My baby is growing an attitude. The once sweet, bouncy baby, who was always happy to crawl, happy to sleep, happy to eat is now coming out with an opinion of her own. When did that happen?!
It’s just crazy when you have the first understandable exchanges with your child. I guess it’s also a little intimidating that this bundle of joy you’ve been carrying around is now fully able to convey resentment, love, disagreement and interest…
As a young mother, whatever your head had courageously decided was “only” confronted to books, mother-in-laws or your conscience is now passe. There is an extra element to take into account: the child might not follow your lead!
She’s 16 months old, so how does she communicate this opinion? Of course, you’ve got the classic body language, the expected moaning and groaning…but, her ultimate weapon is her eyes: one single look tells a thousand words.
So, for you today, ladies, here is a little lexicon of the 4 most powerful looks that I have ever been thrown! I am sure you all know what I mean and will add more to the list!
The first in my list is:
The “Good try, Sister” look, also known as the “Yeah, right” look.
Eyes locked into yours, eye brows arched a little, looking from under her eyelashes, flat lips.
Here is a culinary example: You are so proud of the broccoli/carrot puree you made (yes, I am a good and devoted mother – loads of vitamins – no preservatives – smile, smile, smile). And, you’re still used to baby eating what you give her. After you place the bowl in front of your daughter, these four steps ultimately follow:
1 – Look at the new food
2 – Hand in the bowl
3 – Hand stretches out
4- Then, like a robot claw, the hand sweeps the bowl and down on the floor goes the beautifully steamed salmon to an unbearable death.
If this happens on a Sunday at lunch time, I may laugh it off. If this happens on a Monday evening on my spotless-for-one-day floor, I cringe. The floor is even more treasured as it is a not-cleaned-by-me floor. (Yes, we have done it! We have hired some help on Mondays. Coming home to a clean flat is such a pleasure. As good as chocolate? A veeery close second.)
The “What ARE you doing to me?” look.
Despair, bewilderment, shock and treason are all deeply conveyed by this look. It would break your heart and be totally expected if I suddenly turned around and hung her upside down over a 10-meter drop. But, it’s a little over dramatic of a look, I dare say, when triggered by seeing me arrive with the nail-clippers.
The “HOw DAre YOu?!” look.
Walls tremble and my husband and I look at each other when this look appears. It generally happens when something in her world is disrupted by either one of us. She doesn’t feel the need to waste time crying or putting up a fight, she just dignifies us with this royal and ice-cold stare. I would have it range from a mafia gangster dreaming of revenge “You willa nota waka up ina tha morning!” to a leader of the French Revolution “Off with their heads!” In this case, ours.
The “Award for the cutest baby ?! ME ?! Oh you shouldn’t have!” look.
Head to one side, cheek against shoulder, sideways look, cutest smile on lips.
This look appears if any attractive, new and very shiny object is visible within a 20-mile radius. It has a 20-second life span until either the desire is satisfied and will result in a delightful time with baby, OR the desire isn’t, and it transforms into screaming, possibly while hitting the floor until something else comes along. (It is ingenuously put forward by a fast thinking mummy, who is overly expressive and over eager.) “Look at THIS, isn’t THIS so wonderful, mummy loves THIS.” (Quick pat on the back to all these ultra speedy creative mummies who will turn any old piece of fluff into the best toy ever.)
So these are the main four. Where did these adult-like looks suddenly come from?!
Her dad is a tall, blond, blue-eyed Norwegian whose facial expressions range between calm with a soft smile (ecstatic) to calm with a soft smile (really bugged). If you don’t know him, he is kind of hard to read.
They say people in the south of Europe are more expressive…Well, I guess I am the “latin” one in the family…What? Paris is south of Oslo, isn’t it?
An overly expressive and over eager Mummy 😉
Does your still-not-quite-yet-talking baby convey any clear message with a single look? Please share!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ambre French of Oslo, Norway. Ambre is a “French Maman” writing from Scandanavia.
Photo credit to the author.