Friday, November 18, 2011

Show me the smile!

My little one, now 2 years old, is a very serious little girl.  She has always been very serious.   When she was about 2 months old I remember anxiously watching for her first real smile and trying many days to coax one out of her, only to be met with a stern glare or a curious stare.  Her siblings could do it without any trouble, but for me her smiles have always been fewer and farther between.  If it is difficult for me to get her to grin, it is impossible for people she does not know.  Little old ladies stop us in the store to tell me how cute she is and she glares at them.  Friends smile at her and ask how she is doing and she stares back blankly.  On Halloween, all decked out in her furry Elmo costume and receiving candy from countless friendly faces, she walked straight mouthed along not showing any signs of enjoyment.  

Last summer we spent a day at my parent’s house.  They had invited a lovely British couple who they had become good friends with as well, and we had a great day of swimming and eating and fun.  The woman, who had never had any children of her own, loved kids.  Really loved kids and spent as much time playing with my children as she did visiting with the adults present.  She tried everything to get my little one to smile for her.  She sang her songs and played crazy games with her but my daughter would not crack even the tiniest of smiles.  At best, she gave her a concentrated look of interest.  The man later commented to my father that something was wrong with our baby.  It just wasn’t normal, he said, for a child so little to be so solemn.  My dad assured him the baby is fine.  And she is.  She is not an unhappy child just serious and VERY wary of strangers.

I started playing a game with her when she was about 18 months old.  It was my sneaky way to trick her into smiles but don’t tell her that!  I would say, "show me your silly face" and we would, together, stick out our tongues and roll our eyes.  Then I would say "show me your scary face" and we would both make monster faces at each other.  Then I would say "show me your sad face," and she would stick her bottom lip out and look as though she had lost her best friend.  Then I would say "show me your happy face," and voila- 

                  A SMILE!!!!!  

She is a lot bigger now than she was then but it still works every time!  I wonder sometimes when I see those oh-so-rare, oh-so-beautiful toddler grins-  

"show me your.......shy face"
Is it wrong that I love this kid so much?!?!?!?!?!?


  1. Oh, gosh, I love this post!! You know of all people how different each child is and love each one for those very differences. Sometimes I think only a mother of many can understand that. OH, that sounded kind of child snobby, that's not how I meant it...I mean that when I had only one child or even two, and they were little, I "thought" I would love all my kiddos no matter what, but once they all started getting older and each one came so different and as they grew, they also changed, my love grew too.

    You just really know it, when it happens.

    She's special and I'm pretty sure when she's 6 or 7 (or even sooner) she'll flash that smile all the time. Her not showing that beautiful smile to EVERYONE is a sign of intelligence.

    But you already know that, don't you mama?

    Loved this, it made me smile.

    I have a happy 7 year old that used to be very serious. She'd, as a baby, give this serious look, like wrinkle her forehead and everything and my family would say, what's wrong with which, I'd say what you did, "nothing"

  2. What a sweet face! I found you on Association Of Catholic Women Blogger, you and I were discussing the Duggars Phenom.

    You in your supportive comment that there seemed to be no discernment or prayer about the conception of children; as a spiritual director who works with mom that caught my attention, I had to learn more about you!

    I hope you and I will be able to grow in friendship and support my dear sister in Christ.



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