We never thought we’d be the sort of parents who would do this, but yes, we entered our baby in a baby contest. And
edged out seven other babies in the finals won, but let’s talk about that later.
It all started with a magazine, the Mother and Baby magazine, January 2013 edition, to be exact. I try not to buy hard copies of magazines these days, ever since I discovered the digital world of books and magazines, but this one came with a free coupon booklet. Yes, I am a true blue auntie. Anyway, my friend, who also bought the same mag, suggested that we send Noah’s photos in for the two different contests. Initially, I was rather hesitant about taking part, as I thought C wouldn’t approve, and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting his photos printed either. I casually mentioned it to C, and to my surprise, he said, “Why not?” So we did.
We picked out two of our favourite photos of the baby, got them printed, and mailed them out. We waited patiently to hear from the organizers, and because I
stalked am a fan of the Mother and Baby Facebook page, I knew that they would be sending out emails to successful candidates after the CNY break. I was really hoping that Noah would make the semi-finals, as I really wanted to buy things check out the fair, but I also knew that C disapproves of my ‘auntie mentality’ and dislikes the crowds at these baby fairs. The only way to get him to drive us to the fair was if we HAD to be there for the contest.
Long story short, we received the email, decided not to tell too many people about it in case he didn’t make the finals, and trotted off to the fair with our
show puppy baby.
Noah hadn’t pooed in the two days before the contest and it was driving me mad. I fed him his probiotics, gave him plenty of water, massaged his belly, jiggled his butt, and made him cycle an imaginary bike many times a day. Still no poop. I was afraid he would poo during the contest, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it if he did, so I just prayed and left it to God.
We didn’t know what to expect, and I figured that it was okay for me to be dressed casually as the baby was the one who was competing, not me. Oops. Babies came dressed in matching outfits with their parents, and there were feather boas, knitted vests, snazzy caps, tutu skirts, and even a Spider-Man. This was what Noah and I wore:
Doesn’t look that bad, you say? Here’s us at the Judges’ table.
I was wearing berms and SLIPPERS. Clearly, I didn’t think my outfit through. I also didn’t think Noah’s outfit through as he was simply wearing a romper. And socks. I didn’t forget the socks! It was quite intimidating being among all these well-dressed parents and babies, and it didn’t help that all of them seemed much older and chubbier than Noah. Strike two, I thought.
When we heard that judging would be done based on three different criteria, our hopes were raised. We might not be dressed for the occasion, and Noah’s cheeks might not be as chubby as the other contestants, but our little guy has a great smile and adorable laugh! He is also extremely ticklish, so if you look closely at the photo of us in front of the two judges, my left hand is strategically positioned at Noah’s right armpit, and I was tickling him. I was also thrilled that one of the twelve semi-finalists didn’t show up, which meant that only three babies would be eliminated. Heh.
Just in case it seems as though C was just the chauffeur and photographer, let me tell you that he’s a secret tiger
While waiting backstage and watching all the other parents playing with their kids and trying to coax smiles out of them, he said, “Don’t tickle him now. Don’t tire him out. Save it for the judges.” Then, after a while, “Okay, we practise once. How are you going to hold him? No, don’t scrunch him up. Yes, this is better. Okay, how are you going to tickle him? Haha. Okay, good. Enough. Let me carry him now. You rest so that you can carry him properly later.”
After we qualified for the finals, “Ey, go and ask the judges for his score leh.” When I looked at him incredulously, he said, “Why not? There’s definitely a scoring system what. Find out how he did lah!” Kiasu parent alert!
When I teased him for being more anxious about the contest than I was, his defense was, “Since we are already here, might as well give it our best shot, right?” Haha. I guess he’ll never stop surprising me. We even went shopping for Noah’s clothes the next day!
The very expensive jumper that we liked but didn’t buy
Our initial chosen outfit for the contest
Before you brush us off as kiasu parents, let me just say that we have been looking for nice, ‘going out’ shorts and pants for Noah for some time. He’s so small-sized for his age that it was really hard to find something that fit well, rather than allow him to keep chickens in his pants. In fact, he’s still wearing the 0-3 months range of clothes, even though he’s already 7 months old. Anyway, C made an executive decision on Sunday itself to put Noah into a romper with those adorable shorts, as he was afraid that the shirt would come untucked while we were on stage.
Sleepy baby with us
While waiting for our turn backstage, Noah was rather whiny as it was his nap-time. His fellow contestants were also rather sleepy and the adults were doing everything and anything to get them to smile. One father did the shuttle run while carrying his daughter, a mum poked her son’s nose with a toy dog, and a grandma lifted her granddaughter up in the air so many times that I feared for the little girl’s safety.
When it was show-time, our little cutie-pie smiled, giggled and chortled away on stage. C claims there was a collective ‘Awwww’ from the audience when we stepped on stage, while my mum told me that the auntie seated behind her said very loudly that ‘this one sure win one’. Me? I was too busy tickling him to notice anything. Okay, I lied. I noticed that the judges didn’t really look at us much, and I was worried that they weren’t interested in Noah. But I also remembered C telling me the night before, “It doesn’t matter if we win or lose. We can’t claim credit for something that God has given him. We didn’t do anything!” and so I focused on our little happy baby, who was laughing and kicking away.
Charming the judges
Standing on stage for the results was quite stressful too. The five consolation prizes were to be given out first and I was really hoping NOT to hear Noah’s name being called so early. I admit that I was disappointed when Noah was the second name called, but just as I was making my way to stand behind the consolation prize, the emcee quickly clarified that he had made a mistake and I went gladly back to my spot. I guess I should have realised then that Noah was one of the top three, but erm, I didn’t. When I heard that the first runner-up was a twelve-month-old, it took me some time to realise that my baby WASN’T twelve months old, which meant that he had won! I sure hope Noah doesn’t inherit my brains…
So there you have it, a really long-winded account of what happened at the contest. I started off planning to write a short, jaunty piece, but the proud mama in me ended up recounting everything, so that Noah can read about his first contest when he’s older. 🙂
Oh, remember the bit about him not having pooed for two days before the semis? Murphy’s Law would have it that he would poo, not once, but twice. The first time it happened, we were backstage, waiting to go onstage for the announcement of the finalists. I prayed very hard that his poo wouldn’t leak out of his diaper while we were onstage, and thank God that it didn’t. We managed to make it to the fully-sponsored (score one for the auntie!) diaper-changing room before his poo oozed out of his diaper.
The second big poo occurred just before we left home for the finals. Noah was playing on our bed with C, while I was getting his outfit ready. Suddenly, I heard C gasp, “He pooped on our bed!” I ran over, lifted the baby off the bed, and saw a HUGE pool (not puddle) of poo. We were already running late and it didn’t help that it was the kind of poo that took half a pack of wet wipes to clean up his butt. Sigh. Good thing he won plenty of wet wipes after that!
Here are some photos of the champ with his $200 worth of Johnson and Johnson products.
Why didn’t they give me something that can be eaten?
Bring on the advertising contracts! I’m ready to be a tai-tai (lady of leisure)!
PS. For any product endorsements, please drop Noah’s
mummy manager an email. 😉
PPS. Noah was promoting the Mii ForEver training cup at the fair. Did you see him? 🙂