This past weekend, I traveled home to Kansas City to meet up with my family for a gathering. In addition to myself and my parents, my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and my brother-in-law’s parents and grandparents came into town. There is nothing I love more than being with family…throw in good food, great accommodations, and my niece, Haddie, and I am set to go.
One thing I love to do is observe people’s behavior in groups. This is especially true at family gatherings. It is always fun to see speech habits and mannerisms run through generations in a family, as well as to observe the oddities that make each family unique. All of this is escalated when a baby is entered into the equation. There is nothing more that each family member wants than to know that they made the baby happy. An unhappy baby immediately solicits abnormal behavior from even the toughest crowd.
Admit it. You have done this.
A baby starts crying…you make a crazy face…you sing a song…you do an awkward dance…you walk around a room while bouncing the baby on your hip…
On the flip side, a happy baby elicits similar, but more giddy responses.
Repeating phrases you hope the baby will repeat so that you can take credit for their first words, clapping your hands so maybe the baby will do it too, dancing to imitate the baby’s body movements, and even making odd sounds with your mouth that you would never ever make in a normal life setting.
I found myself doing all of the above…
I am not sure whether to be proud of that, or confused…
One thing I observed was that I was oddly surprised when Haddie didn’t do as I asked…I wanted her to smile and show me her new teeth so that I could send pictures to my friends who adore her… But Haddie didn’t care. I found myself expecting her to perform outside of what is actually reasonable. This caught me somewhat off guard. I, an adult (I know, this life status is debatable), was expecting an 8 month old to smile on command and perform.
This got me thinking…where else do I do this in life? Where do I have expectations of people and situations that are completely unrealistic?
Potentially, I could see this freeing up a whole new world of opportunity. What about you?