It happened again. That moment towards the end of dinner. You feels something against your arm. It’s slightly moist, squishy, slimy. You glance down and your very first reaction is to make a noise of disgust and pull away as quickly as you can. That’s right….your toddler has finished eating and is reaching out to touch you. Of course if I was a better mom, I would recognize the tender squeeze. Understand the wonderful and sweet sign of affection she is trying to give me. But I’m not. My daughter tries to show affection and I cringe away from her touch like I have been electrocuted. I exclaim, “Ugh, don’t touch me!” The guilt follows, as I realize how terrible it is to treat your kid this way. But if any of you have ever seen a young child eat…the carnage of half masticated, slobber encased, smears of food on their face and hands….you understand my gut reaction of revulsion. I always wipe them off and cover them with hugs later, when they are clean and back to their beautiful, cherubic selves. But the guilt remains that somehow, somewhere in the future they will inevitably need counseling. “It all began when I tried to give my mom a hug one evening after dinner…”. *sigh. I can’t seem to help myself though, so I guess I’ll just have to start saving for the psych bills now.