My daughter Emily and her father Michael had a nightly ritual of giving each other a goodnight kiss. They would kiss each other on each cheek followed by a kiss on the mouth while simultaneously making the “Mmmmmwah” sound. My daughter would start laughing hysterically as I would walk her to her bedroom to tuck her into bed. As our only child, she was definitely a Daddy’s girl.
As she got older, she decided that she was a big girl and thought that their kissing game was for kids. From that point on, she started simply kissing her daddy on one cheek, but still expected me to tuck her into bed. Funny how she wanted to be a big kid but still be tucked into bed safely from all the monsters. Not being in a hurry for her to grow up too quickly, I enjoyed these times with her.
It was an opportunity for her to share with me her day, especially the gossip from class she did not want to share with her father. However, when we would go on outings, whether to the beach, an amusement park or a store, she would revert to daddy’s girl mode and would always be hanging onto his arm. He was the one that would swim with her, ride the roller coaster with her and buy her whatever special treat she wanted at the store.
Soon after she officially became a teenager, she had her first period and her first crush. At times, it seamed to me that she would flirt, at times,with Michael: as sophisticated of a flirt that a girl her age can be. Micheal, of course, didn’t catch on. I suppose he assumed she was simply being her playful self. Something else also changed.
One night, while kissing her father good night, she decided to go back to their kissing game. She initiated it by kissing him on one cheek then the other followed by the “Mmmmwah” kiss lips to lips. There was a smile on my husbands face, which also made me happy. After tucking her in I asked him “What was that all about?” with him responding “What was what all about?”. “Emily kissing you like she did when she was little girl.” His response was “I don’t know. I suppose she was being silly.”
As time went on, I started noticing that the last part of the goodnight kiss started lasting a little longer, but the “Mmmwah” sound was gone. After several nights of noticing this I asked her “Is daddy now your boyfriend?” as I was tucking her into bed. She asked why I would say this and I told her “Because you are kissing him as if he was your boyfriend.” Her response was “Yes, I want daddy to be my boyfriend”, she then turned red, rolled over and covered her head and told me goodnight.
The next night she again went to kiss her father goodnight. Before kissing him, I thought it was such a daddy’s girl thing to do, she bashfully asked him if he would be her boyfriend. With a big smile on his face, as if some big revelation came to him, he said “Yes!” He went on to explain to her “If I am your boyfriend, then you can’t have other boyfriends.” I loved it! I thought my little girl was too young to be dealing with stupid young boys. She then kissed him goodnight on both cheeks and then kissed him on the mouth. It was more of a first date kiss, with her moving her lips around, still she kept her mouth closed. I was more amused than concerned. I laughed out loud and told her “That’s enough kissing for one night, time for bed.”
This kind of kissing happened every night. I suppose I should have discouraged it, but, she was after all, kissing her “boyfriend.” My husband asked me a couple of time if it bothered me. My answer was always “No. I prefer she kiss you than some stupid little boy at school.” Gradually, she started trying to really french kiss my husband, by trying to stick her tongue into his mouth while they kissed. He would shake his head and tell her she was too young for that. This went on for awhile and every time my husband would push her away laughing and telling her not now, you’re too young.