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I'm what you would call an affectionate mom. I’m always planting smooches on my six-year-old daughter -- I've kissed her belly, her toes, and frequently, when I'm heading out the door, we pucker up and smack our lips together to say good-bye.
Now, lest you think we have big mommy-daughter make-out sessions, I’m talking about innocent, close-mouthed kisses here. And I definitely see mouth-to-mouth action when I drop off my kid at school in the morning, on busses, in parks and on the streets every day. For a lot of parents, it seems like it’s as natural and normal as a peck on the cheek or a hug.
My puritanical hubby, on the other hand, will only kiss our little girl on the cheek. He thinks my behavior borders on creepy and will, without a doubt, drive her into years of therapy. He's not germaphobic, but whenever he catches me kissing her on the lips, he says she’s too old and that it sends the wrong message. He worries that at worst, it's somehow sexual and at best, she might end up cornering another kindergartner and giving her or him a little too much love.
But the way I see it, my daughter likes being kissed by Mommy. She enjoys my attention and my affection. She’s even made up a kissing game: I’ll kiss her on the nose while she smooches my chin, and we both love butterfly kisses. Someday soon she won’t want me to kiss her on the lips—or anywhere else. Until then my lips aren’t sealed.