I want you to do a little experiment. Grab each cheek with a hand and try pulling them away from your face. Next try the same exercise with your lips and then try each of your ears. How well did you do? I am sure you didn’t pull or stretch to hard. While you were pulling your lips did you happen to stick your fingernail into your gums and twist. I don’t suppose you did, but it was worth asking. Now you may be asking why I would have you do all those things to your face. If you don’t do it, your kids will.
In a past post I talked about the pains of parenting, although this may be painful, it can also make you laugh. When you hold your child up against you they are bound to start poking and picking. My glasses are the first item my kids target while holding them. It doesn’t matter how they have to twist their little bodies, my glasses are twisted from my face almost instantly. If my glasses come of in a straight line there is no pain, but the typical trajectory is at an angle which means I get pinched. Of course my reaction draws out the giggle that makes everything seem alright.
Most of the time you can put the kids back down before to much damage is done, but there are times when you have no option but to take the facial abuse. All my kids took advantage of Sunday mornings in church. Your primary goal is to keep the little one relatively quiet. So you hold them and hope they just lay up against you and perhaps fall asleep. Inevitably they are ready to be cut loose and you need them to just stay in your arms for a few more minutes. Unexpectedly you find a little finger grabbing a lip, or an ear, even a cheek. The little poke turns into a fistful of your face and the fun begins. Both hands move into action and your face is contorted in a manner you didn’t think possible. It takes all the wits you have about you to not cry out in pain or bust out laughing and the little one knows it.
While they are tugging and twisting those parts of your face not meant for that, you realize their little fingernails need to be trimmed. Don’t be fooled, those tiny little fingernails have the word nails in them for a reason. A fingernail to the the inner lip or gum will bring any parent to their knees. If your lucky, you can perform a pass off and share the facial stretching love. Of course passing them of to my wife has a whole new set of hazards, what little kid isn’t fascinated by those shiny dangling things hanging from her ears. My wife has gotten very adept at removing all jewelry that can and will be used against her in a quick manner.
I imagine my face is much more flexible than those who don’t have a little one to exercise it for them. I am comforted to know I will probably avoid laugh lines for many more years than those who don’t get regular facial adjustments.