelling game using bath letters because I am ALWAYS READY TO PROVIDE A LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR MY CHILDREN.

Eldest still comes and chats to me when I’m in the bath too. That’s when she gets to be reminded that there are women’s bodies that resemble a gigantic bowl of mashed potato. This is a vital gift I give her; the real-life evidence of what two kids, seventeen million gallons of Rioja and a life-long custard cream addiction look like. 

Yes, in this family of mine, lolling around naked, chatting and playing and bouncing and squeezing, is one of the ways we show we love each other. (I repeat: NOT me and Gwyneth – unless it’s his birthday or he buys me 200 fags). 

It’s not compulsory to kiss your kids on the lips. You don’t have to do it. We do it because it makes us happy, which is rather lovely when you’ve just found out Boris Johnson is your new representative on the world stage and there’s nothing you can do about it so you might as well get your kid in a headlock and smother his face in your saliva.

Anyway, Victoria Beckham planting a smacker on her tiny daughter’s chops should not be deemed in the least bit shocking because the woman maintains a permanent immovable pout. She probs wasn’t even kissing Harper but just accidentally bumped into her face whilst already puckered-up…

Mwah x

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