Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baskets and Maids

"So now, let's do your homework together", said a father to his son in his thick Pakistani accent while walking back to their house.

"How much do you have to pay if you want 3 chocolates and each one of them cost 10pence?"


"Good, 30pence. Now, if you give the shopkeeper 50pence, how much should you get back?"

I couldn't hear the rest of the conversation, but I think the son answered correctly because the father said "Brilliant!" while closing the house door. That was what I saw today, while walking home. The father and son were my neighbours, staying about 5 houses away.

Having walked out of the bus with a very good mood, seeing the conversation made me smile non stop all the way home :)
Family members are the best, aren't they?

I have now started my 2nd (last) GP placement for my 3rd year having finished my exams and SSC last week. I am now already in the second term of 3rd year, with final exam being this June (I think). I MUST pass that one, or else I can't enjoy my break in Malaysia.

But anyway, let's talk about other things.
I've done a 3 week electives with a consultant paediatrician in my second year, in Malaysia.
And since it was in a private specialist hospital, most of the patients (or rather, parents) are from somewhat elite social class (who else will want to pay for their baby health check-ups when the government hospitals are providing it for free?)
And most of the mothers come with a maid, or a babysitter.
And usually, the babies were not held by the mother, the baby will be held by the maid.

The maid will be the one carrying the baby into the room, putting the baby onto the examination mattress, and pick the baby up again to soothe him/her down after the examination was over. The babies will either be crying in pain, having had a vaccination jab on their little, fleshy thighs, or were simply irritated with the doctor disturbing them, pulling their clothes off and measuring their heights (lengths?), weights and all. Many (I wont dare to say "most") of the mothers do not lift a finger. They looked at their babies, give a few motivational feedbacks, "Oh, my poor baby", "Oh, don't cry....", "Oohh..he's angry now" or "okay, okay, we are going out now... Nobody's gonna touch you anymore". But they don't pick their babies up. They do the talking with the doctor, while the maids do the calming down with the babies.

I meant to write about this observation then, but never quite really had the motivation to do so.

Since I've seen quite many babies being seen by the doctor, either for a routine check-ups or illness etc, I noticed that mothers here do not hold their babies as well. But they do not have a maid tailing them around. They carry baby baskets instead.

And once the doctor finished examining the baby, the mother will just put the crying, irritated baby back into the carrycot (or basket, or basin or whatever you want to call that thing) and to my amazement, the baby usually stopped crying! Almost immediately, as if they found comfort and security being in the basket.

Quite an observation, I'd say.
Don't mothers carry their babies anymore? Like what mothers did 15 years ago? Well, I can't remember my mother carrying a carrycot everywhere with my little brother in it.
It's disheartening to see babies finding comfort at places other than their parents' arms, don't u think so?

Why can't a mother carry her baby anymore nowadays?
I think it is because she needs to use her hands a lot. Women have started to be more busy with their lives (I think), compared to 15 years back. They need both their hands to
1) Check their mobile phones
2) Check their emails on mobile phones
3) Check their planner perhaps?
4) etc etc?

So maybe she can't afford to have her arms and hands committed to her baby every minute she spent with the baby outside the house.
But then again, isn't it sad if modern luxury are attained at the expense of the "skinship" btw mothers and babies?

Oh well, just a random observation and thought :)

p/s: While looking for the image of the baby basket, I came across the online shopping website to buy all these baby stuff. Do u know how much one carrycot cost? About £200! Almost what I am paying for my monthly house rental!

-Because life is a test-


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