Monday, January 17, 2011

He's Got "The Look"

Now that Lily Bird is 4, she looks less like a toddler and more like a kid.

Which means that people logically expect her to be able to talk.

Sometimes when we're out at a restaurant or the mall and Lily is talking in her own special "Lily-Speak", I've noticed that we attract a little attention.

I think what happens is someone hears a child "talking" and they look to see who it is.  When they identify the source, their gaze lingers because Lily looks a little bit old to still be babbling.

You can almost see their wheels turning, wondering if something's wrong with her.

Most people look away and move on about their business.

But then there are some who just can't seem to help themselves from continually glancing in our direction.

That's the nice way to put it.

But the truth is - they're just plain staring.

Now little kids who stare don't bother me in the least.  They see Lily, she sounds different to them, and so they want to check her out a little.

I get that.

But adults?  That's another story.

I mentioned in the previous post that Ryan has an interesting method for dealing with folks who stare.

We call it "The Look".

It started out simply enough.

Someone is staring at Lily so Ryan just starts staring at them.

You know that feeling you get when someone's looking at you?  The little hairs on the back of your neck stand up and your palms get a little sweaty?

Eventually, the person staring at Lily realizes that someone is staring at them.

They look over at Ryan who is now making direct eye contact with them.

Now, it's not angry or unpleasant eye contact.  Just a straightforward stare.

Much like they were just directing at our daughter.

And of course, they look very uncomfortable and their gaze finally moves on.

But recently, "The Look" has been a little more perfected.

We're friends with a family who has a daughter with Down's Syndrome.  Unfortunately, their precious little daughter who is also 4 attracts her share of staring, too.

Her dad has a unique method of dealing with this that he shared with Ryan.

So Ryan has added another feature to "The Look", thanks to our friend.

Now when someone is staring at Lily, Ryan begins to stare at them.

But now he stares with this seemingly pleasant smile on his face.

Combined with a prolonged stare, the smile begins to look a little maniacal.

And when someone keeps staring at you with this smile on their face, it can become a little alarming.

Think Jack Nicholson in the movie "The Shining".


People can't really complain because someone's smiling at them, right?

But I can promise you one thing.

They're no longer wondering if something's wrong with Lily because they're certain something is very wrong with her dad.

They quit staring at Lily very quickly and they do not look back over at our table.

And Ryan is very proud of himself.


  1. I remember one time when my brother Jamey was very young and we were at a pool. Some kids were staring and talking about his leg. I was younger than them, but I remember marching over to them, and with all the "threat" that a skinny, wet kid can muster, and demanded, "What's your problem?" If a fight had broken out, I know I would have won, on adrenaline alone. Boy it felt good!

  2. Great post, Lana! I'll have to have Sean try that creepy smile technique!
    I'm enjoying your blog!

    Julie Smith (Berkeley's mom)

  3. Hey Julie! Hope your family's doing well! I still take a peek at your blog to see your precious kiddos. I'm sure Sean will enjoy doing the "creepy smile" as much as Ryan does.

  4. This is brilliant. JUST BRILLIANT. I've gotta try it. I think I could conjure up a pretty good maniacal stare, more so than my husband could.

  5. Good luck with the staring, Ellen! Let me know how it goes!

  6. Wonderful link! Next week - it's on, WW ladies, it's on! (Love the analogy to Jack Nicholson!)

  7. I love the idea. Very useful not only for my son but for me as I have neighbors that like to stare.


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