Baby kiss? How sweet sibling affection can be

baby kissMy baby has learned to kiss, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s so cute; I say, “Baby kiss?” and she will stop what she’s doing, lean toward me, and scrunch her eyes closed in anticipation. She loves the “Mwah!” sound effect that her big sister makes when she goes in for a smackeroo. Her big brother isn’t so interested in kisses, but he’ll give her an affectionate pat on the head when he wanders by. “Her hair is soooooo soft,” he’ll say, rubbing her head like a good-luck charm.

All in all, the sibling affection game is strong in my house at the moment. I’m under no illusions that it’ll last. I have two brothers, myself, and I remember alternately thinking they were the most annoying people in the universe, and wondering why my mother loved them both more than me, and feeling oddly protective of them and affectionate toward them at strange times, like when other kids were trying to pick on them at the local playground. The only person allowed to pick on my brothers was me, darn it. 

While the baby isn’t yet old enough to understand why her older brother and sister are arguing over whose Lego minifigure this is, and where the favourite set of gel pens has got to, and whose turn it is to choose the weekend movie, she likes to get right in with her siblings whenever she can. If they’re all in the lounge together, she’ll want to sit with them, preferably on one of them. She wants to play with their toys (infinitely preferable to her own toys) and read their books. She climbs into her baby-sized car and hollers in baby language at them until one of them gets up and starts pushing her around the lounge. She follows them around the house, and sits outside of the bathroom door waiting for them to finish. (I’m glad it’s no longer just me who has to put up with that sort of carry-on.) She adores her older siblings, and it’s so lovely to witness. Either one of them can say to her, “Baby kiss?” and she’ll happily oblige.

I know it’s only a matter of time before all three of them are fighting like cats and dogs, and ganging up on one another, and tattling on each other’s indiscretions. But I can look to my own sibling relationships to give me hope. Both of my brothers are much, much cooler now than they were when we were children, and I can honestly say they’re on the shortlist of my most favourite people in the world. In fact, last time I saw my youngest brother, he’d just had a hair cut. “Your hair is soooooo soft,” I told him, rubbing his head like a good luck charm. He grumbled, but he was smiling.