Once, With More Feeling

We don’t know if our son is able to read facial expressions, and the subtleties of tone often appear lost on him. So, we overemote. When we smile, we do the full Cheshire Cat. Our frowns are less :( than :c. We react to his every praiseworthy accomplishment as if he just won the Stanley Cup, and speak to him much more gruffly than would usually be necessary when reprimanding him for some transgression.

All the world is a stage, but my household in particular is like a high school drama club production.

2 thoughts on “Once, With More Feeling

  1. This reminds me of the communication life cycle. We communicate with infants in an exaggerated way – big smiles, eyes wide open, raised eyebrows. From there we get more restrained as the kid grows up, expecting them to pick up on subtle cues – a sideways look, rather than a scowl. That holds until a person crosses a line somewhere and becomes certifiably old. Then we do the baby faces again, as it were. And of course, with people who don’t speak our language, we do some of the same exaggerations. It would seem to be a natural reaction to talking to someone you’re not sure understands you.

  2. Just wanted to say how much I’ve been enjoying your Month of Son posts. So glad you decided to undertake this project, with all of its subtle (and not-to-subtle) challenges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *