Before you become a parent, you have a very hazy, almost dreamy idea of what life will be like.
For me I would just imagine the simplest of tasks like taking a walk or shopping with this snoozing tiny baby, people would stop us and comment how small and lovely they were, and then the baby would smile and coo back to its adoring new friend, making their day!
My reality was a little different, but not for the reasons you might be thinking...
My daughter suffers from RBF (resting b*tch face). That's right, my daughter was never one of those smiley babies who would just beam a cheesy grin to strangers, she made people, including family and friends, work for her smiles (and some would argue her acceptance).
After a short time of this happening, I quickly found myself apologising to anyone (mostly old ladies) who would glance in her direction with a smile, or speak to her in hopes she would give them that much-wanted baby grin in return. Instead, they would get, for want of a better expression, resting b*tch face!
A blank, slightly suspicious, unimpressed expression staring back at them! They would, of course, be very put out by this and look at me and say, ''Oh, is she not happy today?'' or ''Oh, is someone tired?'' and my response was usually, ''Sorry, she's just a bit miserable/tired today''. This was actually a lie! She had been smiley and happy with me not 10 seconds before; that is before a stranger started talking to her and often reaching for her hand/face to touch and getting much closer than is normal when meeting someone for the first time! But of course I wouldn't say that for fear of being rude and so I apologised on her behalf and made excuses.
As my baby grew into a toddler and her personality developed more, I realised that her resting b*tch face wasn't actually that, and she was simply exercising her right to get to know someone first, instead of just assuming they were her cup of tea and grinning at them, and I have to confess it's a trait I've come to love, because let's face it, we can't (and generally don't) like everybody we meet and so why would babies!
As she grows older, manners will undoubtedly trump the innocence of a toddler who doesn't know any better and (hopefully) she will smile politely and answer questions from people who take an interest in her.
But for now at least, I've stopped apologising to people on her behalf and instead I've started being honest (while still being polite, of course) and just saying with a smile ''she takes a while to warm up to people, it's nothing personal''.
Can anyone else relate?