Thursday, February 26, 2009

"It's just gas" and a poignant question.

"They" have said it for years ... a baby smiling before the 4~ish week mark simply just has gas. And while it's still not a ~real~ smile (these happen around 6 weeks on average), it's not from gas. "They" now say it's just the involuntary muscles, usually happening during sleep, but happening while awake too. While getting "smiled" at melts your heart in those early weeks, it's hard to keep in mind it's totally not real. When it's real, you will know it.

At least I thought I would. I got my first smile last week. I even blogged about it. Since then, I've gotten a few random ones in reaction to me trying to get him to smile. Well, just now, I looked down while nursing and there Karl was, looking back at me. When our eyes met, I got a smile. I said to him "Oh, are you smiling at momma?", my heart swelled to the maximum. And just as I got that question out of my mouth, he burped. heh. Maybe it ~was~ just gas!

And now for my question. Do you know I literally cannot tell if my baby is really cute? (And don't comment "yes he is!" or something else to ease my mind. Instead, answer the bigger question I ask ask."

There are literally dozens and dozens of new babies out there in blogworld. Even more. And since I can look at them without anything personal feelings, I can tell if they are cute or, well, not so cute. Except for my best friends out there - all their babies are fucking cute and hell, maybe it's because of the same thing.

As a mother, do you think you can even tell if your baby happens to fall in the not so cute category?

Here is a picture of Karl, taken right this moment - is he simply full from a belly of breast milk? Or can he simply not fathom the fact I'm trying to figure out if he's just not that cute?

(don't get me wrong - I think the boy is fucking gorgeous. I am just questioning my eyes as a mother.


Amanda said...

But I do have to say it. He IS that damn cute!

And I've also thought that there are cuter kids than mine. And there are times my kids don't look cute to me. I'll also admit that one of them isn't photogenic.

Simply AnonyMom said...

I am fully aware that not everyone is cute. I am fully aware that my children are not the cutest things in the world. I think that everyone comes into their own "best looking" stage at different times. Somea re babies, some as young children, others as adults.

I know that at least one of my children is just average looking. s/he is not (by far) gorgeous. I think they are both absolutely drop dead heartstopping good looking to me, but I am a realist and know and accept that not everyone feels the same way.

Sarah R said...

There are 2 categories of babies: "cute" and "not so cute".

Your son definitely falls into the "cute" category. :)

And yes, I have seen some babies that aren't super cute, but then they seem to get into a cuter phase as they get older. My neighbor's baby (2 months older than Andrew) falls into this category.

Oh, and I get compliments all the time on Andrew's cuteness and I am hoping they aren't just being nice! I had a guy at work today tell me that I should get him in a toddler cute photo contest. ;)

Jewels said...

I don’t know what to say about this one, I agree with Amanda, there are babies who are more "beautiful" than my son, as far as the dark skin, chocolate eyes, full lips - you know, those supposed perfect features that can land the kid in a magazine. The kind of kid that takes everyone's breath away and almost affects them internally for hours while thinking "wow, what a gorgeous kid that was". The kind that when we talk about gorgeous kids, you always bring that one up.
(k-enough about that kid)
But my kid? I have wondered the same thing, yes he pulls expressions that are on the less attractive side for pictures (the little turkey) And he's had some not so attractive phases, like when he wanted his hair grown out, I know I loved it, but I also know it made him look like a girl, but I knew and loved the personality that went along with it (and so did people when they got to know him, they'd see his hair matched his personality, but easy to judge if you didnt know him).. But there is something so stunning beautiful about my son (to me) that leaves me in awe and admiration for him, He has the longest black eyelashes, gorgeous blue eyes, great face shape, perfect nose, dimple in his chin, creamy white skin (with some freckles now)and dark eyebrows (Like a vampire).
Girls love him, my friends love him, I love him, but I have wondered if some random person off the street just sees another freckle face little boy - or even worse, a sorry freckle face little boy.... NAH... He's way to cute for that.
So... to answer your question, if YOU find my son sorry looking, then the answer is NO, I don’t see it.

Jenera said...

I happen to think mine are terribly cute. I THINK they REALLY are cute but only because people tell me they are. So either people are lying to me or they are cute.

No mom wants to be THAT mom with the 'uggy' baby. But most babies are cute in some way or another, it just may take a bit longer to grow into their cuteness.

As far as smiles, Sam has been giving them since about 5 weeks or so and the majority of the time they are not just gas.

Swanson Family said...

Karl is adorable!! I have seen a few not as cute babies of friends or family. All of these babies have turned into cuter kids though.

