30 November 2011, by Dannie Cho

Birthday Staycations

Before moving on to the entry proper, I would like to invite you to join me for a minute’s silence. A friend’s ordeal has reminded me how painful it can be when you so desperately want kids, but nothing works.

Worse still, something seems to work, but it turns out to be a cruel joke by the powers that be.

I’m sorry, so sorry for your loss, my friend.


Ironically enough, my post today is in celebration of the birth of a very wonderful woman. My wife of the past 6 years, the love of my life. We celebrated Yi Lin’s birthday in early October with a staycation at Rasa Sentosa.

Despite having been married for 6 years, this is only the 2nd year that we’ve done a birthday staycation for her. Last year’s was at Changi Village Hotel. The year before, we were in San Pedro de Atacama and I brought her to the moon. Before that, we were scrimping for our grand trip, so there was (to my┬áchagrin) nothing really memorable about them.

At only 6 weeks, we had at first wondered if it was wise to bring Colette along for the staycation. We were worried about forgetting to bring some important item that she really needs. Or whether she would be okay sleeping in a strange room. In the end, we decided to take the whole thing with a positive attitude. We will eventually travel with her anyway, so why not get used to it now? And if we do forget anything, hey, Vivocity is right outside of Sentosa. Or we could just drive home and get whatever we need. Given that our next trips with her are going to be Bintan (by ferry), Bali (a really short flight), then Maldives (a slightly longer flight), it seemed like a good idea to experience ‘traveling’ with baby in a safe, controlled environment like Sentosa.

The wife, with our snug little bug

To be brutally honest, I thought having the baby along was a little of a drag. I mean, normally when we check into a room, the first thing we do is shuck the clothes and jump into bed. Just to luxuriate in the clean sheets, roll around and spend time in our ‘special hug’ position. This time? Top priority – change diaper. Second priority – feed baby. Did I get my ‘special hug’? No. ­čÖü

Ah well.

We decided to head for the pool. It looked really fun, with slides and fountains and water cannons and buckets mounted on poles that are constantly being filled with water so that they tip over in a deluge every minute or so. But a six-week old runs the risk of infections in a public pool. Especially ear infections if water goes into the ear. That means one of us has to constantly sit with Coco in the deck chair. Just looking, never getting into the water. So we both just stayed out of the water. And I spent a lot of time admiring my wife and my baby.

Keeping the little one dry


But it wasn’t all bad, though. In the end, I think all that was needed as just a simple paradigm shift. We aren’t a couple in the ‘trying to conceive’ stage anymore. We have a baby, an infant who still needs a lot of care, attention and beer. That’s why we decided to go with Colette’s godpa to the ever-happening Tanjong Beach Club. Oooh yeah!

Godpa introduces Coco to his two friends

Tanjong Beach Club was pretty cool in a way. I *think* it was easier to soothe Colette with that heavy thumping music in the background. And if she couldn’t be soothed? Well, said heavy thumping music masked her fussing so no one realised that there was a cranky baby around anyway! We enjoyed ourselves so much that we almost missed her feeding time. Yi Lin ended up feeding our daughter in godpa’s car while the rest of us finished off our deep-fried calamari. Oops!

Barnacles - great food, lovely location!

Dinner was with our best friends at a lovely restaurant by the beach. Tasty food and great conversation were spoiled by our little one. Tired, fussy and irritable, we had to take turns stepping out and soothing her. Which was kind of a shame, because we really appreciated our friends for coming out to celebrate Yi Lin’s birthday with us!

But you know, having our daughter with us was a joy that beat all the other birthday celebrations hands down. Sure, we had a lot more to do, with feedings and diaper changes factored in. And there were fewer things that we could do. But it’s okay. Yi Lin and I have always been easily contented. And we’re content to share her special day with our latest addition to the family.

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