Soft skin, chubby cheeks, a constant smile: babies have irresistible qualities. They are completely trusting and rely on adults to care for them. Perhaps that smiling face puts adults at ease. Maybe their multifarious needs give adults a purpose. Whatever the reason, adults treat babies in odd ways, and say ridiculous things to them.
The tickling of babies always bothers me. They lie on their backs with no defense. (Yes, I hate being tickled. Yes, I laugh when I am tickled. I empathize with these tickled souls). If adults dislike tickling, don't babies dislike it as well? It seems they are just stuck and because adults enjoy their smiles, the tickling continues.
Kissing and the asking for kisses frustrates me as well. I wasn't forced too often to kiss wrinkled cheeks with my young lips, but it did happen. In fact, this was one of my "I'll never do that when I'm a parent" rules. Unlike the other ones (cleaning with spit, taking television shows away) this is one rule I've kept. Making my children kiss someone violates their boundaries. That's what happened today though. As my family piled in our truck, an in-law stated: "Is that little girl strapped in [her carseat]? That's the only way I can get a kiss."
Strapped in to steal a kiss? What might seem like an innocent desire to an older relative seems like an imbroglio of violated rights and anachronistic viewpoints to me.
My empirical parenting experience leads me to believe these little babies that rely on us are indeed human. We should treat them as other humans, respecting their wants and desires. The doing something to them is not fair, not right.