I’ll admit it. Before having babies of my own, I was never very impressed with other peoples’ babies.
Sure, I liked holding them (for short periods of times) and gloated over them as honestly as I could: “Your baby is so precious!” (“pretty” wasn’t an option). In fact, one friend who had a baby before me went totally over the top with her desire for other people to notice and be impressed by her kid. I remember visiting her and her month-old daughter with my husband, Cam.
“Look!” said my friend. “Shasta can wiggle her eyebrows! See how she’s raising them? And now lowering them? Isn’t that amazing?” Cam and I didn’t know how to react. Is it ethical to gloat over a friend’s baby’s eyebrow-raising-ability, when you know someday your friend will snap out of baby-haven and judge you for it? I’m pretty sure we sat quietly with smiles plastered to our faces to keep us from making smartass comments.
Because of that, I try to be super-wary of observing Chloe’s new abilities in front of people. Except when it comes to my parents. I’ll gloat and praise my baby in front of my parents until the cows come home. They expect it. Or at least, they’re obligated to deal with it. Although I will say that my mom surprised me the other day when she was holding Chloe.
“She sure is pretty, honey, but you know … you were prettier.” I didn’t know how to respond. Should I have agreed? Argued against my own good baby looks? I mean, it’s nice to know I was a pretty baby, but prettier than my own little cherub? Impossible.
Regardless, the one thing I’ll praise Chloe for in front of friends and God and everybody else, is her smile.
She’s been smiling here and there since she was a week old, though the majority of my relatives think it was because of gas. Babies can smile early when they’re content, okay?! Now that she’s over six weeks old, though, it’s clear she’s smiling out of joy. When I hover over her and flash a smile of my own, she responds with a slow burst of delight across her lips. It lights up her whole face and puts a happy lump in my throat. It’s fleeting, and we have yet to get it on camera, but it’s beautiful.
It’s also a total joy to be able to interact with her via facial expressions. Every day, her little personality bubbles closer to the surface. So, even though I haven’t pegged her as a genius due to early eyebrow wiggling, I’m definitely loving these smiles.