The other day I was playing with Miles, something I do pretty much all day, every day. I'm not sure what was different about that particular play session, but I found myself noticing just how happy I felt. Or maybe I should say, I couldn't help but notice how happy he made me feel. I wasn't exactly sure what it was, but there was something about the way he smiled and laughed, and just couldn't get enough of my silly faces or the tickles on his tummy. I even brought it up to Mike, and we had a whole conversation on the mysteries of a smiling baby, and why we will do ALMOST anything to see the dimples in his cheeks, and hear his infectious giggles.
So, imagine my surprise when, later that afternoon, I came across an article on MSNBC about this very topic. Apparrently, seeing your baby smile activates pleasure receptors in your brain typically associated with....you got it. Drug Addiction. (along with other things). According to the article:
"Any mother who's ever felt a jolt of joy at her baby’s first grin knows how intoxicating that can be. Now, scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine say there’s more to the baby buzz than just a rush of happy feelings. Turns out that seeing your own child smile actually activates the pleasure receptors in the brain typically associated with food, sex — and drug addiction.
“It may be that seeing your own baby’s face is like a ‘natural high’ ."
Apparrently, this has been scientifically tested. (You know how I love scientific things)
So there you have it. Now you know why you might jump up and down, talk like a chipmunk, prance around the house or act like a monkey, make various strange noises, stick out your tongue, play pat-a-cake, tickle tummies, and sing childish songs in the presence of your favorite baby, all to coax out one more grin. You do it for the same reason I do.
We can't help it.
And how could I not be?