Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our happy bug

I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we have a happy child. We do. And we're so grateful. I've seen children who seem perpetually sullen and whiny, who can't be pleased by anything or anyone; children who unhappily cling on to their parents and cry at the mere "hello" from a stranger.

Sophie, I'm happy to report, is not one of them.

She will smile at anyone who will give her the time of day, whether it's the cashier at Trader Joe's (who did not smile back) or the little boy in the swing next to her at the park (who did). She will allow anyone to carry her- as long as they smile at her first. She smiles when she wakes up in the morning, and she smiles when she's getting dressed for bed. She's smiles when she sees me peek at her when we play crawl-and-seek, and she smiles when she sees Jude walk through the door when he comes home. She smiles as she rediscovers an old toy she's missed playing with (like Chicky), and she smiles as she explores something for the first time (even if it's a brown paper bag). She smiles when she knows she's done something good and we clap in approval (like not crawl into the kitchen when we tell her not to), and she even smiles when she's about to do something she knows we won't like (like crawl into the bathroom even when we tell her not to). She smiles when she sees herself in the mirror, and smiles when she sees us smiling at her in the mirror. She smiles when she hears the sound of Skype dialing a number, and smiles even more when she sees her grandparents, aunts and uncle appear on the screen. If I had a dollar for every time Sophie smiled, she'll be comfortably paying for her own diapers in smiles alone :)

I'm not sure if we're responsible in any direct way for her sunny disposition-- how does one *teach* a baby to be happy?-- but we'd like to think that we have at least a small part to play when we respond to her smiles with smiles of our own, laugh at her laughs, and talk with her constantly even when it seems silly (some guy at Trader Joe's looked at me funny today when I "asked" Sophie if I should get lemonade or pomegranate juice. She gave me a look that seemed to say, "Why choose?" and so I got both.) I think she knows she's the center of our world and that she will always have our attention. And as a 10 month-old, I guess knowing your parents love you more than anything else in the world is enough to make you smile at everything :)

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