Have you ever watched a newborn’s facial expressions? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on something real. Mind you, child of mine is using me as a glorified pillow most of the day, so I sometimes have no choice but to sit and watch. I’m beginning to believe that at this stage in his life these are the truest emotions he’ll ever show. While yes, there will be moments when he’s older that are genuine and pure, there will also be moments when those emotions are formed, or hidden, for some sort of personal gain or because he feels he must. Guilt trip anyone?
At the moment, though, it’s feel and show. Nothing fake, nothing hidden, no mask or ulterior motives. He’s still working through many of the simple emotions most of us take for granted, angry taking the forefront on many occasions. Nothing like a tiny human screaming “AH” at you over and over again to get you laughing… uh, I mean moving. Moving the car, that is. He hates being in the car seat and not being in motion.
The pouty face he makes when fighting sleep is especially endearing. The downturned corners of his mouth coupled with a cry announcing he’s half-asleep already. I’m almost ashamed (I said almost!) to say that I love that expression. It tugs at the heartstrings and makes me smile.
Speaking of smile, he’s working on that as well. At the moment, it’s all reflex (or gas) and not a response to any outside stimulus, but it’s worth waiting around to catch. Mostly, it happens while he’s sleeping. Once, I think it happened because he didn’t see me for a whole ten minutes, but that could just be my hopeful imagination.
His emotions are tied to his needs, obviously, which means the dense humans caring for him get yelled at a lot right now, but they show up while he’s dreaming as well. This begs the question, what exactly do babies dream about? Especially day old babies with no outside the womb experience. Do they dream about the warmth and comfort of the inside of a belly, with all its gurgling, beating sounds? Or of a familiar voice all muffled by liquid? And for goodness sakes, what exactly do they have to be sad about while dreaming? I wonder if he recalls times when we weren’t quick enough to pick him up when he demanded such? Sometimes it’s simply gas. He also talks in his sleep. Talks is a strong word for the random sleep-cry that keeps me from getting any rest between three and seven in the morning.
It’s adorable to watch his face relax as he peers intently about to figure out what those shapes and colors could possibly be. He’s a very observant baby, has been since day one. There’s no eyes half open with this child. People often tell me he’s such a great baby because of how quiet he can be, but I know better. He’s obviously planning to take over the world. First, he needs a bottle and a nap.
All this to say how authentic his expressions are. Honey, I hope you keep being so real. I hope the world doesn’t require you to pretend to be happy or angry, or hide those emotions altogether. I do promise you, child of mine, that I will never utter the words “boys don’t cry.” Or any other silly, out-dated gender-based saying.
Keep it real kid.