This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I love my son to death, but I’m getting extremely frustrated.
No, not with the lack of sleep or the wailing and crying at 3 a.m. That’s all to be expected. What’s bothering me is his smile, or really a lack thereof. And it’s not that he’s not smiling yet, it’s just that he’s not smiling at me!
He smiles at MJ all the time, but that’s to be expected because she’s with him all day. I can take that. But he smiled at my mother-in-law who only watched him for a few hours. He smiled at my cousin on Saturday and she only held him for 20 minutes. Meanwhile I’m literally making a fool of myself trying to put a smirk on this kid’s face and nothing! Not even a grin. You should see how desperate I am to make Will smile. I dance around, make kissy noises at him, talking in a high-pitched voice, smile like a demented clown…none of it works!
But what really pissed me off is how my brother held Will for five minutes yesterday and got him to smile. And let there be no doubt, my friends and family think it’s hilarious that he won’t smile for me. So now it’s become a sick game for them to see how many people can get my son to smile before he grins at me. Alex, one of my best friends, likes to joke that MJ is his back-up wife and Will is really his son. He’s now on a mission to get Will to smile for him before me. And I swear to God if that happens, I’m going to jump right in the Cape Cod Canal because I’ll never hear the end of it.
I mean what do I have to do? I change him, feed him, care for him, keep him warm, rock him to sleep when he’s upset…yet I’m gettin no love. All I want after coming home from a long day at work is to be greeted by the toothless smile of my infant son. But instead, he looks at me as if to say “Who the hell are you big guy? You don’t look or smell as nice as mom. Hand me back over to her!”
All of these parenting magazines and articles talk about how wonderful it feels to have your baby smile at you for the first time. They make it seem like an epiphany where the clouds part and angels sing as your innocent little child warms your heart with that first, loving smile. Well I want my epiphany dammit! I’ve changed enough dirty diapers and lost enough sleep, and now I want my smile. I mean c’mon, is he saving it for Father’s Day? What the hell do I have to do to make this kid smile?
My wife says I’m trying too hard. Maybe she’s right but I can’t help it.