Experienced parents know it when they see it. Non-parents have no real equivalent. And for first time parents it is the most soul crushing look you’ll ever receive from your child. A few days ago I received it for the very first time. I was attempting to give T. a bottle, to make the independent feeding connection we had a few months back. Gnaw on the nipple, turn away, cry, comfort, repeat. After 10 exasperating minutes of this, with tears streaming down his face, I got the look. Eyes drift right, avoiding me for a few moments until the emotions overcome him. Eyes then lock on me and they are filled with desperation. “You know what I want. Why are you not giving it to me? What you have to offer is clearly NOT working. I’m hungry and I want Mommy. Can you not see this? Can I trust you do provide for me, to do the right thing?” These are the things he would say to me if he could. Crushed, defeated, and heart-torn for him, I head upstairs so he can find relief in the comforting bosom of Mommy.
I’m sorry, little guy, for putting you through all that. We’ll get there eventually, just gotta keep trying different things.