At about the age of three, each one of my children has embarked upon their own mind-blowing personal “boob-discovering journey.” The impetus always the same- a sudden understanding that milk had gushed out of this odd-looking body part and nourished their tiny infant body. This “eureka moment” is accompanied by intense spurts of curiosity- first manifested by wanting to touch breasts, followed by searching frantically for milk spouts, and eventually culminating with awkward attempts to re-enact the whole nursing experience! It is a predictable and repetitive pattern. Once the child recognizes that the “well is dry” and it’s really not that cool, he loses interest and moves on to decipher other mysteries.
My three year-old boy has broken the family mold. His interest in the boobies is not based anymore upon the entire nursing phenomenon, but now just the "punch line of a private comedic skit" he's crafted to entertain his captive audience; his sibling-fans.
Little boy is the “family clown” and will do anything to rouse up hearty silly laughter from the other offspring. His latest shtick is this (quasi) boob fascination accompanied by a rhythmic improvised song performed while pretending to touch THE BOOBIES. I know it’s innocent and he’d just as well do it with other “funny-looking” body parts- “knees, elbows or earlobes.”
Allow me to preface the following and "set the stage" by first describing this particular child’s nature. Being extremely affectionate, he resembles the closest being to a “human puppy” that I’ve ever known. The little guy will tackle my husband and I down to the ground for the sole purpose of bestowing endless streams of hugs, kisses and “I love you’s.” He’s all heart blended with extreme immaturity.
With that in mind, at what point am I expected to get uptight, intervene, stop the fun, and tell him “it’s enough?”
This answer would depend upon one’s religious views, personal experiences and education.
Personally, I was actually forced to ponder this issue somewhat seriously the other day while out in public in a crowded doctor’s waiting room.
Here we are, all 6 of us, and little dude has ants in his pants and begins his singing-touching-trying-to-crack-everyone-up “boob stand-up routine.” Under my breath, I discretely murmur,
“No, My Love, chill out- not now and not here.”
He protests loudly, “But Mommy! If not now, when can I touch your boobies?”
Reluctantly and embarrassed, in a barely audible whisper while gritting my teeth, I reply,
“You can touch them when we get home, now sit still.”
Oh sh-t! What the heck did I just say?!
Now the entire waiting room is staring at me, nervous trembling fingers ready to speed-dial Social Services.
What just rolled off my unfiltered tongue must have sounded so strange... and just plain wrong.
I smile and nod uncomfortably at all my “un-adoring fellow patients” and thank God when we’re immediately whisked out and sent straight to the examination room.
Frankly, if it weren’t for our (overly) judgmental and skeptical society, I wouldn’t be the least bit uneasy about this because I KNOW my son and being the quirky family we are- silliness is just the hallmark of our family intimacy. I am totally fine with it...for now. I’ll re-evaluate later if necessary.
Sometimes it’s so hard to just be yourself and lead your life effortlessly when nosey neighbors cross the line, peer into your private life, and tell you how to raise you kids. Kind of feels like being in Church Lady's hotseat-spotlight! (remember the famous SNL skit?)
What’s your opinion about this dynamic and complicated topic? Are we as a society paranoid and edgy about kids’ normal exploratory nature and curiosity? Do we have "superiority-morality complexes" vis-a-vis one another?
Let's all just "go European" and RELAX!