Friday, August 28, 2009

Vignette 2: Baby niece inside a drawer

When I saw the scene in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where Queenie, baby Benjamin's adoptive mother, put him in a clothes drawer right after finding him on the steps of the old folks' home where she works, I was reminded of the same thing I did.

Our first niece, Nerissa Joy, who was 6 months old then, was staying with us that time. She was left in my care while Mama went to the market. Mama was taking a long time coming back and it was almost time for my class. So I packed some linen and one bottle of baby formula and rushed to school.

I cleared the top drawer of my desk at school and placed the sleeping baby gingerly inside. No one was in the faculty room so I had no one to ask to look after the baby. Already late for my one-hour class, I left for my classroom.

When some co-teachers arrived from their classes several minutes later, baby Nerissa Joy was awake and gurgling. The teachers were frightened by the sounds the baby was making. They thought it was a tiyanak (a Philippine monster in the form of a baby) as they weren't able to see baby Nerissa Joy inside the slight open drawer.

Coming back to the faculty an hour later, I was surprised to hear them talking about a tiyanak haunting the room. I laughed upon hearing them and proceeded to take baby Nerissa Joy out of the drawer and show her to them.

The room was filled with laughter and cooing sounds when I proudly passed my baby niece around.

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