Monday, August 25, 2008

The Many Faces of Noah

Babies have it hard in this world. They get hungry and how do they let us know? They cry. They are tired and need to sleep and how do they let us know? They cry. They are tired of sitting in their own bodily waste and how do they let us know? They cry.

It's just as hard for adults. A baby cries and you have to try to decipher what he wants. Is he wet? Dirty? Hungry? Tired? Just want attention? Want his brother to stop bothering him? It's all a game of 20 questions.

The result? In the words of Strother Martin's Captain, "What we have here is a failure to communicate." Forget the experts who say you can distinguish a baby's cries - sure I know Noah's cries from most other infants I hear, but an "I'm wet" cry sounds an awful lot like an "I'm tired" cry to me.

Enter the face. Where crying fails to adequately communicate, Noah's facial expressions tell complete stories. I remember Sam having an expressive face, but nothing like Noah's. He tells us exactly how he feels with a raised portion of forehead where eyebrows should be. Don't believe me? Look at these:

Here is the always popular "I'll smirk a bit so you'll quit dancing and speaking nonsense in front of me so I'll smile" face. Noah's a smiley boy. He's also a talker, always flirting with people wherever we go. But sometimes he's had enough. This is one of those times.

This is a common evening face, the "I'm really very tired and don't want to be up playing these games, but I refuse to go to sleep on my own, so I'll be heavy lidded and frown a bit and maybe you'll help me go to sleep even though I'll cry" face. He doesn't have reflux like his older brother, but just like Sam, he hates going to sleep, no matter how tired he is.

Many infants cry to let their parents know they are hungry. Noah often just roots around. This, then, is the "I'm so hungry I'm going to scrunch up my nose, open wide my mouth, wave my head around, and hope food appears in my mouth" face. So far he's done pretty well by this face. It always gets him food.

Noah communicates just fine these days, you just have to now where (and how) to look. There are plenty more where these came from, so be on the lookout later this week for our next installment.

1 comment:

Jori Jennings said...

Adele does the same thing when she's hungry plus a little pant/grunt noise that earned her the nickname "piggy" for awhile. I'm sure she'll love that when she's older.

Noah is a doll--looks a lot like his dad from what I can tell. Let us know how the bday party with McCain goes!