If you’re not good at winning staring contests, you should try being in one with an infant. It’s pretty easy to win because there are no “overawareness” issues. Baby Jack is dedicated to the game; I’ll give him that. But typically I win because he either smiles or sneezes. There’s nothing like staring at a baby’s face. It’s amazing how long you can do it before you realize you’ve been doing it that long.
Of all the funny faces he currently makes, my favorite one is when raises his eyebrows like wants to be part of the 1950’s Rat Pack. There’s also the “Elvis sneer”, the “surprised Dana Carvey”, the “Paul McCartney”, the “ancient Chinese man”, the “drowsy poet”, and the “Mac the alien” (a reference to a mostly forgotten E.T. copycat movie called Mac and Me.)
He often slips in and out of sleep when I stare at him. I try to imagine what he is dreaming about, as his face tells the seemingly same story every time. The dream starts out with Baby Jack petting a friendly puppy (Jack always starts his dreams smiling). Then a mean dog comes along and scares Jack and the friendly puppy (that’s when Jack has a worried look on his face). Lastly, the dream ends with him drinking milk or pooping (as he either starts “rooting” or grunting, accordingly). What else would a baby dream about anyway?
“I wanna wake you from your dream. I wanna know just who you’re talking to when you’re singing in your sleep. I wanna find out what it means. I’ve got marbles in my mouth. Thousand words I wanna say but it’s impossible to spit ’em out.”
-Guster, “Do You Love Me?”