What? You’re leaving?!? Are you actually trying to kiss me goodbye? Well, I am absolutely not kissing you back. Instead, I am just going to cry and scream bloody murder until your breasts start to leak and you change your mind and stay here to nurse me instead.
It’s really hard to kiss you when I am crying because you are leaving. How long will you be gone? It doesn’t matter; I have no concept of time. You might just have to kiss me on the cheek, say good-bye and leave. I’m sure I’ll probably be fine. Maybe.
We absolutely must kiss good-bye. Several times. I especially like it when you put lipstick on and kiss my palm so that I can have my very own kissing hand with me all day, just like in the book my teacher Janet reads to us at preschool.
I still love kissing you good-bye. I prefer that you don’t linger and slobber all over me, but on occasion I can be pursuaded to tolerate a little extra affection. I wonder if you would like me to put lipstick on and kiss your palm so you can have a kissing hand of your own?
I don’t mind that you call me out of the sandbox at preschool and ask for a goodbye kiss. But please don’t get greedy. I really have a lot to do here–between the tire swing and the sandbox and singing the Five Little Speckled Frogs song at group time–I’ve got my hands full, lady. There simply isn’t time for excess kisses every day.
I will bend my head down and you can kiss me on the top of my head. Please, no more mouth to mouth kisses in public. For crying out loud, Mom, I am in kindergarten.
Your presence is beginning to embarrass me a bit. How about we agree on a gesture or symbol that represents a kiss without anyone ever actually knowing that it is supposed to be a kiss? I’ve got it! Look in my general direction and rub your lips together like you’ve just put on some chapstick. Yeah, that’s it. That's our new kiss!
Who knows what the coming year will bring? Perhaps a hand shake and a quick skedaddle off? Maybe you can just drop me off at the curb by and I can walk the rest of the way? Either way, I’m sure I’ll be able to offer up some clever negotiation where you will still get a wee bit of obligatory recognition and I still don’t have to express actual afffection for you in public.
Sounds like another win-win to me.