Any baby can tell you that nothing is real until it's been French kissed. As far as toddlers are concerned, life itself is nothing more than a simulated reality computer program until its been thoroughly licked. Fingers, toes, pets, scissors, it's all fair game for babies. And if it were just a matter of brazenly stuffing their pie holes with non food, we'd probably just look the other way and quietly soak ourselves in Purel.
But mouth attacks are just the tip of the inappropriate iceberg when it comes to kid orifice stuffing. Because right around the time you're trying to enlighten your progeny on how not to defecate in the pants he's sitting in, those bastards discover they've got more mouths - two on the sides of the head and two more right in the middle of the face.
These new head mouths are just the right size for crayon nubs, beans, dog food, insects, batteries and other tiny things that have to be extracted by horrible measures. Try to imagine an adult going through life with the same stubborn insistence on stuffing every hole with whatever he finds laying around.
Actually, scratch that.
The Adult Equivalent
All obvious Freudian sexual parallels aside, the same insatiable curiosity that drove humans into the modern age is probably what compels the more inquisitive among us to plug our noses with nostril-sized objects. And in the same way that kids can't leave well enough alone, there are plenty of adults who feel the same way about the grown up version of their bodies. People who can't stop with a simple piercing or tattoo, people who are going to keep metaphorically shoving raisins into their skulls until a doctor or chronic infection metaphorically makes them stop. So every time you see a guy with earlobes gently scraping his clavicles, picture him as a kid shoving lit cigars into his ears, just to see what would happen.
You know Helicopter Slap, right? It's that game where you spin around like Wonder Woman until you knock the face off of your sister or collapse in a dizzy faint, whichever comes first. What about Bathtub Ball? It's that one where you use your wash cloths to cover up your private parts so you can go to the Bathtub Ball with your prince, whose name is Richie Cunningham. Yes? No? How about Sunburn Peel Wars? Poot Party? Ballerina Girls Going to the Beach and Having a Tea Party While Mom is Taking a Nap? None of those? Of course not, they're made up. Kids have the fantastic luck of getting to make up the rules to made up games that wouldn't make sense if you got Rain Man to break them down for you. You know what else? They're awesome.
Once you get past the back scrapings.
When you're a child, you can invent games that have no other purpose than causing violence to others within a socially acceptable framework. You can invent games that are only about your personal glorification - totally ok. You can recruit friends to your messed up, made-up, self-promoting, ugly-kid-ostracizing sport, and they'll play along. At least until they come up with a better one. It all makes sense when you're little.
The Adult Equivalent
Does any of this sound familiar? Not just in the "Oh, I used to do that" sense, in the "Oh, I know adults who do that right now" sense. I don't know about you, but every time I try to follow party politics I get the sense that each side is recruiting players for their made up game. And that no matter how fair, cool or totally reasonable the other guys are in real life, they're always the bad guys in the context of the game. So instead of changing the rules of Three-Legged Kickball so your team is always kicking and the other team has to play while staring at the sun, partisan extremists won't sext her from the Congressional gym. Instead of name-calling, political adults...uh, name call. Stuff that isn't allowed in any other context is totally fine in the world of politics. Which is why I'm calling it here and now, if I see another politician try to pull off a round of Bathtub Ball via my cell phone, someone's going to get Helicopter Slapped in the mouth.
Kristi Harrison is not Daniel O'Brien. She's just as sorry about it as you are. You can follow her on Twitter