Posts Tagged ‘babies


Forget the stork…

So my mother and I were chatting the other day and somehow the subject of where babies come from came up…

I was telling her about my long-held belief as a child that I was really a fairy princess and they were just weird people who were posing as my parents (this was generally rumination resulting from a certain sulky line of thought probably due to being denied the chance to watch more TV or forced to *gasp* do homework) until my REAL parents would whisk me off in a breeze of sparkly fairy dust and grandeur once I came of age.  (I may have read a bit too much imaginative literature in my impressionable youth.)

There was a (slim) amount of logic behind this supposition.   I’d never seen any baby pictures of me around though there were certainly photos of my baby brother in his cutting-teeth phases.   (Years later while cleaning out the basement and opening boxes, I did discover my baby pictures… complete with hair that defied gravity much more fetchingly than Don King’s.)  My mother thought that I’d have been able to see the resemblance between my father and myself (I had much better hair– for the record.)  Oh, and the fairy princess part was just because I figured my particular variety of weirdness necessitated a  supernatural basis…

Anyway, instead of the stork or cabbage patch as a diversionary tactic of squirrelly parents who don’t really want to answer the ever-present childhood question of  “where did I come from?” my mother insists that Taiwanese parents would generally say that they picked up the kid from the train tracks.

Sneaky parents–I mean, instead of some bird coming and dropping off the bundle of joy, they cast themselves as heroic saviors of babies left between the train tracks (obviously by poor parents who just knew someone would be along at some point…)  My mom said that this was generally said with laughter and then would be used by siblings to insult each other (i.e.  “Hah– you’re not even really mom and dad’s!  You were just left on the train tracks!”)

My mother said her parents never tried this with her or her siblings and she had no idea where the tradition of telling children this white lie came from.  After all, it must have been around the Japanese occupation, I’d guess, considering they did a lot of railroad building.  I wonder what people evaded their kids with before that…


Being a baby

So, I started this weekend in the search for A Plan. This is something of a recurrent theme in my life. I’m in need of several, so if you have any good ones to spare, I’m open to suggestion.

However, relevant to this post, I was trying to make plans with my cousin for the weekend. After being informed of the need to pay felicitations to Shao Bai (the female, large, black, short-haired Taiwan dog equivalent to Shao Hei, the male, long-haired, white little dog who has already made his appearance on the blog) for having nine puppies, I decided that since a visit to Kyoto for the cherry blossom festival would be impossible due to the lack of being able to get time off and tickets, I would go back to have some puppy therapy to cheer myself up a bit.

I called up my cousin to invite him along, and he suggested that he could try rounding up the wagons and figuring out plans. So I waited… and waited… and the day before it was time to go, I called him up, got no answer, and decided to get myself a train ticket while there still might be one left to take advantage of the long weekend.

He called me right afterwards and I told him of my setup. The gist of the conversation went something like this:

“You’re going to Tainan… ALONE?”

“Yeah, soooo? I am NOT a baby.”

“Well, yes, but you’re a baby to US.” (Just because he’s ten+ years older than I am, he gets to put on airs…)

“I am ** years old, have traveled Korea, lived on my own in New York, and am perfectly capable of going to Tainan on my own.” (Consider this said in my most teacher-y voice, the one with the steely-eyed look that only seems to make most of my students laugh.)

He conceded that perhaps I was right and would be okay.

The next day I had that return to the feeling of exhilaration and adventure which one only gets when hopping off on one’s own, and which lasted until my aunt rolled up to my rescue after the kindly intervention of the security guard at the bus stop.

Then I visited babies this weekend, nine of them, eyes barely open, rolling, and sliding themselves along the ground, sleeping, eating, and yipping (well, sometimes it sounded like a cross between a clucking chicken and a chattering monkey).

(My apologies for the following photos– I prefer cuddling them to photographing them. Here are my few shots on the not-so-blurry side…)

Holding a puppy in one hand, its little pink tongue out as it yawned, I did realize something over again… Though molly-coddling may be slightly stifling every now and then, there are benefits to being somebody’s baby. Even though all they may do is yip, creep, sleep, eat, and poop, they’re still seen as adorable. Babies are loved.

And sometimes it’s nice to not have to be the grown up in charge of cleaning up the mess, feeding yourself, and figuring out where the best ice cream is… But only sometimes.

Free Rice

September 2019
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