My four-year-old Blair came home from school a few months ago with a new word: “Huggies.” From that day forward, when she fell, or tripped, or stubbed some appendage, she'd turn to me and shout, desperately, “Mommy! Huggies!” The goal, of course, was for me to hug her.
Obviously, the hugging part of “huggies” was delicious.
But the word itself--"huggies"—made my skin bunch up around my neck. I literally shivered every time it was uttered allowed. Which, as the weeks progressed, ended up being roughly every other word out of her mouth.
For me, coming home from school one day demanding “Huggies,” was almost as bad as the day she came home calling me “A poopy diaper” or the day she came home and “tooted” (our word) long and loud, then announced, “I farted,” (the school word), followed by 10 minutes of laughing, all fake and maniacal, like she knew she’d figured out I had a button. And that she could press it.
This was why: Before I was a mom, I promised myself I would not turn into one of those mothers who attached the suffix “ies” to every word. “Stinkies.” “Poopies.” “Peepies.” “Juicies.” “Milkies.” “Beddies.” “Nummies” (a.k.a. “Boobies”). Granted, I also swore that my kids would never watch Dora. Or eat at McDonalds. Or misbehave at Target. (I also swore I would never, ever blog about motherhood.) But, still…I had control over the “ies”-ing of things. I could resist the “ies”-ing.
I was wrong. Because, soon, our house was ringing with “huggies.” Blair demanded “huggies” from me. From her father. From her sister Drew. From her best friend Haley. From her best friend Abbie. From her best friend Shirley. We needed to have “huggies” before dinner, before bath, before bedtime, before story, and before back-rubbing. She yelled for me to come back into her room after I finally convinced her to close her eyes. For “huggies.” More “huggies.” “Huggies.” “Huggies.” “Huggies.”
I actually cringed last week when I was out of town, and called home before bedtime. Thad was wrangling the girls for bed.
“Do you want to talk to mommy?” he asked them.
“No,” Blair answered. (Translated: “Bare chest. Insert knife.”)
“Drew, wanna give mommy huggies?” Thad said. Oh Thad, I thought. Please! No! Et tu?
I heard Drew bumble her little two-year-old feet to where Thad was standing. I heard her mumble something, then the connection sounded, suddenly, muffled. Thad yelled in the background, so I could hear.
“Drew’s giving the phone huggies,” he said. And I realized what she’d been mumbling: “Huggies! Mommy! Huggies!”
I decided, maybe, “huggies” weren’t so bad after all.
But, with "kissies" I am so drawing the line.