Is It Possible To Anthropomorphize A Baby?

October 28, 2010 · 5 comments

I realize that technically, the answer is “no.”

It’s just that when one gazes for even a few moments at a newborn like Noah, you’re witness to a range of facial expressions so rich in meaning for us older human beans, it’s tempting to ascribe to a five-day old whipper a whole human lifetime of rich experience and deep emotional response.

For instance, even in his sleep, he manages to look like an empathetic listener with years worth of social worker training. I think the double chin also adds to his air of quiet dignity and maturity, don’t you?

And seriously, who likes to get up on a Monday morning?

Sometimes, though, he looks just like a newborn baby trying to keep his eyeballs lined up straight and thinking through what it’s gonna take to get that first knuckle of his fist into his mouth without accidentally punching himself in the nose.

One whiff of a gas pain later, and… Poof! He morphs into a zaftig matron standing in front of the bakery counter, debating between the croissants and the butter tarts.

Ooooohhhh… they all look so good! Which to choose?!

Maybe they’re just pucker-up exercises for when he’s going to need those expressions for real, like his first bite of fresh lemon, or first attempt at whistling “The Flight of the Bumblee Bee.”

The wiki-style literature on the subject will tell you that these facial expressions are “accidental,” or “practice,” or “subcortical in origin.” However, the heavy-hitter multi-syllabic research studies on the subject may say otherwise. (Or they may not. I have no idea what the researchers found out. This is seriously the most dense language on the subject of baby smiles one can imagine. Even though it is clearly in English words I have in my active vocabulary, I can’t even understand the title of the paper. Go ahead… I dare ya.)

In any case, one second later, you watch as he gets those eyeballs in sync, and the irises adjust to the light, and the focus rings line up, and …

… Hey! Hi there!! Can I TELL you how happy I am to be in your arms, Mum?

Maybe the whole interaction it isn’t about “baby smile practice” at all. Maybe babies are God’s way of getting us big dudes to practice OUR smiles so we’re pleasant right from the start with our 24 x 7 hip adornments, and once we put the baby down, nicer with each other.

Ha!! The joke’s on you guys.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa November 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm

OMG – cutest little being ever!!! I can’t Imagine how in love you must be.


Ronda October 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Those last two pics are SO sweet. A precious time. And yes, I read the title, chuckled, and decided that was quite enough! 🙂


kate October 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Very sweet mum… thanks for posting 🙂


Sandi Fentiman October 28, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Well those last two pictures definitely confirm an honest smile. Feels good to get that fart out I guess. :). I bet he’s going to be a talkative baby like his mom. I have a memory of the time we all went to Smithfield for Katie to meet her great-grandparents.


Kathy P. October 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

Sweet pics! And the links — muy informative! (I’d never before guessed that our son’s delightful ‘whizzy baby’ faces were simply “a motor phenomenon idiosyncratic to the neonatal period.” ; )


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