C has been practicing his expressions lately: sad, happy, angry, and so forth. Of them all, he seems to focus the most on "angry", and I must say he’s really gotten it down.
He brings his eyebrows way down and tilts his head slightly forward. Then he scrunches up his mouth. And just in case we’re still not getting it, he makes growling noises and bites off every word that he says – like he’s some angry nazi guard in a bad WWII movie. The final crowning touch is that he points his finger dramatically to emphasize his words. Personally, I think the finger is the scariest part of the whole act.
I have no idea where he learned this from – except for the finger. He definitely learned that from his mom. Don’t tell her I said so, though. She’s got a pretty scary finger too.
Anyway, he spends a lot of time practicing his routine. Since he doesn’t have a mirror in his room, this means that he walks around looking like a little cloud of doom. Sometimes during dinner, he’ll phase out of what’s going on and slip into practicing.
The other day I saw him sitting on the couch with his eyebrows pulled down, but without the rest of the "angry face". I asked him if he was angry.
"No? What about your eyebrows, are your eyebrows angry?"
He shook his head. "No. They’re stuck."
"Yep. I’m stuck with angry eyebrows."
I couldn’t help myself: I burst out laughing. Clearly he’d been practicing his angry face at school and the teacher had told him to be careful or he’d be stuck that way.
It looked like he really might get angry (after all, I was laughing at him), so I stuck my tongue out. "Look! It’th thtuck!"
He started giggling and stuck his tongue out. It seems, however, that giggling while your tongue is sticking out makes angry eyebrows very difficult to maintain. He couldn’t stop giggling, he didn’t want to stop sticking his tongue out, but he needed to keep the angry eyebrows stuck.
He tried to incorporate the rest of the angry face routine to recover, but when he tried to tilt his head forward – giggling, tongue out, eyebrows down – he fell off the couch.
I guess the fall was enough to unstick his angry eyebrows, because he just dissolved into giggling.
P.S. As I was typing this up, the whole thing struck me as being weirdly familiar. I dug through my Calvin and Hobbes collection, and sure enough, Calvin had a whole series of strips where he tried to convince people that his "monster face" had "frozen".
I’m not sure whether to be proud or scared. It’a a great strip, but I certainly don’t want to live it.