The other day, Niki had a talk with Button about kissing. He emphasized to her that it was not okay for boys to kiss girls or for girls to kiss boys. In this way — as an overly protective father — he could ensure that she is aware about appropriate interactions, even when he’s not around.

A couple nights later, a friend who is staying with us (one of Button’s “uncles”) came home and gave her a kiss on the back of her head. Immediately, Button pulled away and accusatorily said, “EWWWWW! That’s DISGUSTING! You can’t kiss Button! You’re a boy and I’m a girl! Boys don’t kiss girls!!!”

After laughing a bit, I tried to explain to her that “boys don’t kiss girls” is a good rule, but there are some exceptions. “Like Daddy,” I said. “Can Daddy kiss you?”

“NO! That’s disgusting! Daddy’s a boy — he can’t kiss Button!”

“Yes, he can. Daddy can kiss you and your grandpas can kiss you and your uncles can kiss you…”

“No, Mommy. Boys can’t kiss girls. AND girls can’t kiss boys. AND boys can’t kiss boys!”

“Alright, Button. Yes, that’s a good rule. But there are exceptions to that rule. Here, look at my hands (I stretched them out to demonstrate how broad the rule is). This is the rule, and then inside the rule (I narrowed my hands), there are lots of “exceptions” — there are lots of but’s, like…”

“EEEEEWWWWWW!!! THAT’S DISGUSTING!!!” she retorted, with a look of horror on her face! “BUTTS?”

Without even knowing it, I had lost a debate with a 3-year-old! I was doubled over with laughter, as was her uncle, and Button just stood looking at us perplexed and disgusted. I love this girl!