I can now begin to understand why some single men like to borrow babies in order to chat up with girls. When I walk alone, no one stops and looks at me. But when I carried my niece Bethany, inside the Botanic Gardens one fine Saturday, all the women around me smiled at – collectively speaking – us. Bethany is a chick magnet, I discover. She must have ignited the maternal instinct to all whose around us. And I have not received that much attention since the last time I have paraded myself by the swimming pool, in my condo, wearing my swimming gear, under broad daylight. All those domestic helpers, they really should find some real works to do.
One fine day, my sister messaged me and asked if we should bring Bethany to the Botanic Gardens, now that Bethany can walk. Jolly good idea. It would have been fun had we been able to catch some morning sun. But alas, it was a Saturday. And Saturdays are full of morning rituals such as housecleaning, such as I waking up early and do my blogging, such as Cynthia trying very hard to get out of bed.
I finished my lunch first and hence I was tasked to take Bethany out for a walk, while my sister, Benny, and Cynthia continued to have a good chat over their fish and chips. I had no idea how a baby would react if she is momentarily taken away from her parent. I thought Bethany would scream, but she did not. Nevertheless, I briefly took her out, feeling totally awkward, and returned to the restaurant only to be sent out by the gang of three. OK. Perhaps I should plan a longer walking route. I carried Bethany, under a hot sun, from one end of the cafe to the first patch of green land that took less than 2 minutes of brisk walking. I found a nice piece of relatively shaded flat land and I put Bethany onto the ground. After a few minutes, I ran out of things to do. So I lifted Bethany up and headed back to the cafe. I suppose I have yet to discover how to spend time with a toddler. After we regrouped, I continued carrying Bethany and the four of us were running around in the garden playing catch-me-if-you-can with Bethany. Eventually, she felt asleep on my shoulder while I was soaked in sweat. I couldn’t even open my eyes. That reminds me. Next time, I should wear a sport headband and carry a fresh towel.
Benny took the photo below inside the cafe, zoomed in through the glass window. He love this photo and so do I. Benny observed that one time I put her onto the ground, she came right back to me with open arms. So we reckon Bethany and I are bonding, somehow. Bethany and I were quite far away from the cafe. When I waved at the trios, Bethany followed my cue too. Later on, my sister asked, “Was she able to recognize us inside the cafe?” I am not too sure. Maybe I shall ask her once she can speak.