Babies, Glasses, and Other Head Accessories

“I want a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas!”

Brontë thinks glasses are fun. I think they make her look exactly like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story.”

Glasses seem to be a pretty common obsession among babies. They like to grab them right off your face and smash them against their own, smearing lenses with tiny fingerprints. It is all part of the larger obsession with Putting-Stuff-On-Your-Head: hats, blankets, lunch-as-infant-warpaint…

In short, babies love Head Accessories. Brontë chews my necklaces with deep focus, as though she could glean its secrets with her teeth. She seems to believe wearing jewelry is always a good idea. She will stare openmouthed at necklaces, earnings, and brooches before lunging forward to grab them.  I tell her, “NO!” when she reaches toward a stranger’s earring, for example, and she will do her best to control her urges for a few seconds before darting her chubby fists out and squeezing the shiny object like Lenny grabbing rabbits in “Of Mice and Men.”

Brontë’s eyes light up whenever she sees her grandpa. Now only is he her grandpa, but she also knows he always has reading glasses and a fancy pen in his front pocket. From the moment she sees him, she’s quietly scheming about how she’s going to get her hands on them. She beams, he picks her up, and she humors him with a couple cute faces before quickly snatching his pen and reading glasses with two white-knuckled fists.

In the above picture, we indulged Brontë by putting his glasses on her and letting her pose. She looks as happy as a kid who just found out he’s getting his Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas.

Dead ringer? You be the judge.
Dead ringer? You be the judge.

I guess glasses ARE pretty cool. They make you look like you read a lot. You can pull them off and clean the lenses while pacing, like a good-natured lawyer spelling out the facts of the case. You can chew on the temple stem and look like you’re in deep thought (I had to look up the term “temple stem.” It’s the part that goes behind your ears). You can use them to create a lovable alter ego, a Clark Kent for your Superman. You can peer over the top of them to project disapproval.

It’s funny that glasses often are considered so nerdy whereas sunglasses represent the height of coolness, considering the only real difference between them is lens opacity. Maybe babies think glasses are so cool because they haven’t yet grasped the social implications of people-being-able-to-see-your-eyes. Maybe we are all looking at this wrong.  This represents the typical adult view on glasses:

Nerdy
Nerdy
Cool
Cool

Hmm…

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