Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gurning and smiling

According to all those baby books, Lady P is about to hit an important milestone. She should be able to smile any day now.

Actually 'What To Expect' tells me some babies can smile at just four weeks old.  Show offs. We won't judge her against arbitrary 'average child' milestones. Although we might note with some pride that she could hold her head up very early on, and has been bringing her hands to her mouth since birth like some sort of genius. Okay, so I am judging her against those milestones. I'm afraid it's irresistible.

To be honest the smiling thing is not just about my child hitting important developmental milestones. It's about a reward for me. Yup, that's right, pretty much entirely selfish. But I've been tending to her, feeding her, singing to her, comforting her, wiping her bottom, and more for almost six weeks - so far her main response has been to cry, puke on me, or fall asleep. A smile, a sign that she knows and likes me, would be a very nice reward.

In an attempt to coax that reward out of Lady P I am energetically smiling at her at all opportunities. She's definitely responding. Instead of the usual wail or sleepy face I'm getting some pretty impressive gurns in response.

For my American readers, allow me to explain gurning. It the name given to the pulling of a crazy squelchy face. There's a gurning competition every year at the Egremont Crab Fair. I know, it's weird. It's one of those uniquely British things that seem to have been made up for the purpose of demonstrating our quaint eccentricity in blogs like this one.

Here's a man competing in the gurning contest:
Copyright Ben Russell
Here are Lady P's latest attempts:

It's not quite the radiant smile I'm looking for, but I think it's a step in the right direction.

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