STOP! Bellybutton Time.

It’s amazing how in a matter of minutes something hilarious and heartwarming can happen- many times out of the oddest situations. Perfect example: “Bellybutton Time” with Doc and Rebel. On a typical (though no day with these two is ever “typical”) day with Doc and Rebel, the three of us were hanging out post “rest time” and nap, when all of a sudden Rebel lifts up his little shirt and says, “Bellybutton!” Doc follows suit and lifts his little shirt and says, “Bellybutton!” Then they both look at me expectantly, eyes wide, facial expressions reading, “Ok, Miss Cheryl it’s your turn.” I balked.

Now, y’all have to understand that there had been a time when I was very unwilling to show any boys my bellybutton. Up until sixth grade I had an “outie” bellybutton, and was tres embarrassed to display it, at least to the opposite sex, and so I wore one piece swimsuits to any co-ed swim parties, always choosing a busy print, to further disguise my bellybutton’s “outie”ness. Finally in seventh grade my bellybutton miraculously transformed into an “innie”; like magic I woke up and the “outie” was gone! I was able to gallivant around in two pieces regardless of mixed company, now a bit freer with the exposing of my bellybutton.

However I’m no hussy and it seemed presumptuous of Doc and Rebel to assume that I would so willingly lift my shirt! And so I clarified, “Ordinarily y’all would have to buy me dinner first, but since you both took such great rests, ok!” And so I bared my midriff and Rebel began a game of poking our bellybuttons, then his, in turn, saying “Again Bellybutton!” every time. Each time he poked a bellybutton I made a “Boop!” sound effect, which got him laughing so hard I am glad he’s still in diapers! Rebel held court as the Bellybutton King for a good fifteen minutes, but finally Doc put an end to our mid-section shenanigans and exclaimed, “Reb, quit poking Miss Cheryl’s bellybutton!” We continued our day, bellybuttons covered up for now. Just hoping Rebel doesn’t ask me to oblige him “Bellybutton Time” in public…because I will.

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