So we had our last antenatal class this evening, which was all about what to do with the munchkin once she enters the world. Up until this class, we’ve covered the grizzly details of labour and birth, including

  • a real, live placenta hot off the press, so to speak.
    In fact, we had a bonus that particular evening because we saw TWO placentas – one that contained twins. Which is like saying that we had a bonus that evening because we got served a quivering mass of raw pork livers at a crazy Chinese restaurant, and then came back for seconds. (Also, nothing like looking at something that squishy and Sci-Fi Weird to reinforce the fact that your adorable baby is, in fact, like Alien.)
  • lovely powerpoint slides about pain management, complete with diagram of epidural needle cheerfully weaving up your spine.
  • what usually happens when it all goes to crap and you need an emergency caesarean. And stitches. Everywhere.

But this evening finally got fun. Because we had a real-life 3-day-old baby in the room, grizzly from wind and needing to give a good butt-fluff. And our midwife proceeded to mesmerise the room into a common state of Awwww… by demonstrating how to bathe baby.

And right before our very eyes, we saw her transform this tetchy, unhappy, piteously crying bundle of joy who loathed his bath yesterday, into the picture of utter contentment when she deftly flipped him over to his tummy and submerged his entire body in the bath, nothing but his chin calmly resting on her hand.

He basically laid sprawled eagle like that in the bath for a full five minutes without so much as a whimper, his eyes getting droopy, his face completely relaxed, his body in utter surrender, in suspended animation. He almost fell asleep, he was that cushy. It was the funniest, most precious thing I’d ever seen because he looked like a cross between an Anne Geddes moment and a drunken frog. I wish I thought to take a photo, although I’m guessing the proud father would probably not have appreciated my randomly taking happy snaps of his son and posting them on this blog. Some people are funny that way.

But wait, there’s more! For the magical midwife also demonstrated the ancient art of shushing a baby by flipping a super-secret switch on his forehead.

In Singapore, whenever we got decked out for Racial Harmony Day at school, we tended to wear someone else’s cultural costume. You know, Malays in sam foos, Indians in sarong kebayas, Chinese in saris, etc. And as always, there’s bound to be someone to make some lame joke about the bindi, and how it’s really a mute button. Whatever.

Turns out, this midwife has always known its real powers because before our very eyes, she stroked the middle of his frowny, fussy forehead and he became as tame as a bunny wabbit. Every baby, apparently, has an “off” button.

I’m hoping Blobette comes with instructions, but I’m guessing she won’t. I’m starting to believe that’s ‘cos some midwives might be hiding the manual.