15The Spit and Wipe
You’re sitting outside, playing with your kiddo, and you glance down to answer a call. Sighing, as you get off the phone, you see your kiddo has rifled through your bag and gotten into the peanut butter crackers. Now their cheeks are smudged with the sticky stuff. You sigh and lick your finger
or thumb preparing to clean your child with your own saliva.
You grab their face, wipe away the food with a look of determination and then send them off to play again.
This grooming, while gross, may be based in more than just convenience. You may be working on instinct too. Primates spend a good portion of the day grooming one another, and their offspring receive a lot more of the grooming than the adults do.
Instinctively, we groom with our hands. These grooming behaviors have their evolutionary roots in our distant past, when grooming like that kept our offspring happy, clean, and healthy. This is literally just your body’s instinct trying to do what’s best for your kiddo.