25 November 2010, by Jaime Teo
Uh huh, mother and baby are on the cover of Mother & Baby this month!
It was December 2009 when my office told me about this booking. An entire year in advance means plenty of time to think too much things through. Do we want her to be in the limelight? Should we wait until she’s old enough to decide if she wants to be a ‘public figure’? Is it the best thing for her? And while we are able to cope with the sometimes unkind comments about us since we’re in this industry, can we do the same with those directed at our baby? Do we really want to subject her to that from a young age?
We decided to shelf the discussion because it all seemed so premature at that time. Then she arrived and this particular conversation was forgotten amidst her constant demands needs. My manager sent an email a few months back to ask when was a good time for the shoot and those questions we asked ourselves earlier resurfaced but suddenly seemed so unnecessary.
She’s too young to know; it’ll be a good momento for me us in future; her presence has strongly emphasised to us what the important things in life are and comments from people we do not know aren’t one of them =p
I told them 11am is a good time for the shoot, taking into consideration she usually has a short nap til 10ish and is up until 1. That was at the time I replied the email. Her routine changed in the following weeks and come photoshoot day, she refused to sleep any in the morning and was rather fidgety by the time we set off.
Mothers will understand how scary that is. A baby with insufficient sleep is a cranky one.
When we arrived, Renee started fussing and rubbing her eyes cos she was tired. Thank God for a team very experienced with shoots and babies – they brought Siti (my helper) and Renee to another room that was quieter and cooler. There, she slept while I did my makeup – Hoorah!
The real test came when my makeup was done and it was time to change her. Her disposition improved some after the nap, but she was still a little overwhelmed by the number of strangers around her and clothes that weren’t her own.
A stroke of genius by Joel who placed a fan in front of the camera — it cooled Renee down (she was getting hot under her clothes – she’s gets cranky when she’s hot too) and gave her a point of distraction.
Every picture with her smiling earned smiles all around. I’d like to think it’s because she has such a winning smile (don’t throw up now), but it’s probably also because it meant a step closer to the end of the shoot – you can only listen to so many kiddy tunes on loop.
After a few outfit changes (and constant encouragement that we’re ‘almost there’), we stood around the computer looking at Joel’s final selection of pictures. Nods of approval all round then the words we were waiting to hear: “It’s a wrap!”
I’ve heard this from other parents – our children are our pride and joy. And it is true. I feel exactly that when the people who have seen the cover(or Renee) coo over how cute/adorable/sweet she is. It really doesn’t take much – she just has to be happy… and I hope she will always be.