Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Secret Smile

15th-30th September 2009

Alex is practising smiling in his sleep.  As he's drifting off, his face will twitch then crease into a brief smile.  It's wonderful to watch.  As the days go by, he is able to hold the smile for longer and more broadly.  It makes him look more like a person and less like a baby.  He has yet to smile in response to anything Nicola or I have done, but that will come.  (I hope!)

One of the unexpected difficulties of having a newborn baby is how un-interactive they are.  Except when he's sleeping, Alex has only three facial expressions.  They are (in rough order of use): the Duns Stare, howling in anger and yawning.

The Duns Stare

Alex was born in the Borders and it seems to have rubbed off on him.  The Duns Stare, named in honour of Jim Aiton's birthplace, is a glaikit gaze into the middle distance.  In its true form, the Duns Stare should ideally be directed at someone you don't know.  At no point should you actually be looking AT that person, merely happen to have your eyes pointing in their direction while thinking about something (or nothing) else entirely.

Alex is very, very good at the Duns Stare.  He can stare at people, sofas, bits of his pram, open space or packets of nappies, all with apparently little or no actual interest in the item in question.  Hands waved in his line of sight do not disturb him.  He blinks, conservatively, once every five minutes.  At one point I had to blow on his face just to make sure he actually could blink, which of course lead to:

Howling with anger

Everyone knows this one.   It starts with the bottom lip trembling.  Then the eyebrows draw down and the hands start flailing.  Lastly, an arresting red colour suffuses the face before an almighty "BGWaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" is unleashed.  This is continued ad nauseum until which ever need is met.  Alex has a tendency to also go rigid with anger, which at least provides us with some amusement as you can prop him up and pretend he's standing.  This is not always appreciated by Alex.


Often thrown into howling with anger just to keep you on your toes.  Alex is able to do some mighty big yawns given how small he is.  I love it when he yawns, as he looks like a little person doing it.

*          *          *

And that's pretty much it, expression wise.  He's either angry, tired or staring into space.  It's remarkably unrewarding as a parent.  Nicola in particular feels bad about it.  We're conditioned to dash about at his beck and call, but all we can get for our troubles is some quiet.  Don't get me wrong, quiet is good, but we're both looking forwards to the day when he smiles at us, not just near us.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry - it will come soon. In the first three months you seem to spend ages waiting for them to do anything interesting. Then, all of a sudden, things just come in a big waterfall of advances!