Apparently, I am a neglectful mother, because it has taken twenty-five months for me to introduce Max to the whole kissing an injury to make it better thing. He pinched his finger in the piano lid a couple of days ago, and wept over it long and bitterly. I took his hand and kissed his injuries, telling him, "Mama will kiss it and love it all better." Max put his wailing and moaning on hold, and looked at his finger with owlish interest. "Kiss?" he asked me. "Kiss owies?" "Yeah," I said. "All better!" Max, a skeptic like his father, looked dubiously at me, then at his hand. "Again!" he ordered, shoving his hand up my nose. "More kiss!" You have to admire his dedication. No true scientist, after all, would declare an experiment a success after only a single trial.
Either the second kiss did, indeed, make Max's pain melt away, or his data gathering is not yet complete, because I now am expected to kiss even the most minor insult to Max's person. This sounds downright adorable, and it is, and you are no doubt thinking, Chelsa leads such a glamorous and carefree existence, with nothing to do but smooch her beautiful son all day. Think about this, though, lest your envy overtake your life and all your finer feelings: I said, and I repeat, even the most minor insult. Bonked head? Kiss it, Mama. Belly button lint? Kiss it Mama. Shoe came untied? Kiss it, Mama. Runny nose, diaper rash, toe jam, puked on by Maggie? Pucker up, Mama.