Kissing like French people

The other night as I was putting my daughter to bed, I gave her a kiss on one cheek, and then for some reason I gave her a kiss on the other cheek as well. I told her, “That’s how French people kiss – once on each cheek.”

In hindsight I should have said that’s how European people kiss, not just the French. I know some Brits and some Belgians who do the double cheeker. Come to think of it, wealthy people from the East Coast do it too. At least, that’s what I learned from my interactions with NYC socialites…and by this, I mean watching Real Housewives of New York City.

Anyway, point being – there is another method of kissing that is commonly referred to as “French,” which I should have considered before I said it.

So I introduce her to the fancy ‘French’ double cheek kiss, and then she says, “Uncle G taught me how to kiss like French people at his wedding.”

This sends my husband and I into chuckles, given the other form of French kissing and how absurd it sounded coming from her. (Background: G married my sister a few months ago. He travels to France a lot, so my daughter automatically associates him with anything and everything French.) Not to mention I knew there was no truth even to the cheek version of it because at least half of what she says these days is a fib.

After we finish putting her to bed, I figure it would be funny to share this story with my sister. I send her a text that says, “[Kid X] said G taught her how to kiss like French people at your wedding.”

I should’ve known better.

Three minutes later I get a text back that says,”G says, “What? I did not!” I believe him, but you may call to interrogate if you wish. I don’t think they were ever alone together.”

Perhaps it’s because I know her so well, but I could instantly sense the defensive and slightly panicked tone underlying her text. And can I blame her? Poor thing was probably horrified that I seemed to be accusing her husband of something pretty heinous.

I quickly responded and assured her we knew it wasn’t true, that the kid thinks a ‘French kiss’ is a double cheeker, yada yada. Apparently G had visions of my husband punching him in the face. Awkward family tragedy averted.

Fast forward to today, when I’m snuggling on the couch with my daughter, and she tells me she wants to kiss like French people. Oh Lord.

I know I need to clarify this one before she takes it much further. I can just imagine how concerned her teachers will be tomorrow if she tells them her mom taught her how to French kiss.

But this morning, on the couch, I felt too tired to bother. I’m also afraid it might require me to explain that there is another, different type of ‘French kiss’ – one where people stick their tongue in each other’s mouth – which, c’mon, sounds pretty gross no matter how old you are. And frankly, knowing my 4-year-old, I am confident she will want to try it immediately.

So instead I leaned in and gave her a peck on the left, then a peck on the right, and snuggled up. C’est bon.

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