17 April 2011, by Tan Yi Lin
Okay. This is going to be my most embarrassing entry to date.
This goes beyond talking about my most intimate bits and bobs on a public website. Beyond admitting that I’m terrified of touching my own pee. Beyond showing the world where those little pearly white suppositories go (and in more places than one.)
I’m coming out of the closet. And bringing out with me some secrets that I’ve been hiding in the deep dark depths of my wardrobe for the past year or so. No one has seen these before. Not even my closest family and friends.
This, is my secret stash. Of little gifts that I bought for My Future Baby. Good god, I’m tearing up as I write this because it just hit me so hard (the reality, not the baby) that I now have a real, live baby girl on the way.
This is like one of those things that you pretend-practise in the privacy of your room, that you’d rather die than be caught doing. Like practising for your first kiss on your own hand or pillow (I didn’t okay, just quoting a random example), doing posing-practice for that FHM cover or centrefold (just in case you get famous), or strutting down the breath of your room in your heels on an imaginary catwalk.
Well, I practised shopping for My Future Baby.
Yeah, well, preparing for the arrival of a child is a very normal thing to do, you say. But hey, I bought this stuff when I wasn’t even pregnant. As we all now know, Dan’s handsome eager spermies and my lovely ready-to-be-jumped-on eggs were like star-crossed lovers never to meet without the help of IVF. I wasn’t even anywhere close to getting pregnant back then. Which woman buys and stores baby items for her child when she’s not even pregnant?! Tell me if that’s not nutty (just slightly) behaviour.
Here’s some of the stuff that I bought almost a year and a half ago, and travelled back with us from the USA in January last year. Just this afternoon, my in-laws asked what they could get for their granddaughter (awww…) and suggested that I set up a Facebook album to document what I already have. I guess this is a good start to the documentation process.
As we all know, a pretty stylish diaper bag isn’t exactly for the baby, it’s for the mum! After all, the baby doesn’t care how its extra diapers and clothes are being lugged around. In fact, the baby doesn’t care what brand or colour of car seat, pram, stroller, cot, clothes or toys it uses, but hey, “what the baby needs” is an extremely useful and manipulative reason to do a good bout of shopping. Just ask our baby’s father who promptly upgraded our trusty little Swift to a gigantic car at the height of the COE explosion based on “the baby needs a bigger car”. Oh really? (although I must admit that I’m totally enjoying being driven around in luxury.) Apparently our baby has been communicating her secret material desires during their conversations through my tummy and is now demanding a new 60-inch LED television, new Playstation games and a Millennium Falcon Lego set. Oh, and she suggested to daddy to get mum A MUSIC CD (!!!!!) as a push present too. Something fishy is going on here… my two bunnies are in cahoots.
Anyway, back to the (gorgeous) diaper bag. My sister-in-law, knowing how much I like Kate Spade bags, offered today to get me a Kate Spade diaper bag from her upcoming trip to the USA. Well, well. I sheepishly admitted that I had already bought one for myself. (Actually, all I could do was guiltily nod after Dan blurted out, “SHE’S ALREADY GOT ONE!!!”)
Admittedly, after taking a closer look at diaper bags on sale here, I realised that Kate Spade baby bags are more fashionable than practical. Mine is neither waterproof nor does it have external pockets that offer easy access to oft-used items. In fact, except for the pretty gold-and-navy polka dot changing mat that comes with it, it looks exactly like a normal handbag. Ah well. Everybody wants a bag that looks good on them. I bought a couple of glitzy gold Kate Spade diaper bags for my friends too and they commented how good the glamourous shade looked against tanned male biceps (one of them is male and chose gold over fuchsia as a gift for his wife because he was going to end up carrying it anyway and said gold went better with his complexion than pink!)
I wasn’t planning on buying any baby clothing on our year-long backpacking trip – simply because we couldn’t afford the cash and luggage space to do so. I managed to avoid the baby sections at Gap, Old Navy and Osh Kosh outlets. Then, I chanced upon a couple of cute pieces on sale in a little shop at Giradhelli Square in San Francisco. Dan and I are Apple fans and when I spotted the iPoo’d onsie, I just had to get it. But I didn’t want to just buy it for any baby, I wanted it for MY baby! Talk about possessive. This, plus the other one (which was a kinda-cute-and-it’s-on-sale-anyway purchase), has been squirrelled away from public eye since then. I just put them in the wash today cos they’re starting to get a little mildewy 🙁 All the more reason to use them soon!
