Monday, January 01, 2007

I think this only happens in China

I know I'm no expert at baby wrangling but I'm sure I'd have heard about this if it happened in the UK and I'm sure it doesn't.

Just before the turn of the year, Frankie and YY concluded 满月 during which time the neither of them are technically allowed to leave the apartment or terrible ills will befall them. This is not, you understand, in the form of a curse, more an extension of hyperchondria. YY getting a cold a week or so ago was, apparently, because she'd taken a shower a week after getting home from the hospital. Any suggestion that she was nice and warm in the shower and that we'd cranked up the aircon so the bedroom was also nice and warm was dismissed.

Note: You get plenty of free advice when you have a baby in China.

One popular practice is to 剃头发, that is to shave your baby's head, as a means of ensuring healthy hair growth so, that meant a trip to "Being Mate Love World" - a shop I was mystified as to its nature on my first trip to Hangzhou but, it turns out, it's just like Mothercare on methamphetamines.

The growing numbers of wealthy middle class parents with, typically, one child on which to lavish their attention are clearly a ripe target for extracting large quantities of cash on 'things you only get to do once to show your love for your child' so, as well as getting a haircut, Frankie was also booked in for a photoshoot before and after the shave.

By shave, I really do mean shave as the photos will prove:
Going. Going. Gone.
1) Deep in thought. Apparently not really sure about this.
2) Not sure this Mao Zedong appreciation society is really for me.
3) Nothing compares 2 U

After the shave the hard sell really kicks in. I thought we were going to get a few photos but when it is ever that easy (witness my 17 hour wedding photography ordeal). We ended up ordering a glass ornament inscribed with Frankie's birth details and a stamp of her right hand a foot (a palaver in itself) and a paint brush made from her hair.

Next stop was swimming or at least, floating with a rubber ring round your neck.

Francesca Swimming 2007/01/01

It does seem like it would be good exercise and might help with development but, does this go on elsewhere? Shops with large glass tanks full of babies? People might mistake them for menu items.

5 comments:

花崗齋之愚公 said...

What a great post and the pictures are priceless. I had no idea such an industry existed in China, though I probably shouldn't be surprised.

Question: you don't have the link on your posts to email them to others. Any reason? There's a couple of people I think would get a kick out of it.

blind teddy said...

Good grief! Come home now!

DB said...

I guess that all of these things are a combination of tradition (the head shaving) and good cross-selling to people who are looking for more and more ways to spoil their children.In any case, the market for a top-end chain of kids stores looks to me to be wide open.

Email link - I think it just defaulted to off so it is now on.

BT - She was completely unfazed by the whole process and genuinely seemed to enjoy the swimming. That certainly wasn't universally the case with some of the other screaming babies that were there.

JP said...

Wow! Head shaving promotes good hair growth, there's hope for me yet.

And, at the risk of boring you on the subject, your daughter is sooooo beautiful; I blame the milkman *grin*

DB said...

My stats have had a nice boost thanks to Mothertalkers linking to me. Apparently headshaving isn't unique to China but also happens in Chile...

Still, it's growing back pretty quickly.