Now being a mother of a daughter with a large birthmark on her face I was faced with a different perspective than most mothers. Of course I still thought she was beautiful, but it did take some getting used to. Along with reactions of strangers and having to explain that it's a birthmark and not a bruise or face painting. You wouldn't believe how many people think she's had her face painted. Seriously, who would paint a brown blob on their face! But I digress. Now I don't even notice the birthmark on her. It's just part of who she is and she's still beautiful.

Liz said...

We had a similar question around our house last week that my husband and I immediately felt bad for saying out loud: What if this baby isn't as cute as our first? It's a truly horrible thing, but our daughter (we think) WAS really cute. People will make comparisons.

Kaci said...

LOL - Karl is cute!

To answer your question, I think I would know if my kids were ugly, but maybe not. A former music director at the church I used to go to had a daughter who sang worse than I do (and believe me when I say I'm BAD) and he seemed to think she was good enough to give her solos. If he could be deaf when it came to her voice, I suppose parents can be blind when it comes to their childrens' looks.

Sully said...

Seriously, he's cute. I believe my son is cute as well, but hope that he doesn't fall into the "cute baby, not so cute adult" category :)

Nic said...

He is cute! However I think mums must be biased but surely aware if their babies are 'not cute'!

Mareike said...

I love the question and I love the comments. I think anyone with any depth finds those they love beautiful becuase seeing them warms their heart and makes it soar. I also think that most folks recognize socially defined cuteness or beauty and where their children fall in the spectrum. It doesn't matter one iota and if it does ya shoulda thought about goldfish rather than being a parent.

Morgan said...

You remember when you commented on my blog when I posted about a baby itching, and you said you were going to post about the exact same thing and how crazy it was.

Well I shit you not I have been thinking about this the past few weeks, I wasn't going to post about it but I have pondered it everytime I look at my son. CRAZY you posted about it!

I know you didn't want to hear it but let me just tell you this anyways. I don't love Karl in the "mommy kind of way" that you do so I can look at him and not let personal feelings get in the way. Karl is gorgeous, and I'm not just saying that. If I didn't think so I just wouldn't have commented at all, so I mean it. Look at those cheecks and those eyes!! And his skin complexion is so smooth and clear looking, just perfect Nancy!!

One more thing. I just have to say it, I can't hold it in because it stuns me. I don't think any mother should "admit" their baby isn't cute. I also don't see how any mother could even THINK their baby isn't the cutest, even if others thought he/she wasn't cute. I saw someone say that and it completely shocked me and made my jaw hit the floor.

nancy said...

Jewels - I don't understand the last sentance of your comment. Me thinking your son looks "sorry"? No! :) I'm talking about looking at your own newborn. (and your son is FAR from looking sorry!!!)

Morgan - I wouldn't want anyone to ever admit it, I'm just wondering if it's even possible to know!

JP said...

Well, Karl is cute, you can believe your eyes.
I believe that mothers can tell. My sister maintains to this day that her gorgeous teenager was NOT a cute newborn. He was a beautiful baby and toddler, but first week or so...notsomuch. She didn't admit this until he had obviously outgrown his uncuteness.

areyoukiddingme said...

When the nurse in the hospital told me my daughter was cute (I certainly thought so, of course), I said "Oh, I'm sure you say that to all the moms." And the nurse replied, "No, if they're not cute, I call them precious. Your baby is cute." Then, one day at the daycare, the morning teacher told me that she had met a guy in the parking lot and was talking to him. She asked him who his child was and he said that she was the most beautiful girl in the toddler class. And the teacher said, "Oh, S. (my daughter)?" And he said "No, T." My girl is cute, and since she looks just like me, she is doomed to a life of cute. I've always wanted to be hot, but when you're cute, you just can't pull it off.

Meanwhile, my best friend has a little boy, who is very cute. But, when he was born, he scowled all the time. It was cute too. Then she had a girl. When I called to ask about the new baby, my friend said, "Oh, she's good, except for having been beaten with the ugly stick a few times." Then she proceeded to send me the most horrible picture ever taken of any baby. So, her girl needed to fill in with some of the baby fat. Now that she's older, she's quite adorable, but her newborn pictures were not cute.

I guess my friends are just odd, now that I think of it. My other friend could not get over how hairy her little boy was - she kept calling him her little monkey.

So, I guess it all depends on the mom. Almost all moms see something beautiful in their child.

As for the smiling...we have a picture from the hospital where my daughter appears to be smiling - and she didn't even have any gas then! I like to believe that they smile at will, but are mostly not that pleased with all the sensory overload the first few weeks.

areyoukiddingme said...

