I don’t get cheek-pinching. However cute the child, however tempting his/her cheeks, however yielding he/she may be, however oblivious his/her mother may be to the fact that, it is, in fact a violation of his/her space.
Re, born to me (skinny) and the OPU (skinnier) has cheeks. Always had them. It is the one feature none of us can take credit for, and it is the one thing that advertently or inadvertently always gets touched. By people we love. By people we don’t love. By strangers. By anyone who gets into a touching radius. He doesn’t like it. We don’t like it. He hasn’t reached that point of verbalising that he doesn’t like it, although he scowls really hard at the offender. The point is, they never get the message, and the pinching continues.
It’s as though they have been lying in wait for a suitable cheek-pinching victim.”Ah, there comes a child with cheeks, let me go on and feel them.” Surprisingly, a huge population of the offenders are parents themselves. I often wonder if they would be okay if someone did that to their child. And it turns out, they usually are. It almost feels like they are gauging the chubbiness quotient of your child so that they can go home and work on theirs. It feels like they are touching it to remind themselves what a chubby child feels like. Whatever the motive, I think it’s uncool. And so does Re. So there!
I can still get it if someone from my amply skinny family did it, as it is something of a novelty in my Iyer clan. “Cheeks? Us? Let me check to see if they are real!”
I wonder how no one finds this odd behavior amiss. I mean if you were a grown man or a woman and you saw a really pretty face or someone with other pretty body parts, would you just touch it to show your love? If you would, you are bloody weird, let me tell you.
No wonder children are wary of socialising with grown-ups. They never know how much cheek-pinching is in store. In Re’s case, there’s also the curl-ruffling, but that’s another story altogether.