There’s no way I can write this without sounding like an annoying braggart. Please let it be known that I’m really not bragging (partly because I think it’s kind of a weird thing to be boastful about), and I write about it now only because it’s becoming a notable part of my life. (And saying that just makes it sound worse.)
Devin and I go out at least once a day, if only to get things for dinner – we’re a daily-shop household, not least of all because our fridge is quite small.
I understand that when you cart around a baby, you can probably safely expect the baby to be the subject of cooing and sighing. Because it’s a baby. Anything in miniature form elicits a gushing response.
Devin is less Tiny Baby and more Loud Messy Tantrum-y Toddler now. I don’t expect the warm, knowing smiles and rubbernecking that I encountered when he was a newborn. I expect sideways glances, irritation and barely-disguised disdain from passers-by when I’m trying to stop my 15-month-old from throwing himself backwards and hitting his head on the ground mid-tantrum. (A post on why I think – hope – the Terrible Twos are more of a possibility than certainty to come soon.)
I do get those sour looks, of course, because people are just like that.
But what I get much more often is enthusiastic swooning. Especially about his hair. At least once a day. I hate to use this cliché, but no, seriously – if we had a dollar for every time we heard, “Look at that hair!” we would, in fact, have many, many dollars. We would have even more dollars if they were doled out with phrases like, “He is just beautiful!” “He looks like one of those babies that are on everything!” “I love his eyes!”
(Devin almost always just stares at the person talking to him. Unblinking, unsmiling. He gets that from… well, both of his parents.)
Again, not boasting. I think he’s gorgeous, but he is my son. And his appearance required absolutely no skill or effort on my part, so compliments about genetic chance, though nice, are hard for me to respond to. Harder because of social anxiety.
I’m writing about this because I’m trying really hard to be less negative about everything, and this is something positive in my life. One day I’d like to receive a compliment about how well-behaved or polite or kind Devin is, but especially while he’s in this difficult, cranky, scream-y stage, a simple compliment about the colour or curl of his hair does make me feel better.