Then, one evening, my husband came home bringing a baby bike seat for Naomi, a bubble gun and water guns. Again, my first reaction when my husband happily showed me all the things inside his shopping bag was, "Why oh why did you have to spend your money on this stuff? It's not like Naomi can play with you with these stuff anyway...".
When I questioned him, he just said "Don't worry. Everything was so cheap! Like super cheap!" and still widely smiled to me and Naomi like a kid who just got a toy. Well, technically, he just got himself some toys anyway.
I did not entirely comprehend my husband's toy shopping spree but I let this matter go.
There were times when I felt like instead of having one kid in my house, I have two. It's just that the other one is in the form of an adult man.
However, after looking at how Naomi can actually play with his Dad with all the random toys that my husband brought home and actually enjoy every single one of it - I realized that I was so wrong about my husband and his ideas of playing with his kid.
I mean who knew that after watching his Dad playing his remote control car for few times, my then 9 months old baby could follow his Dad's steps in playing with the remote control and make the car move around? The best thing is that she enjoys playing with this remote control car so much that I found this toy is very useful in distracting Naomi when she's fussy and it indeed can buy me some time when I am busy.
Also, about the bubble gun that all along I thought was a complete silly playing idea - I guess I am licking my own spit here. I must shamelessly confess that I enjoy playing with it too - blowing bubbles and poking them. Naomi could not stop giggling when countless of bubbles that my husband or I blow come near her.
Naomi is buckled up in her baby bike seat - ready to hit the road with Mom and Dad.
And the baby bike seat that I thought was a total unnecessary buy - well, seemingly it is so much fun to ride a bike as a family. To begin with, we were given a tandem bike as a gift. Obviously, it is rather weird for one person to ride a tandem bike alone. In addition, it is not possible to leave Naomi all by herself at home when both of us ride the tandem bike around our neighbourhood. So yes, baby on board definitely adds different dimension for riding a tandem bike because it is recreational (and seriously attracts other people's attention too). As for our little lady boss, she clearly enjoys riding the tandem bike so much. I guess for her it must be an utter delight to just sit there at the back, do nothing but scream and babble whilst enjoying the scenery and the evening breeze.
My point is, Mom can't really replace Dad's role when it comes to bonding or playing with children. For instance, I certainly can't provide that impossible degree of fun for Naomi when playing with her like what my husband does with her. My style of playing with Naomi is more serious and old fashioned - peek-a-boo, tickles, hand-clapping, story books, educational soft toys and so on. Boring? Toys like water gun, bubbles or remote control car would absolutely never occur to my mind and I would never ever imagine that my kid will love them so much. Moreover, quite often after accompanying my baby playing with her shape-sorter toy or squeaky doll for a good 8 minutes, I get bored and likely turn to some repetitive kiddie song DVD to amuse her. There, another confession from my side.
In conclusion, let's try to minimize the prejudice towards our husband's somewhat playful character. Men and women are from Mars and Venus anyway. We are different in many ways and so are the ways we play with or entertain our kids. Perhaps, being a little bit playful in this context is good?
We're all little kids at heart after-all, aren't we?