How to kiss a baby

The season premier of Battlestar Galactica contained a noteworthy scene.  In it a woman is lying on a cot, holding her baby.  She’s having a conversation with her husband who is sitting behind her.  During the conversation, she bends over and gives her baby a kiss on the cheek.

I immediately paused the Tivo and called Kate in from the next room.  “Watch this,” I said, and played the scene for her. 

The issue?  The actress was kissing the baby all wrong.  The way she did it was not how you kiss a baby — especially your own baby.  She gave it a perfunctory peck and bounced off quickly, with a slight smugness when she was done. 

It’s weird that I notice something like this, but that’s what fatherhood does to you.  Your view of the world gets just a little skewed. 

When considering the kissing of babies and how you should or shouldn’t do it, two points come to mind:

  1. You should keep in your mind that you don’t want to kiss the baby.  No, what you really want to do is eat the baby.  But since you can’t have your baby and eat it too, you’re limited to kisses.  Bend over with the word “devour” in your head and you’re on the right track.  On the TV show, the actress seemed to be pushing the baby away with her kiss instead of wanting to consume him.
  2. Secondly, you want to inhale.  Babies smell great, and your own baby smells awesome.  Linger a moment, nuzzle a bit, and let the smell recharge you.  Ruby smells like a warm cedar-lined sauna with a hint of cinnamon.

Remember, you’re kissing the baby because of what that kiss does for you.  The baby doesn’t care, and probably wishes you’d get out of her face already so she can see That Thing Over There.  But you do it anyway, because, ultimately, kissing the baby is not about giving — it’s about taking.



One Response to “How to kiss a baby”

  1. Nad Says:

    I dont know how I arrived at your site or why, but I have a 4 month old son and your description of kisses is spot on. I simply can’t get enough. If I am leaving my son for two seconds to go to the bathroom, he gets a face and neck full. It is great to see parents so dedicated to actually doing the most important job in the world, raising fuctional, we adjusted human beings. Thanks for the glimpse into your world.

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