Blog Archive

Friday, November 22, 2013

Baby's first smile

Baby's first smile is supposed to be this super amazing milestone that just melts your heart and makes it all worthwhile. The first intentional smile will appear between 6 weeks and two months of age (babies will smile in their sleep from birth, but those don't count), and new parents look forward to it almost as much as they look forward to the kid's actual birth.

But here's the thing -- baby's first smile is, like most baby-related things, totally anticlimactic and not nearly as romantic as it's made out to be. At least for us it was. Here's how Audrey's first smiles went down:

The first smile will be delivered to someone totally undeserving

From various conversations with people, I've gathered that this is pretty common. You think that your baby's first smile is going to be for you -- the person who gets up in the middle of the night to clean poop out of her diaper and the person whose shirt is always covered in baby puke. You feed her, you kiss her, you play with her. You have earned that smile.

But does the baby give a shit about that? No, of course not. She will smile at whomever she damn well pleases.

In our case, Audrey's first smile was for Jesse's boss, a woman she had never seen before in her life. I had a doctors appointment at the hospital so I dropped the baby off with Jesse, and he took her up to his office where the little bugger gave a big toothless grin to a complete stranger. I wasn't even there to see it.

Subsequent smiles will be reserved mostly for toys that the baby enjoys

Audrey's second smile came the next day, while I was playing with her on her toy quilt. She was lying there on her back and I was shaking various rattles in her face when she busted out ol' toothless for some piece of crap stuffed bear rattle I bought at a thrift store for $.25.

One might argue that she was smiling at me, but I was there and know the truth. She wasn't even looking at me. She was looking directly at the rattle.

I tried to make the rattle do the next night-feeding, since it was apparently so high on Audrey's list, but the rattle refused. Dick.

Once baby gets the hang of it, she will become the biggest smile-whore of all time

The first few smiles are a bit of a challenge for the baby, as she's not really too sure what she's doing. But then there will be an a-ha moment when she finally gets it, and she will want to practice smiling as much as possible for a couple of days.

This is when you are likely to get your first real smiles. Yes, the delightful darling will smile at you ... as she smiles at a picture of a circle, a stuffed dog, a spoon, a spot on the wall, a light, her bottle, and absolutely nothing.

You rank up there with "absolutely nothing" in terms of things that are worth smiling at.

Incidentally, if you are trying to get a good picture of the baby smiling, these couple days of smile-whoredom are the time to do it. She'll probably give the widest grin you've ever seen when you hold up your phone or camera, because those things are cool.

Much cooler than your stupid face.

Eventually, finally, the baby will start to smile AT YOU and not just at everything she sees

At long last, you will get what you've deserved this whole time: some good smiles saved just for you, given because the baby loves you. Audrey and I have a bit of "smile time" every day, where she just lies on her quilt and I look at her and mimic all her facial expressions and sounds. For some reason, she finds this hysterical and will smile to the point of almost laughing. It makes me feel pretty darn good, I must admit.

But the baby will still like her toys better than you

We hung these stupid cylindrical animal toy things in the laundry room where her downstairs changing station is located, and she frickin loves those things. Like, she LOVES them. She could be in full-scale five-alarm squall mode, where nothing I do can comfort her and she hates me and wishes I was dead, but as soon as I take her into the laundry room and lay her down on her changing pad, she looks at her hanging toys and smiles and laughs silently. She flails her arms and kicks her legs and is just thrilled to be reunited with her friends the toys.

The toys don't even do anything. They just hang there.

And she smiles. Every time.


1 comment:

  1. So THAT's why parent-friends are so pissed when I'm holding their kid and it smiles at me!!

    *instant enlightenment*