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Smiles and Frowns

June 10, 2012

This past week, Lila has really started expressing herself.  She’s been smiling more and more, and we’ve even been able to capture some of her smiles on camera:

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So sweet.  I have to say, I’ve been extra happy to see those smiles, because it seems like a lot of the time, Lila is a pretty serious baby.  She’s very focus and intense when she’s playing with her toys:

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…and oftentimes we catch her frowning in concentration, or even scowling:

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Sister has attitude already. 

It shouldn’t surprise me that she’s a serious baby.  In most of his baby pictures, Ryan has a very worried look on his face, a look that seems to say, “Listen, I’m not sure who you people are or what I’m doing here, but I’m not letting my guard down any time soon.” He’s also dressed as a tiny movie usher in some of the pictures, which might have something to do with it.  But still, Ryan would be the first to admit that he can be a pretty anxious person, and obviously that quality was present in him from about day one.

And I remember being a very serious child as well—in fact, “serious” is kind of putting it nicely.  I believe the word is dour.  I think I had a pretty bad attitude—I actually remember actively scowling at the camera for school pictures a few years in a row, and in most of my childhood pictures, my “smile” is more of a smirk. 

When you get pregnant, you spend a lot of time wondering who your child is going to be. And then, when your child arrives, you still wonder—who are you?  When Lila was first born, we’d just stare at her for hours, trying to figure out who this new little being was going to become.

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But the truth is, you don’t have to wait for very long.  In fact, I feel like Lila started revealing bits and pieces of her personality to us from the very first day we held her.  And she keeps revealing more and more, tiny smiles and expressions and cries and coos that are starting to fit together like puzzle pieces.

When I was pregnant, we’d spend hours talking about what our daughter’s personality might be like.  I’ve spent enough time around babies to know that most of us seem to come out with many aspects of our personalities already formed—serious babies grow into serious children who grow into serious adults.  Goofy babies turn into goofy 50 year-olds.  Outgoing toddlers will always be the loudest people at the party. You can’t “train” your kid to be shy, or outgoing, or happy, or thoughtful, or loud, or quiet—at our core, we are who we are, and it’s who we’ve always been.  More and more, and especially now that I have a child of my own, I believe this to be true. 

It doesn’t surprise me that Lila is a serious baby.  And, serious doesn’t necessarily translate to unhappy—in fact, she seems very content.  She seems to be happy in her seriousness, if that makes sense.  When she’s kicking at her playmat, or focusing on grasping her firefly toy for the first time, she has an intense concentration like no other—but she’s also clearly having a ball.  And there are moments when she drops the intensity and is suddenly a total love bug, grinning and cooing without a care in the world. 

And the truth is, I love both moments.   There is nothing sweeter than seeing your child smile a huge, gummy smile at you for the first time—or second, or third, or tenth time.  But, as strange as this might sound, I like it when she glares at me too.  There’s something in her tiny, serious frown that tells me that this baby won’t take shit from nobody.  And that, I hope, is something she can say she got from her mama.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2012 3:40 pm

    Adorable pics, so cute! Funny that I wasn’t a serious baby, but always look serious now and hardly smile in pics. 😛

  2. Marcee permalink
    June 10, 2012 3:54 pm

    Awwww. Lila is sooo adorable! You are the bestest mommy ever Anna.

    “Happy in her seriousness” ….. yes, that definitely makes sense. To me it does. There are all sorts (zillions) of personalities we meet in our lifetime. Infants/babies come with their own uniqueness for us to embrace.

    Even though we were all created in the same household, etc. …. my siblings and I have completely different dispositions and personalities.

    Wonderful “Ryan” stories! Love the bit …..” dressed as/like a tiny movie usher” … haha, too funny! I would have loved to see a photo. Serious face? Ha.

    Enjoy your Sunday Anna.

  3. June 10, 2012 4:01 pm

    I love that smile on her face! Honestly, I could see both of my boys’ personalities from inside the womb. I didn’t know it then, but it definitely came through after they were born. Jay is incredibly laid back and easy. That was the easiest pregnancy and the easiest baby. He is lighthearted with everything. Max was the hardest to get here and the pregnancy was a mess start to finish. He would head butt my groin in womb…he was still head butting things when he was a toddler. He is extraordinarily serious and comes across as a not so happy person. Most people view him as unhappy, but I know his personality is just different from others. I actually get his thoughts more than Jay’s. I was definitely more serious as a kid. Max looks more like me, but he has more of Tony’s thoughts and personality, which is strange to see too. Kind of finny how genetics works. I love these posts! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  4. June 10, 2012 7:00 pm

    She’s such a pretty pretty baby! I was definitely a very serious child as well. And I do think it’s true, serious isn’t always a bad thing and doesn’t mean unhappy either. Serious people tend to be the ones sitting back, taking in the world, analyzing so we do have to remember to put ourselves out there sometimes. To remember to interact and not just watch 😉

  5. June 10, 2012 7:29 pm

    I love the Lila updates! Can’t wait to see how she grows up!!

  6. June 10, 2012 7:52 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how fast their personality shines through? It just gets stronger and stronger as the months go by. She is precious

  7. June 10, 2012 11:00 pm

    That’s so interesting! Lila is sooo adorable and “serious” can definitely be so many things. To me, she looks pensive and very intelligent. I love the smiling picture though! Keep the Baby updates comin’ 😉

  8. Patti permalink
    June 11, 2012 3:11 am

    She’s so sweet can’t wait to see her in 2 weeks

  9. ginger635 permalink
    June 11, 2012 11:23 am

    Her personality really does shine through. It will be so much fun to watch her grow!

  10. June 11, 2012 12:11 pm

    Very very cute! I’m so happy to see her smiles and this post is so well written and it completely rings true.

  11. June 11, 2012 3:14 pm

    What a sweet, sweet post. As someone who was a serious baby and is a serious adult, I find it very touching that you love your baby just the way she is… and, yes, us serious-types enjoy life too! 🙂

  12. goodeatsgirl permalink
    June 11, 2012 7:48 pm

    She is such a cutie pie! What an adorable post! I agree…you definitely start to see personality soon after they are born! It’s so much fun watching them grow!

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