Dude To Dad Episode Four: “Newborns Don’t Smile”

I just want to make people laugh. Unfortunately, my baby doesn't think I'm funny.

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When you’re handed your child for the first time, the assumption is that you’ll feel an instant connection. “Love at first sight” is rare in romance, but expected in every birthing yurt in the world. Your baby and you are instantly infatuated. This isn’t Tinder. No swiping right. So you better believe that I did everything possible to connect with my son during his first weeks on earth. In particular, I did what I always do to connect with other humans: I tried to make him laugh.

I made faces, did voices, sang him funny songs. Nothing. Stonewalled. No smile. No recognition. It was like auditioning for Baby Lorne Michaels. This was my first set in front of a brand new audience and I bombed. Hard. I felt less like “Dude to Dad”  than Dude to Dud. You get it.

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The fake baby news would have you believe that your angelic child will be a bundle of smiles, coos, and recognition from the jump. But I discovered after these first weeks what many people seemed to already know: newborns don’t smile. And no one is really sure why, although there are some theories. For me, this early weeks revelation was another humbling moment. “Man. I really don’t know anything about babies.”

Enjoy episode four of Dude to Dad. I’m not going to show the episode to my son. I already know he won’t find it amusing.

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