Like I’m ever going to reject a kiss from one of my children.
Recently, in his excitable haste to bestow an impromptu, reactionary smacker on my unsuspecting lips, often as a direct by-product of the deepest pleasure/joy/excitement he has apparently known in his short life thus far, he is a little heavy-handed.
With great stealth, he puckers up, turns suddenly and presses his beautiful, chubby chops against my delighted grid. AS HARD AS HE BLOODY WELL CAN.
I can literally feel his body shake with tension and excitement as he forcibly MAKES ME HAVE HIS LOVE.
The sentiment, need and motivation all come from such a pure, simple and beautiful place inside his tiny self; a space inside his little heart that is so fuelled by adrenaline and urgency and passion and the desire to SMASH YOUR FACE IN with all of it.
I feel his teeth, through both his lips and my own, threatening to pierce straight through and necessitate hospitalisation for at least both of us, if not also that of passers-by, as they are admitted for PTSD at having bore witnesses to such harrowing scenes.
But it’s a kiss. From my baby boy. My ridiculously strong, frighteningly enthusiastic and terrifying loving baby boy. So, I grit my teeth (literally) and bear it.
But yesterday. Oh man. Yesterday was a WHOLE NEW LEVEL of horror.
My hair is now short. Short, short. As in, it stops at the nape of my neck. And after years of having long, long hair, tandemed with years and years of summers saturated with rain, rain, I have never yet experienced the perils of ‘sunburnt top of the shoulders/neck’.
It’s sore. Crunchy almost. Nigh on alight.
Morrisons. Me crouching beside my son as he peruses the magazine titles. He scans, he points, he reaches.
Mr Tumble! Glory be! The guy EVEN HAS a MAGAZINE.
‘Want it Mummy. Want it.’
‘Okay mate. Put it in the trolley then.’
He snatches it from the plastic racking as a smile sweeps his elated face. He spins ecstatically towards me, arms parting around my shoulders, magazine in one hand, tiny metal tow truck in the other.
HE TAKES HOLD – planting the heaviest, most aggressively affectionate, brutally delighted and traumatisingly grateful kiss on my mush which, fortunately, I was prepared for.
The newly acquired notion to simultaneously drag and then embed the metal corners of a miniature toy car across my raw, chargrilled back as he hung from my neck, was an unprecedented act of violence that it took every last ounce of my reserve to steel myself against.
It was the third prong of his Love Attack that floored me, literally to the ground, in Morrisons media aisle.
SWEEPING PAPER CUTS TO THE SUNBURN (made by the card edge of Mr f****** Tumble’s unstoppable gravy train).
Bleeding, lacerated and concussed, one flipflop flicked from my person and lying in the aisle over a metre away, I LITERALLY lay on my back looking up at the supermarket strip lighting, my son now sat up on my chest, giggling and wholly proud of the spectacle created by his ‘thanks’.
And the cleverest part of the assault? Like you can ACTUALLY put your child on the naughty step for loving you too hard.
Heaven help me when he’s actually miffed.