Watching a baby discover their facial expressions is seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. Seeing her smile, first because of gas, and then because she’s actually smiling, is amazing. Observing her inquisitive looks as she’s trying to take in as much information as possible is, quite simply, awe-inspiring. Even seeing sadness well up in her eyes as she comes to the realization that, although she’s been eating for three hours almost non-stop, it’s time for a bit of a food break, is pretty darned impressive.
But there’s one facial expression that Nugget has that makes me laugh just about every time I see it, and it was definitely one of the first ones she learned. Actually, scratch that. She didn’t learn it. She CAN’T have learned it. She just knew it instinctively.
It’s the pout.
And what an incredible pout it is. She has to have known how to pout from before she was born, because, well, she’s been doing it since day one. Neither her mother or I are big pouters (we try less overtly manipulative ways of getting what we want from the other). And yet, somehow, she just knew that if she stuck out her bottom lip and had a bit of concern in her eyes, we would fall apart faster than the plot of a FOX sitcom.
Yes, I admit to laughing when I see the pout. I can’t help it. If the Allied forces had been able to use Nugget’s bottom lip for the invasion at Normandy, they could have easily dropped off another 100,000 troops. If they gave medals for pouting, Nugget would have been forced into early retirement, to let other kids have a chance.
The thing is, that pout is going to end up haunting me. She isn’t even ten weeks old yet, and, she’s already figured out that pouting, while it doesn’t initially bring the desired reaction, is still a pretty quick way to get Daddy to do what she wants. Heck, I’ve even tried to figure out how I could possibly lactate, for those times when the pout is clearly food-inspired (not that I’m proud of that particular web search). And it’s only going to get worse.
Pretty soon, she’s going to start making actual words, instead of just the babbling noises that she’s got now. And eventually, some of those words are going to be accompanied by that pout. In the back of my head, I’ll know that she’s just feeling slightly deprived of something that she probably doesn’t actually need at that moment, but I’ll still scramble to try and give it to her. This, especially coupled with the word “Please” will be the turn of events which will lead me to selling off the stove, dryer, and, potentially, one of the cars so that I can buy her a super ridiculous toy that makes noise (if she takes after her parents in geekdom, it’ll be an actual working lightsaber, once they invent them).
Hopefully, by admitting that I’m crippled by the pout (once the laughter subsides), maybe I’ll be able to stop myself. Maybe I’ll find the way to develop the self-control needed to not cave in every time she juts her bottom lip out approximately three miles. And maybe, just maybe, I won’t be completely wrapped around her little finger at all times.
Oh, who am I kidding? If the pout doesn’t work, she’ll just flutter her ridiculously long eyelashes at me.
Man, I am so screwed.