Oh, and Karl is way cute.

Hollie said...

Well, Chesley is the cutest baby in the world, but Karl is a close second. Honestly, the kid is cute. I smiled a big smile as soon as I saw his picture, before you read your question.

I think moms think that their kids are cute every time. I do know that at times my son is not so cute, like when his face is broken out or crusty.

Anonymous said...

He's cute. He looks so much like Allison!


Jess said...

I typically don't find bald babies cute. But Karl is aboslutly adorable.

My boy, Cale, on the other hand is going through a very homely stage right now. The camera hates him.

Jason and Samantha said...

I was scared that my child wouldn't be cute, because I felt sorry for an ex-friend of mine's baby - because she simply is NOT cute. I'm hoping for her sake, she grows into her looks.

As far as my baby - I think she is gorgeous, in Mother's eyes. And I guess other people think she's mighty cute, because we get stopped ALL the time for people to tell us how beautiful our baby is, that she looks like a Gerber baby, and we should get her into modeling. The blue eyes with the dark hair is the kicker. Its a not so common combo. I'm not trying to sound conceited, I'm just going on what I get told.

What worries me, is if we have another girl (knock on wood we can have another baby) that she won't be as cute as her big sister. I won't care, I just don't want others to compare her to Charleigh.

April said...

That's a damn good question! Since I'm not a mother yet (except for the one in my belly) I can only guess...but I think all mothers think their babies are cute. I have seen a few not-so-cute babies whose mom's think they are absolutely beautiful (as they SHOULD!). Oh, and thankfully for those babies they DO end up getting cuter. :-)

KatieM said...

I don't think as a mother you will ever think your child falls into that not cute category, but I will acknowledge there are babies out there who are "cuter" than mine in the eyes of others, and I will even go as far as to jokingly make fun of my son's ears because I *know* they stick out from his small little head, lol, but to me, it's again, it's my mother bias coming in there.

I think even mothers of children who are obviously different, like those with Downs (not poking fun here, just stating and example) know their baby isn't the normal definition of cute, but THEY think they are cute in their own special way.

In the eyes of a mother, love breeds cuteness. Oh, and I love that picture...I really wish I could make out those blue eyes you mentioned though!

Morgan said...

Oh I know YOU didn't WANT anyone to admit that, but the reason I mentioned it is because someone ELSE said there baby wasn't cute and I was just kind of in awe that someone could admit that, kwim?

Morgan said...

*their, typo was bugging the shit out of me.

Heather said...

He is adorable!!! I just want to kiss that sweet forehead!!! That said, I never worry so much about what other people think. Our daughter is 8 years old now and every time I look at her I'm amazed by her beauty. I think she's the most gorgeous girl in the world. And I admit I might be partial since she's mine, but I don't care. BTW, I don't think she was a classic cutie when she was first born, but I adored her anyway. We said she looked like a Gelfling from the movie "The Dark Crystal" - fuzzy dark hair and eyes that took up her whole face. She was cute in such a Muppet kind of way, but not as a baby, LOL!

the mol said...

Karl is DEFINITELY cute. He's got a great face and his eyes are striking.

Some people definitely have ugly babies. But sometimes they are cuter in person. A friend of ours has a kid who was funny-looking on the holiday card but cute and fun and animated in person.

My son was an adorable infant. He's still cute now although he does kinda look like a classic cancer kid.

Heather said...

I also nominated you (and your adorable baby) for an award today on my blog. You can go to my blog for details.

Steph said...

Karl is a gorgeous little man.

Honestly? Here's my thing..I don't know ~how~ a mother could look at her child and NOT think that he/she is not the most beautiful child in the world. From the moment my kids were born, I've thought they were the most gorgeous things alive. All of them. Do others see it that way? Probably not. But that's how it is to me.

Like someone said, a mother SHOULD look at her child/children and think that they are beholding the most beautiful sight ever.

My dad's sister told him when I was a baby I was the ugliest thing she'd ever seen (she hates newborns, says they look like wet rats). He didn't speak to her for almost 2 years. LOL


Sky said...

Just found your blog - love it!

Seriously, it's not your biased mommy eyes - that boy is BEAUTIFUL, truly.

Now...the pic of him below this one...not so cute, but that's 'cause he looks like he's screaming his head off and it scares the crappers out of me. ;)

Kidding aside, the boy is SUPER cute!

MrsSpock said...

Your son is cute.

I only have one child so far, and he is cute. At least that's what everyone says ;).