The way my Poppet’s smile affects me, so my insides turn to fluid and my mind to mush, so that I would be quite happy to spend all day just staring at her, nuzzling at her neck or playing with her toes to make her smile, has been scientifically proven.
A baby’s smile affects it’s mum in a similar way to cocaine or nicotine, bringing on a rush of dopamine.
I have a greater understanding of drugs now.
She is, quite simply, perfect. And I am, quite simply, addicted.
I know that all mothers think this about their baby (and each one is, of course, right) but the way my Poppet looks at me, saving her best smiles for me, her brows raising in question and then her whole face lighting up as if to say – Oh mummy look! Isn’t this wonderful!
Aren’t you wonderful!
The joy and delight, the awe and mischief, all caught up in her tiny face, is nothing short of miraculous.
Of course, the Poppet’s big brother, the Sprocket’s, smiles affect me in a similar way, but the smile takes on a different context when it’s shot over a shoulder as he empties the coffee jar all over the floor (as he has carefully climbed up onto the kitchen bench having pulled out the oven door to use as a step)
There is an element of exasperation mixed with the amusement and love. I think the memory of all those smiles is embedded, but it takes awhile to dig to when you’re woken up at 5am by sharp little teeth in your shoulder… just because, or he’s watering the couch with pink milk.
But sometimes, when we’re walking along or reading a story, my Sprocket will look up at me with the self same smile, (O mummy, isn’t it wonderful!) he looked up at me with when he was a baby, the smile that’s just between the two of us… and my insides turn to mush again.