I have heard people describe this look they see on their little one's face as mischievous or a sign of willful disobedience, but, when I see this look on my baby's face, I see something else. When I see Goen waiting there, looking at me, and smiling as he goes for it, I recognize that he does have self control, that he knows, on a certain level, that I don't want him to do this thing. It hit me one day that this look does not mean he is purposely going against my desires. To me, "the look" says "Oh, good. You are finally here. I know you don't want me to do this so I waited as long as I could for you to stop me because I can't stop myself." It is the times when I am not paying enough attention, not listening for those silences, that he ends up doing that thing I don't want him to do before I can intervene.
I decided to embrace this look and the energy that comes with it. My baby is in this world to discover and play, to learn and grow. I am his facilitator in this, the person who keeps him safe without stifling his growth, the person who is there to pick him up when he falls. It is a difficult job to protect a baby as he traverses an adult-sized world, and sometimes I will fail. But I am learning also. My baby and I will fall and learn together.