My Baby Is A Rockstar!

She only needs a pair of oversized sunglasses to complete the picture. She’s got everything else – big hair, an entourage, drivers and hordes of adoring fans.

Con Dao Island airport

Like the best rock stars, she’s often loud and inappropriate in public. She can trash a room in under a minute and she puts the “aaaaaaaahhhhh” into diva when there’s something she wants. At the same time, Miss M can turn on the charm, bestowing gracious smiles on her adoring public.

And in Vietnam, babies are definitely adored — everywhere they go. People of all ages will approach Miss M to pinch her cheeks, squeeze a thigh or take her hand. They’ll squeal in excitement if she smiles. “Cuoi, cuoi, cuoi (smile, smile, smile),” they’ll say, encouragingly, if she isn’t already grinning. People seem to emerge from the potholes in the road to gather around a baby, especially a fair-skinned big-eyed baby like ours.

Miss M’s Vietnamese grandparents are her number one fans, dedicated to admiring every inch of her. When they first met her, a little nine-week-old bundle fresh from an 11 hour journey from Australia, they assessed every dimple, every lash, every smile and every strand of hair and concluded their granddaughter was the most wonderful device ever invented. And this from a couple who had six of their own babies – I would have thought they’d be pretty sick of babies by now. They also have countless nephews and nieces but only one other grandchild. (Darling Man says his brothers are “lazy” for not producing offspring yet, even though they’re all in their late 20s and beyond. Darling Man’s sister is exempted from the lazy tag because she’s only 23.)

On our last visit to Vietnam, Miss M was adored by family and friends for several days before her managers whisked her away to the tropical resort island of Con Dao for a bit of rock star R&R.

It was rock star living at its finest — a beachfront bungalow, room service, attentive staff (i.e. the baby’s managers) and even a few paparazzi lurking on the beach. We were papped the first morning as we walked on the beach. A young female photographer, posing as a tourist, snapped away as Miss M investigated a basket boat parked on the beach.

Miss M on her first birthday on the beach on Con Dau Island

Miss M on her first birthday on the beach on Con Dau Island

Later, at breakfast, we were mobbed. Miss M has become used to this and handles it like the consummate professional, remaining composed and gracious, often performing a little number for her fans. We were mobbed again at the market as we strolled around the town. Stallholders left their stalls to pick her up, squeeze her cheeks, smother her with the strange Vietnamese nose-kisses, offer her toys and carry her around to see the sights of the market.

After four days of pampering (Miss M’s usual routine, I might add) we set off for the airport to return to Ho Chi Minh City. There, at the Con Dao airport, Miss M won over all the occupants of the building. Some delivery drivers who were waiting out the front approached, squatted in front of her, and applauded her latest number — waving around en empty tape roll. The crowd — shopkeepers, check in staff, security officers, other passengers —  was in raptures!

This may sound like an indulgent parent’s delusional raving, but I assure you — every person in the terminal was watching her as she staggered around waving her tape roll and gabbling nonsense. One passenger filmed her for 15 minutes straight, another gave her half a breadroll, about 10 people posed for photos holding her.

Her biggest fan was an outrageously dressed older lady, kitted out in a bright red floral top, white stretchy three-quarter pants, long beige socks, black and white sequined shoes, an apricot hat, a lime green fake fur stole that looked like the tail of a well-loved stuffed animal, red earrings, a pink orchid necklace, a red bangle, a giant silver watch, orange fingernails, pink eyeshadow and a red bumbag. But underneath her clownish exterior was a kindly grandmother, who chased Miss M from one end of the lounge to the other, assisted by two younger relatives.

Once on the plane, Miss M did one final stagger up and down the aisle to collect some last minute adoration, guzzled a bottle of champagne and promptly fell asleep. (Poetic license here, it was actually milk). Ahh, if only we could all live the rock star lifestyle.

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13 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, and never got around to going home again. Now wrangling a cross-cultural relationship and two third culture kids.


  1. Sofia says:

    Great post, I love how they treat little kids like rock stars, it’s not the first time I’ve heard that either!

  2. Thanks Sofia. I’ve been having commmenting on your blog. Is there a problem with DisQus?

  3. robingraham says:

    I think we all start out as rock stars but only a few of us keep at it!

  4. inka says:

    Rock stars are adorable- until they come of age. What a lively tale.

  5. Adam says:

    Haha, great post! We don’t have children, yet, but when we do, we are certainly taking them to SE Asia, particularly Vietnam and Thailand. We were cracking up whenever we met a couple traveling with a baby because it’s true, the people there go bonkers for them. Not like we don’t here in the States, but it really is different. They would just come up and no have no reservations about trying to pick up a random baby and start playing, fawning, and gushing over them. It caught us off guard because that would simply NEVER happen at home. People would be yelling for the police if a stranger tried to pick up their child.

    I love it! Great post. It almost makes me we want to have one of my own now. Almost…

  6. So cute and wonderful that babies are so revered in Vietnam!

  7. @Robin, I’m sure you’ve still got a bit of rockstar in you!

    @Inka, thanks for the warning. I’m not sure I could handle a bigger rockstar, though.

    @Adam, yes, they go bonkers for kids in Vietnam. It seems normal to me now. Miss M was a bit confused when we got to Singapore and the only reaction she got was a half-smile. She’s now on a mission to make Singaporeans smile at her, with wonderful results. After so long in Asia, the “Western” reaction to babies now seems, to me, to indicate how obsessed our society has become with things that aren’t that important, like careers, cars and consumerism.

  8. Hi Laurel, you ended up in the spam queue! So sorry. Thanks for your comment. It IS wonderful that babies are so celebrated in Vietnam. It’s one of the many things I love about the crazy country.

  9. Ayngelina says:

    I love how open people are with their children. I remember admiring a baby on a train so her grandmother just handed her to me. That would never happen in Canada.

  10. Jenny says:

    Awwww so cute! Babies/Toddlers are so awesome, especially when they cuddle with you.

  11. robyn adam says:

    It’s good that she received her due reverence. She’s so gracious to her fans.

  12. […] especially light-haired children, will get similar treatment. But it’s babies who are the true rock stars in […]

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