When baby is first born, he lives in its own little bubble, and there is no communication with the outside world, not even his loving, attention-craving parents. There is no way of knowing what is going on in his little head (if anything at all).
During his first few weeks on earth, he is sleeping most of the time, he cries when he is hungry, and he poops a lot. You can just about tell if he is comfortable or over-stimulated or unhappy, and you can take an educated guess to whether he enjoys certain things or not. He doesn’t focus on faces and shows no reaction to people, toys or music. He is overall a rather boring little fellow.
And suddenly around 5 weeks, there it is, the first real smile! (and I am not talking about the involuntary little smirks he has had since birth, very cute but also very random and just a reflex reaction to for example wind). Suddenly you are more than rewarded for weeks of confinement at home with sleep deprivation, breast feeding issues and boredom. It’s an ‘I’m having fun’ smile, or maybe even an ‘I really like this person behind the milkbar’.
I can’t describe this amazing feeling of warmth and fuzziness and happiness when your baby first smiles at you! It is as if a window has suddenly opened and you have seen a glimpse of the little person he is about to become. If you have seen one smile you want to see more, and as they are still exceedingly rare, all I have been doing for the past few days is trying to evoke another smile….
I have to say though, it is not quite clear what James is reacting to. He doesn’t smile back at his parents yet (and believe me, we have tried! my whole face is hurting because I have been smiling so much at him) but he certainly loves to bathe and commonly rewards this with a couple of big smiles. Why he has grinned so sweetly at my ugly brown curtain will however always remain a mystery to me!