Inside my belly button

Every once in a while, you meet someone who continually surprises you.  Just when you think you know them, they say or do something that makes you take another, much closer look.  My lovely friend, Maryline, from Franco-American Dream is one of those people and I’m so happy to have her here for this week’s Small Moments Monday.

When I first met Maryline, I was struck by how kind and open she was.  She has a sincerity about her that makes you feel immediately comfortable.  Then, when I sought her input on something, I was surprised by how straight-forward she was.  Maryline is truly no-nonsense.  I love that when I ask her opinion, she truly gives it to me, with no sugar coating whatsoever.

Maryline was born in France and lived there until she moved to the States seven years ago.  One of the things that I respect most about Maryline is her tenacious nature and her fierce determination to not only write in English, but to write well.

I am in awe of the way she approaches life and her belief that, with enough hard work, anything is possible.

You bring something special to my life, Maryline, and I love that the more I come to know you, the more I realize just how much there is yet to learn.

Je vous remercie pour votre amitié. Je suis très reconnaissant à vous connaître. J’espère que nous sommes des amis pour toujours.  Merci de partager vos mots. (And I know that you’ll tell me if I butchered that!)

Inside my belly button– by Maryline

My cuddly little boy is not quite a year and a half. I call him Poisson (French for ‘fish’). But if you asked my husband, he’d tell you Poisson is 1, simply because rounding is more convenient.

When I’m not quite ready to get up in the morning, but Poisson is, I get him out of his crib and take him to bed with us for a few minutes of playing and cuddling while I finish waking up.

Poisson has been stuck on the milestone “discovering mommy’s body” for a while now — poking my face while I’m laying in bed is an all-time favorite activity. He will attempt putting his fingers in my mouth, ear, nose, and especially my belly button. And having someone tickle and poke the inside of your belly button is the most annoying little thing I can think of.

But because he’s my son, it’s also the most delicious annoyance I’ve ever endured.

I tickle his belly in return until he laughs so hard he’s almost crying.

I then hug him and kiss him non-stop, for as long as he will let me.

Before I even met my husband, I used to say I would never get a belly button piercing because I felt it was a sacred place. The blatant remains of the strongest and most vital tie between a mother and her baby. Yet, in my last year of college in Denmark, a friend and I challenged each other to a dare — it wasn’t until I visited her a year later in Canada that we walked together in a tattoo and piercing place one night, and left it with a bejeweled navel.

Fast forward a few years.

Around the 6th month of my pregnancy, the skin on my belly was already stretching far beyond what I had ever imagined possible, therefore I removed the piercing at once.

Many months after my son was born, I realized I never wanted the piercing back. Though I tried once, I promptly realized it would not go in anymore; but most importantly I did not feel like decorating my postpartum belly anymore.

My belly button is now sacred again. The only foreign “body” it will ever house now, is my son’s poky fingers.

Now, head over and say hello to Maryline on Franco-American Dream.  Don’t miss a few of my favorite posts, 11 French Things that are only French in America, Declutter Tuesday — Launch and In the rear-view mirror.

Be sure to say hi to her on Twitter and check like her on Facebook!


  1. Kerry@butlerway

    that was so sweet! can I just say that I love saying Poisson over and over in my terrible American accent? I did take 2 years of HS French and my teacher said I had a terrible accent. Thanks for the kind words. lol

  2. KLZ

    That is lovely and sweet. And a great way to wake up.

  3. Oh, so sweet…

    I actually remember most cutting my hair short because Little Boy thought it was a rope swing and getting contact lenses because throwing my glasses became a game. But Blind Mommy (cause honestly, when he threw my glasses, sometimes I couldn’t find them!)

    I don’t know that I had the belly-button pokies. But I understand keeping it free from choking hazards. ;)

  4. Natalie

    So lovely. My 3 year old son loves poking my belly button, and has shown the twins how to do it. So I get the belly button pokes a lot these days :)

  5. andygirl

    merci for sharing such a sweet story!

    and now I have another blog to read. *le sigh*

  6. kris

    Neither of my girls was ever a belly-button poker.

    But their belly buttons?

    Happy sighs at how we used to be connected. And how we still are.

    Despite the absence of the umbilical cord.


  7. Maryline

    Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Poisson is a sweet little boy, but a toddler nonetheless which makes him a little "poison" (yes, one S, same word in French as in English) at times :)

  8. Maryline

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you!!

  9. Maryline

    Belly button pokies are painful! But now he's resorted to "grabbing" my belly with the belly button which makes me a tad self conscious. Oh well. Whatever makes the little guy happy :)
    I will never get a 6-pack and can blame it on Poisson!

  10. Maryline

    Makes you wonder: what can be so interesting in there? ;)

  11. Maryline

    Yay, et bienvenue sur mon blog. ::happy dance::

  12. Maryline

    The mother-child relationship has no match.

    I feel so lucky now that I know what it feels like.
    Even beyond the cord. So strong. So sweet.

  13. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    I loved this! Altho I really hate having my belly button poked. Lately my toddler's thing is to press on my left boob (I carry him on my left hip) like it's a car horn. I especially love it when he does it when I'm talking to a guy.

  14. BigMamaCass

    My belly button piercing NEVER healed and had to be taken out by a doctor who said there was far too much skin pierced. I fought through it for over a year before I finally had it taken out. It is still horribly painful. So much so that if my pants rub on the scar, I feel like I am going to jump out of my skin! {shudder}

    So I hate it when my little man pokes me in the belly button. I cringe. But I let him do it anyway. The things we do for our kids. :)

    Great post!

  15. Maryline

    Thank you, Cheryl. Quick question: with the horn sound effect or without?

    Poisson is now patting my shoulder when I hip-carry him. So cute. He totally picked that up from his dad.

  16. Maryline

    Ouch, that's no fun! I developed an allergic reaction to the surgical steel piercing they used, I had to buy gold-plated rings. And now? They are sitting in a drawer. For ever!
    Wait maybe I can play cash-for-gold and make $.65?

  17. ksluiter

    this post is so joyful and lovely. my son has taken to putting his finger IN my nose when I ask him "where is momma's nose?" It's cute, but weird. And each time he does it I am thankful I never got that nose piercing I so desperately wanted after college.

    And his button? The place where we were connected? I love to kiss it and tickle it and tell him that is where he met me. When we were one.


  18. Tatter Scoops

    Awww this is so beautifully written, as always, Maryline! :D
    I'm ticklish and Lil' A have the kick out of poking mine too.
    And I love,. love, love the name Poisson :D Kinda reminds me of the old rock band but this one is definitely a million times cuter ;)

  19. Tonya

    When I ask my 16 month old where his belly is, he always points to mine first (he doesn't do this with any other body part) and as he lifts my shirt slightly, he always adds a little tickle. It's hands down one of my favorite things on earth.

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