Friday, June 19, 2009

They Don't Really Do Anything...

One thing about babies, especially newborn babies, they don’t really do anything. I mean, they are eating, pooping, and crying machines. If you are looking for any of that action, you will have it. But they don’t smile, they don’t laugh, they don’t make cute little noises. If you are about to have a baby, and expect to be tossing it in the air and having it giggle when you walk in the door, you should know this. Also, your baby, is likely to look like a baby. We have had people say our daughter looks like me, like my wife, and like my brother (which was kind of weird). We have been told that she has my eyes, my wife’s eyes, my nose, my wife’s nose, my smile, my wife’s smile. This is because, for the most part, people are making this up. The baby looks like nearly every other baby you have seen. But it is your baby, which makes it better. (Actually, this baby is not my baby, but a random, bored baby I found by typing "Boring baby" into google images).

What is strange about this no talking, smiling, interacting, blob of a human-being period, is that this is also the time when most parents are home from work and when most people have family and friends coming over to see the little bundle. It is a little anti-climactic. People make faces and fart noises and put on their big smiles --- and the baby looks right by them. They say that newborns can’t see very far, and they can’t keep focus for very long, so they rarely even make eye contact with you. Now, trust me, this doesn’t you from staring at your baby for hours on end. I was home from work for three weeks and I spent approximately 2 of those weeks staring at my daughter.

But slowly but surely, your baby starts to smile. Usually it is in her sleep first – which reminds us all that even to a baby, dream-land is more fun than the real world. Then after about 4 – 6 weeks of blankly staring into the world like Robert De Niro in Awakenings, she makes eye contact with you…and smiles.

And the crowd goes wild.

You run for the camera. Your wife starts crying. You update your facebook page. Your wife updates hers. One of you calls your parents. Your parents come over to see if they can make the baby smile. They grab their camera. Within a few hours you have a great memory of that first smile, 19 facebook comments, and 1,658 digital photos of your baby staring blankly back at you.

Don’t worry, the smiles come more often. Soon your baby isn’t just a pooping, eating, crying blob. They become a pooping, eating, crying, smiling, blob. Soon they do realize that it is you coming in the door. And it makes your day. Soon they throw their legs and arms into the air when you raspberry their stomach. Eventually they will start crying again, needing to be fed or to be changed, or maybe they are just tired of staring at you sticking your tongue out. But the smiles still come.

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