We are an affectionate family. We hug, we kiss and we love each other like crazy. I think we're fairly liberal but a four year old doesn't need to know that her parents express their love for one another in any other way than that which they display their devotion to her.
Thinking that Finje was upstairs in her room, my husband and I had a little moment of amour whilst loading the dishwasher the other day! I know, we're so Rock& Roll. 9 1/2 Weeks it was not, but a satisfying lip-lock none the less. It was only a kiss but put it this way, had one of us been a frog there may well have been impressive consequences. Lost in the moment, I was jolted back to reality by a little voice dripping with what can only be described as revulsion.
"What are you doing?"
We leapt apart like scalded cats. Banishing flashbacks of 1985 in Dennis Peterson's garden shed to the back of my mind, I struggled to regain composure.
"We were just, erm, having a little cuddle, Sweetheart"
Clearly unconvinced and obviously not about to be brushed off that easily
bless her, she turned her attention on her father who was looking suitably chastised. It was hilarious.
"That's not how you cuddle"
A conversation followed which involved our attempts to explain that sometimes grown ups "cuddle" differently. Still suspicious, she thought for a moment. Then she provided us with the low down on kissing etiquette according to Finje: When embracing it is a prerequisite that one makes loud "smatch" and "mwah" noises. If you really love the person it is permissible to tickle them too (but not under their feet because they might be smelly). The kiss should be short (long stare in father's direction) but you can give up to to seven.
My assurances that we had kept to the rules were swept aside with a wave of the hand and a rather derisive tut.
"I saw you mama. Papa had his mouth open and that's not allowed."
I was beginning to enjoy this. Not least due to the fact that my husband was becoming more fidgety by the second. I wanted to know why it was verboten.
"Well because you might have a boiled sweet and choke on it"
I pondered this and was about to delve deeper into the rules when she said,
"Anyway, that's not how Justus kissed me!"