We do the weirdest most wonderful stuff to babies and I’m trying to figure out when and why that stops.
When you hold a baby, who’s only wearing a diaper, it’s almost impossible not to kiss their tummy. Or better still, we raspberried their bellies, making that famous prolonged fart noise. We called those “Zorberts” The babies would squeal with laughter. Their grins eating their fat faces and the result was hysterical, contagious happiness. I think I kept on Zorberting the kids until they were five or six and even then those ten second fart noises on their tummies made them laugh until they almost cried.
Why did that stop? It was fun and funny. But I’m thinking if I Zorberted 25 year old Jack’s hairy belly it wouldn’t be a cool moment.
When babies have jelly on their fingers or play with your lips, the first thing you do is start sucking on their fingers, right? Again the result are peels of exquisite laughter. It’s beautiful. Trust me, I don’t want to suck my kids fingers anymore. And after baby-hood, finger-sucking only takes place during early dating, right?
Toes, baby feet, they make me absolutely crazy. Baby feet look like uncooked biscuit dough and have an almost unworldly softness. the softness of baby feet have made me tear up and I don’t know exactly who. Who hasn’t kissed those fat soft baby feet over and over? Cause it’s one of the best things in life. Do I want to kiss my ten year old son’s feet now? HELL NO! I think the almost primal need to kiss baby feet stops the moment they start walking. The fat softness disappears and they start to smell. No kissing required.
And when we hold a baby we all, almost instinctively, smell his hair. We hum and rock. We loose ourselves in the unmatched innocence and beauty of the new born. Babies are like prayers in our hearts, released, we are able to talk to God in a language we don’t know.
There was one thing I did to my babies, I don’t know if anybody else did and I’ve always was afraid to ask. When my kids had stuff on their faces, chocolate or jelly, stuff like that, I would sometimes lick their face clean, like a cat licking her kittens. Obviously, this isn’t something I would do in public, I didn’t’ lick my kids in Wal-Mart. but if Mary had Jelly on her cheek and there wasn’t a rag handy, yeah, I’d lick her face.
To this day, all my kids think licking people is the funniest thing. If Lexie and I are posing for a picture and Jack is in the room. odds are he’ll sneak up and lick one of us just as the shutter clicks. The ultimate photo bomb. Apparently, my wolf like licking warped them in some weird way.
I miss all those baby moves that resulted in sheets of laughter. But I guess Zorberts are gone for now. Until the next generation joins us and then the finger sucking, toe kissing, face licking will start all over.