Actually, there was one more piece I got from that store. Now, around Christmas every year, my dad decks the house in festive ornaments (yes, such as boughs of holly, falalalalalalalala) and Dan goes a little berserk trying to locate the mistletoe to kiss under (just me, not everybody else.) It’s like as if mating season has hit the house when he goes rooting for the kissing plant. For the uninitiated (completely excusable since we live in the tropics), the mistletoe plant and berries look like this:
For the records, we don’t have any mistletoe in the house. Not even fake ones. But he’ll try his luck with any plant hanging in the doorway. At best, they are part of the family of traditional Christmas plants, like pinecones and holly berries:
Sometimes, he’ll try his luck with the hanging plants in the garden, even though they’re obviously of tropical nature. Like heliconias:
When he’s truly desperate, he’ll go for just about anything:
I’ve no idea how this fascination with kissing under the mistletoe came about, but I thought this little onesie would save him a lot of trouble when Christmas rolls around again:
Of course, the victim of his Christmas kisses would be the baby, not me. The onesie’s made of bamboo fibre and the material feels all smooth and slinky against the skin. I can just imagine how comfortable a baby would feel wearing this for a tropical Christmas. BUT, sizewise, it’s meant for a baby between six and twelve months. Given that ours is due in August, there’s no way she’s going to be able to wear it for her first or second Christmas (just your luck, sweetheart.) So this goes back into the box for a friend whose dear little baby is due in June this year.
Technically, this last purchase wasn’t a pre-pregnancy one. I placed an order for it not long after the pregnancy test results in December came back positive (yaaaay!) I mentioned in a previous entry that my hormones went a little mad during the first trimester and I teared while re-reading the story of The Velveteen Rabbit. That’s when I thought how sweet it would be to be able to give our baby a soft toy that would be as loved and treasured as the velveteen rabbit. Okay, maybe I won’t think it’s so sweet after I’ve repeatedly cleaned the milk-puke off it and picked it up 20,394 times from the floor, but we’ll let the bubble burst and the romantic notion dissipate when the time comes.
Since our baby will be born in the year of the rabbit, it made perfect (albeit rather unoriginal) sense for the baby’s first cuddly toy to be a bunny. I did mention that before my bunny bias set in, my favourite creature in the world was actually the jellyfish (in the sea or aquarium, not on a cold dish platter.) But a soft toy jellyfish with its multiple floppy tentacles would be rather scary for a baby’s first toy, no?
Now, I didn’t want to just pop into the toy department in a shopping mall and just get any bunny (haha, anybody.. any bunny… nevermind.) And so, instead of The Velveteen Rabbit, our baby will have The Sock Bunny. A one-of-its-kind handmade bespoke design.
Yups, a sock bunny. As in a bunny made from (clean) socks. You see, my friend Tracy makes adorable sock dolls from, well, socks. She sponsored a pair of DanYilin dolls during our around-the-Americas trip. She made them to look just like us! Our friends back home formed a little Fedex chain and somehow managed to personally bring the dolls from Coventry (where Tracy lives) to Manchester to Singapore and all the way to us in Peru, where they traveled with us all over the Americas! Aren’t they sew special?
When we returned to Singapore and our pockets slowly recovered from the costs of the trip, we wasted no time in placing an order for our second pair of custom-made sock dolls with Su-Lin Designs. I bet you’ve never seen plush toy nudibranchs before, huh? Told ya Trace makes special stuff.
And here’s a very special little sock bunny indeed:
Doesn’t it’s expression and open arms just beg to be loved and hugged and carried? It’s got a very cute back-side too, right down to its little white bobtail.
Of course, as the pregnancy progressed, I’ve accumulated a few more items starting with little white sleepsuits and unisex onesies, which are slowly morphing into unmistakably girly designs ever since the baby (shamelessly) revealed her gender during the recent scan. (Since then, the grainy print-out of our daughter’s widely spread thighs have been circulating during family meals. She must have seen this coming – no wonder the poor thing was hiding her face during the scans and it took two sonographers five attempts over two days to get her to look at the camera.)
And the best thing is – I can now openly buy little gifts for a Real Baby now instead of an imaginary Future Baby, and I don’t have to feel so crazy and guilty doing so. I don’t have to hide my secret purchases anymore! It’s out of the closet and into the open 🙂
Over and out.