Marianne is just a few days away from being 100 days old, and here in China, baby benchmarks like these means lots of quaint customs: eating fish and chicken (according to this site, rubbing a cooked chicken tongue on your baby’s lips will make him a “good talker”); shaving your baby’s hair to make a calligraphy brush; and when she turns a year old, having her grab an object from a selection of different items (i.e. a pen, coins, an official seal and toys) in a ceremony known as zhua zhou (抓周) to help eager parents foresee their child’s future career path.
We’re not sure yet how we will celebrate, but my wife has already booked a photographer, a baby hair calligraphy brush company, and a chop maker who will make a seal out of the shriveled remains of Marianne’s umbilical cord (the latter, is apparently all the rage these days with Chinese parents).
But what I would most love to do is take her out for some family fun. Up until now, we have rarely ventured beyond the confines of our apartment complex garden, save for monthly trips to the clinic for immunizations. One compelling reason has been the weather –too cold, too windy, or too hazy – but now that the baby is bigger and springtime is in full bloom, we figure it’s high time.
But we have discovered a slight problem: Marianne has become so fat she can’t fit into her Baby Bjorn! Last summer, when we were visiting my sister in Norway, her five-month-old could fit as snug as a bug in theirs (granted, he was a bit small for his age due to being a few weeks premature), but we were dismayed to discover yesterday morning that Marianne, at a little-more-than-three-months-old, has already outgrown ours after having used it grand total of zero times.
We had tried a Baby Sling shortly after bringing her home from the hospital, but to no avail – it seems that she simply hates to be wrapped up in a parallel position. I have enviously eyed all the dads out there who seem to effortlessly carry their kids around in one contraption or another. I even managed to do some intense mountain hiking carrying my nephew in a Baby Bjorn during that same trip last summer.
For now, we are resigned to lugging around her extra bulky baby stroller, which is an extra pain in the butt to fold up and fit into the trunks of cabs, and we are already considering buying a second, more lightweight model. However, I’ve taken much consolation in the fact that when it comes to baby fat, my baby girl resembles me to me the fullest – I was extra chubby as an infant as well.