You Don’t Like Uncle Chris?

Generally, I get along well with children and animals. Something about my disposition, personality, or perhaps my general vibe, helps us “click.” This was not the case, though, when I recently met the three-month old daughter of friends here in Bangkok.

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This little pumpkin was fussy from the get-go, giving me only a few tear-free minutes. I tried rocking, standing, sitting, cooing, singing… anything to soothe her. Eventually, giving her back to mom was the answer.

 

Bangkok Children

When I moved here just over five years ago, only one of our friends in Bangkok had a child and she was just an infant.  In the years since, there have been a profusion of births, giving us plenty of uncleing opportunities.

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Friends Tao and Paii gave birth about three weeks ago to a baby boy whom they’ve named Kiri, a very distinguished, older sounding name.  His little nose is as cute as could be!

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While at the hospital to see Kiri, another couple showed up with their daughter Jaeda, who has the most adorable cheeks.

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Jaeda’s brother JJ, who will turn three on Valentine’s Day, is much too clever for his age and is already adept at playing games on his father’s iPhone.  Dad seems very unconcerned, though.

JJ attends an international preschool so is learning both English and Thai.  I’m told that he asks after me quite a bit but has always been very reserved in person.  Finally, after the visit to the hospital we went to his favorite place – “Funarium”, an indoor playground.  His parents took a break while JJ and I climbed the jungle gym, slid down slides, and had a fun time.  Along the way I managed to scrape a big chunk of skin off my right elbow!  By the end of the afternoon, I was exhausted and JJ seemed to have finally opened up and would call to me “Loong Chris!” – Uncle Chris – if I failed to keep up with him.

Adorable Baby Picture

My cousins’ son just turned one and to celebrate, they held a “smash the cake” party along with one of their friend’s son who was alos turning one.  Another friend who is a photographer came along and offered to shoot the party since she doesn’t have a lot of experience with this type of event.

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Now, I’m probably doing the wrong thing by posting a picture of my cousins’ friend’s son rather than my own cousins’ son, but I thought this picture was especially adorable.

The whole cake-smashing party seems strange to me, though.  I don’t remember my first birthday but I hadn’t previously heard of making the cake-smashing the point of the party.  Everything is set up on a washable tablecloth and the baby is encouraged to smash the cake.  Did I do that when I was one?

Babies Galore

P1060247 As mentioned before, many of Tawn’s school friends are settling down and having children.  At least the opposite-sex couples are. 

The other day we hosted several of them on the occassion of Kat coming back to Khrungthep for Songkhran.  Kat and her British husband Dan were married in a beautiful ceremony on the beach in Phuket back in September 2006.  Last June they gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Sophie.  We visited them in Hong Kong when Sophie was just a few days old.

Left: Sophie and I scratch each other’s chin.

Hard to believe it has almost been a year since then and in that year the number of children in the group has grown considerably.  Ja and her husband Tuk gave birth to a lovely baby girl called Namink, a half-year ago and Sa and her husband Job recently gave birth to their son, JJ.  (Which I should probably write as “Jae Jae” to translate more accurately.)

Below, two of the three new mothers: Kat and Sopie on the left and Sa and JJ on the right.  Sophie’s face reminds me of the the Campbell’s Soup Kids except with dark hair.

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Below: Can you see the similarity?

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Maybe it is just me.  Anyhow, we had a fun time with Eddy showing a maternal instinct we never knew he had… at least for a few minutes until he got bored of holding JJ, below.  Ultimately, he needed Tawn’s help.  Good attempt at mustering a smile at only about eight weeks old, JJ!

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As time goes by, I think our gatherings are going to look more and more like the picture below.  Family gatherings, with “family” defined in a variety of ways.  From left to right: Mon, Chris, Tawn, Sophie, Kat, Job (holding JJ), Sa, and Eddy. 

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New babies

P1050209 Among Tawn’s close group of friends, about half are straight girls and the other half are gay boys.  Most of the girls have married and as of this week have three of the five have had their first child. 

The boys are having an interesting time adjusting to their friends’ procreativity.  Tawn wonders how this will affect the long-term dynamics of the group.

For example, at the hospital on Friday to see Saa and Job’s new baby boy Jae Jae (right) delivered by c-section on Valentine’s Day – Eddy and Jack were more interested in discussing the latest gossip about the pornographic pictures portraying Hong Kong superstar Edison Chen while everyone else was talking about the delivery and how long it will take Saa to recover.  Talk about being in different galaxies.

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Clockwise from Tawn: Mon, me, Saa (in blue), Dao, Eddy, Jaa, and Jack.  Job (the father) was taking the picture.

P1050196 Tawn imagines that we’ll have family get-togethers where he and I will dote on the children.  I imagine that we’ll get together every Saturday and I’ll teach the children English (although all their parents speak it well) and English children’s songs.  Maybe one day we’ll have children of our own to go with theirs.

In addition to Saa’s Valentine’s birth, Jaa and her husband Tuk gave birth to a daughter just a month ago.   

On the left is a picture of me with little Nam Ing and her mother Jaa.  She’s so precious and was very low key.  No crying, no fussing, and completely happy to be held by whomever.  She had the hiccups, though, which was immensely funny as they seemed just as strong as an adult’s hiccups, so she bounced whenever she hiccupped.