A child’s blessing

Now that The Baby Nickel has weaned, he has taken up patting my cheeks (oh, come on, people, my facial ones!) for comfort and security. Maybe they remind him of the now-forbidden fruits? Whatever his reason, he’s certainly not thinking of it—this reaching for my face is automatic.

Every time I pick him up, his hand seeks out my face, flitting lightly over my nose and mouth until it comes to rest on my cheek. Or he could be sitting alongside me (last night we were sitting on different chairs watching a movie) when he absentmindedly reaches over, as though in a zone, and brushes my skin with the back of his hand. (What he really loves is to twiddle my earlobes, but that makes me get all twitchy-irritated, and long-term would probably give me ear cancer, so that’s been nixed, though you can see in the picture below that he’s attempting—that pinky!—to get away with it, sneaky little guy.)

Sometimes, when we’re not even in the same vicinity, he’ll seek me out for a cheek-tapping morale booster. I might be sitting at the computer when he comes flying through the kitchen, pausing for a half moment to perform his little laying-on-of-hands ceremony, and then spinning away again.

If he’s feeling fierce in his love, he squeezes my cheeks hard, grits his teeth, and growls.

And when I’m mad as a hornet, scolding him, and he’s crying, tears streaming down his face, even then his hand reaches up to touch my face.

The most cheek-time he gets is afternoons when I sit beside him on my bed, waiting for him to fall asleep. We sing, he reads to himself (not very quietly), I rub his back and tummy, he wiggles and fidgets and then, finally, he burrows his head face-down in the pillow and his arm slowly, purposefully extends up, up, up, hand outstretched as in a benediction until it finds my face. And then, sweet joy!, he sleeps.


  • Anonymous

    Since you wrote this, Jedrek has decided that every time I carry him, he should hold my ponytail in his fist. Needless to say, this is not so much fun for me as it always messes up my hair (let alone making it difficult to turn my head), but it does remind me of the “face-rubbing” boy that you have.
    This is the first time I have dealt with this, but I didn’t have long hair that I could put in a ponytail with the other two…

  • 40winkzzz

    I wonder whether that’s a youngest child thing, or more just a personality thing? Perhaps a combination of both. My youngest didn’t specifically caress my cheeks, but she’s always been very physically affectionate and snugly with me.

    Then there was my #3, who used to simply rest his hand inside my shirt every time I picked him up, even *after* weaning…

  • Anonymous

    How sweet. I have a little face rubbing friend as well. Little Frankie is 2 1/2. He loves the face, but his favorite is if I have short sleeves and he puts both his hands up them and rubs my shoulders. I think he likes to rub me with his palms and have my shirt rub the back of his hands. He really gets mad if I wear long sleeves that are a little tight…

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