Jenna Bush Hager’s Son Claims He’s ‘Allergic’ to Her Kisses

Jenna Bush Hager with son Hal.
Courtesy of Jenna Bush Hager/Instagram

Jenna Bush Hager’s 4-year-old son, Hal, has a crafty way of trying to steer clear of his mama’s kisses.

Bush Hager, 42, brought up the parenting predicament during the Friday, February 23, episode of Today With Hoda & Jenna. “You know how Hal’s been gaslighting me recently?” she told cohost Hoda Kotb.

Asked for details, Bush Hager explained that when she tries to show affection, Hal pretends to sneeze.

“When I kiss him — because he’s my 4-year-old son who I’d like to kiss — he tells me he’s allergic to my kisses,” she said. “So I lean down to give him a kiss and he goes like this: ‘Ahh-ahh-ahh-CHOO.’”

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Still, she’s determined to shower her little one with love.

“Every time I kiss him, I have to sneak attack it. And then say, ‘See, you’re no longer allergic,’” she continued.

Meanwhile, Kotb, who shares daughters Haley, 6, and Hope, 4, with ex-fiancé Joel Schiffman, said a little reverse psychology could do the trick.

Jenna Bush Hager’s Son Claims He’s ‘Allergic’ to Her Kisses
Courtesy of Jenna Bush Hager/Instagram

“Maybe play a little hard to get,” she told Bush Hager. “Say, ‘No kisses today, Hal.’ And then he’ll be like this: ‘I want a kiss.’”

Bush Hager agreed and considered that she might be coming on a little strong for Hal’s liking.

“Maybe I’m giving him too much affection,” she said. “You’re right. I need to go back to Jenna Bush of 1996.”

Bush Hager, who also shares daughters Mila, 10, and Poppy Louise, 8, with husband Henry Hager, said that she proudly played hard to get and kept men guessing back then, leaving them with “days and days of uncertainty.”

Jenna Bush Hager’s Son Claims He’s ‘Allergic’ to Her Kisses
Nathan Congleton/NBC

Kotb asked whether she’d taken that route with her husband, and Bush Hager confessed, “A little. But by then I … no, I didn’t.”

Hal’s hard-to-get habit isn’t the only way he has enjoyed poking fun at his mother.

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“You know how he gaslights me all the time?” Bush Hager told Kotb on a December 2023 episode of the daytime show. “You know how my favorite book is about a mother loving their son? Last night he said, ‘Daddy’s gonna read this book.’”

She recalled Hal saying the book was “my special book with Daddy,” sparking a natural response from his mom.

“Now, guess what, Hal? Two can play that game, little buddy. … And then I hear Henry [reading], ‘Mommy says to baby giraffe, I love you so.’ And I’m, like, [annoyed],” she teased.

She continued, “But here’s the deal. You know, he gaslights me. Guess what? ‘We’ll see’ is my way to get back at you, little buddy.” (Earlier in the segment, Bush Hager said telling her children “we’ll see” when they have a request is her way of saying “no.”)