On this Motherhood Monday, I’d love to talk about kissing babies.

First, here’s a little story: When I was sixteen, we went to visit my grandparents in England. One night, I was saying good night to my grandfather. “Good night, Dilly,” I said, standing next to his armchair, and then I leaned over and gave him a peck on the mouth. We had always kissed my parents on the lips, and I figured that was appropriate. I thought it was just what you did!

“Oh, yes, uh, well, Joanna,” he said, flustered and almost dropping his whisky. Then he pulled himself together and looked up at me. “You know, I always say, ‘A man should kiss his father on the forehead, kiss his friends and family on the cheek, and kiss his wife on the lips.'”

Oh, I thought, blushing a shade of lobster red. Good to know. I was mortified! After that, I stuck to cheek-kisses for pretty much everyone (even high-school boyfriends, but that’s another story).

Fast forward fifteen years: Now that I have my own baby, I can’t help kissing him all over the face, including his slobbery mouth. I basically make out with him. :) Nothing feels better than drool-y kisses from a baby. It feels instinctual. And I remember seeing a French movie years ago where the mother kissed her five-year-old daughter on the mouth, and it seemed sweet and natural.

Funnily enough, though, Alex feels differently. I remember the day after Toby was born, we were still in the hospital, and I turned to Alex and said, “Oh, you have to kiss him on the mouth, it feels so good, you have to try it,” and Alex was like, “No, thanks, I’ll kiss him right here…on the top of the head.” I teased him good-naturedly but, a year later, he’s still rocking the forehead peck.

So, I’m curious: Do you kiss your babies on the mouth? What about older children? Was there an age where you stopped? Have you ever kissed your parents on the mouth? Do you think it’s lovely or entirely inappropriate? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

(Top photo of Toby; bottom photo by Anais.)