February 11, 2005

Baby fever: coming one full circle

I’ve always wondered... what do people see in children and babies? Women who do not have children yearn for these little bundles of joy, while those who do often wish the little tykes would just disappear and not reappear till they’re old enough to bring home a steady paycheck.

What’s the deal with baby fever? I’m talking about intelligent women with a full-functioning heads on their shoulders who are actually eager to go through childbirth - one of the most horrific things to which you can subject your body. Nine months of walking around looking like someone just planted 15 pounds of explosives in your tummy, getting morning sickness and wearing atrocious maternity clothes from Mommy Fashions?

Despite all the pregnancy facts published in books, women the world over continue to ache for this torture. In my mind, this sort of treatment should only be inflicted when the woman is evil, has killed somebody, or burnt an animal activist’s house. It shouldn’t be inflicted on innocent women simply because they seem to want it so badly.

So women get their wish and get pregnant. And what do they have to show for nine months of pain? A tiny, fist-clenching, leg-kicking version of George Burns. One look at that little newborn and all at once, you understand the saying ‘only a mother could love something like that’. If nothing else, your faith in unconditional love is restored.

The woman is now satisfied that she’s given birth and Baby takes his time growing up. It’s an incredibly long process because it’s only after five or six months that he even begins to vaguely resemble a human being. This is when Baby enters a stage when he hates everybody, sulks continuously and takes up the sport of clapping.

Then he says his first word, has his first tooth, and if you’ve had the misfortune of being blessed with a bald baby, his first strand of hair. Everything is documented and everybody in the family becomes a historian. Entries are made into leather-bound journals bearing the name ‘BABY’: "15th March 2001, Baby has lunch. Baby burps twice; Baby is en route to becoming a real man!"

Then along comes the Terrible Twos. This is when Baby becomes the terror of the neighbourhood. He takes to biting people and pulling your hair. And for reasons unknown to man, every family member seems to find this absolutely adorable.

Soon, Baby goes to preschool, convinced he’s going to become somebody great once he grows up.
"What do you want to be, son?"

"A rocket scientist! I want to be a rocket scientist!"

"My, what an ambitious little man you are!"

"Or an astronaut! And fly to the moon! I want to fly a spaceship!"

Adolescence sets in and his ambitions begin to change. Baby is now old enough to now realize just how much work it will take to become a rocket scientist. This is also the point when he realizes that he hates studying and decides to bank on a career that doesn’t require dressing up in suits, speaking in full sentences or counting past 10. His choices are now narrowed down to rock star, harmonica extraordinaire and WWF referee.

Adolescence flies by and soon, you are faced with Baby’s graduation and his very first job as an accountant. (It’s important to note that all ambitious talk basically amount to nothing. Extensive research has shown that 95% of all male babies grow up to become accountants while the remaining 5% wind up as used car salesmen).

Time zooms past and one day, you feast your eyes on Baby’s first paycheck. You also feast your eyes on your cut: a whopping RM15. Your joy is finally complete.

Three months down the road, Baby is confirmed in his new job. He gets a pay raise and your cut climbs up to RM20. He also takes you out to dinner in a fancy shop near his office. Life doesn’t get any better than this. It almost makes up for all the suffering you’ve gone through. Almost but not quite. That will come only when he marries a woman who’s just like you.

1 comment:

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