Sammy has a new expression that amuses me to no end. He doesn't just smile but also tilts his head back, squints his eyes almost closed and wrinkles up his nose. It's accompanied by a "heeeeee-ee-eeh" sound that is the precursor to his laugh. At eight and a half months, he still doesn't have any teeth, so you get all gums. Well, gums and those enviable eyelashes.
Part of what amuses me is that his face takes on a totally different shape, like you might be looking at a different kid than you were looking at a second ago.
Another aspect of my affection for this face is that since he has started doing the Squinty Smile I have realized that I must make a big squinty grin to him. Seeing my exaggerated expression (after all, I was just told I look like the big tricked out name tag girl, who seems to be all about "over expressive") mirrored back to me has its own appeal.
But the thing that I love most about it is that he is very clear about using it as his way of showing you that he's REALLY grinning. He shakes his head back and forth, grinning and squinting for all he's worth, and it's, "you and me, we're really smiling now!" It's engaging another person, it's more beginnings of communication, and baby, it's charming!