Saturday, July 12, 2008

Baiboo article Two

I stare at the crying blob in front me.

“You shouldn’t say that in front of her girl… babies are intelligent you know! They know when you are angry or upset with them – and they DO know when you say mean stuff about them.”

“But mum… she DOES look like a boy!”

The wailing continues and Isobel’s Odu picks her up quickly while muttering some kadazan words of encouragement as if she were trying to ‘counter-attack’ my honest opinion of my 4 month old daughter.

While I was pregnant with Isobel, many predicted her to be a boy – so even after telling them that my scan showed I was expecting a girl, they would shake their heads and muster with convincing integrity, “no Daph…mark my words…it’ll be a boy cause you are ‘carrying neat’ and look at your nose… no swelling!”

Now according to some old folk tales, if you look like crap during your pregnancy, you are expecting a girl because apparently, she will ‘take all her mother’s beauty away’. The logic behind this? Beats me.

When you are pregnant, especially if it is your first time, you will be bombarded with numerous advice, comments and (heaven forbid) belly rubbing from friends, family and the man (or old lady) on the street. I know they mean well, but many a times, I welcome these comments like salt on a wound.

Upon embracing the reality that I were to be mum, the thought of having a baby girl ‘to play with’ was the cushioning effect of my sudden role I were to undertake in a few months time. So, it WAS annoying when people kept telling me I was expecting a boy even after I had pestered Dr Kamaljit numerous times to recheck my baby’s sex during my monthly scan.

“Seeeee Daphne…THAT’s her vulva! So far, I’ve never been wrong!”

Thinking back, even during delivery, I had to squint long and hard when I was asked by my doctor if the baby was a girl or a boy before cutting her umbilical cord.

“The baby looks healthy…is it a girl or a boy Daphne?”

“I don’t know…it’s gooey,” was my reply much to my husband’s distress.

I sigh at that recollection in the Operation Room just 4 months back.

Odu returns with a sleepy but nice smelling grandchild in her arms.

“I dressed her in pink. See…ok bah. She looks fine”

“Mum…if she didn’t look so much like a lad, you wouldn’t need to overdo it with the super fluorescent pink mittens and pink boa! (and readers, before you think I’ve gone all Priscilla Queen of the Desert, it was a kinky gift from Isobel’s uncle Syidi who prefers YMCA anytime over “snooty expensive villas”!)

I remove her funky mittens and stare at the contented blob in front of me who has now started sucking her thumb – a habit I tried breaking for 15 years, an embarrassing trait that got me jeered and poked fun at when I was a child.

I gently remove her thumb from her mouth but she swiftly puts it back in.

“Great! You look like a lad AND you are going to have to wear braces in the future,” I think to myself.

My mum reenters with an album under her arm.

“Look mum! My karma! She won’t stop sucking her thumb! Braces cost a bomb nowadays!”

Smiling, she opens what seems to be my baby album and points to an old faded picture of me.

“That’s not me…that’s Boboy!”

Mum shakes her head and brings the picture nearer for me to see.

“That’s NOT me…that’s your first son!”

“Deny if you have to, but I know my children well”

I look at Isobel and at the picture staring back at me. Isobel and little Daphne look strikingly alike.

“Oh no mum…. I look like a boy!”

My mother walks smugly off and I peer down to my daughter who has now fallen asleep with a dribble of saliva running down her chin.

I kiss her lightly on her forehead and telepathically apologize to her.

If she grows up to be like her mother, in all aspects of the way, I know its God’s way of teaching me a lesson for the heartache I may have inflicted to my parents.

I remove her thumb out from her mouth and put her florescent pink mittens back on.

Whatever it is, mother knows best – I do know that the unlimited LV bag that caught my eye will have to be just eye candy for me now. I need to start saving for braces cause dang! They cost a lot nowadays.


  1. i used to look like a boy when i was younger too.

  2. isobel is cute!

    nah,she will look like a beautiful girl one day.
    soon.when she knows how to walk and talk.
    ahhh..can imagine how cute.
    and beautiful.
    more beautiful.


  3. i went thru the same thing like u when i was pregnant... everyone said i was carrying a boy, but it turned out a girl, my gynae was right! but the old folks won't lose, they'd say your next one will be a boy if your girl now looks like a boy.

    either they r right or jst lucky... my second child IS a boy! yippee, i got a pair. close shop.

  4. Hi,
    stumbled upon your blog! Interesting read and you still look gorgeous after a baby, she's adorable!
    Keep up the good looks! :)


  5. hi daphne, i'm a sino kadazan but looks more like a chinese i figured. residing in kl. kim ong is my colleague so i was reading her blog and saw your name. out of curiosity, i read on. i must admit that i am so proud of you. it warms my heart when i read your written form of "bah". i miss home every now and then and even more for now because i'm getting married soon. and knowing that there are some kadazans who did so well here is utmost comfort to me. you are so cool, u know. just want you to know that you make us sabahans so proud!