Nine-month-old Siyu is like every other child in our Infant Nurture programme in Kunming: playful, active and curious. These days, he tries to put everything in his mouth. Toys, pillows, his sleeves, the toy mat…even my fingers, if I am not careful. He makes me laugh!
But Siyu does not look like the other children. He was born with a significant facial and nose deformity.
The first time I met Siyu, I was a little scared. I had never seen a facial malformation like his before.
But after just a few days together, I realized something…I was no longer paying any attention to his deformity. What strikes me most now about Siyu is his playful eyes. They are so full of innocence, joy and love. And his smile… everyone who visits is always mesmerized by his smile, including Half the Sky Australia’s Chief Development Officer, Natalie Campion, who fell under Siyu’s charm during her visit!
Siyu likes to look at himself in the mirror. We sit together in front of it and he reaches out to touch his reflection and then touch mine. He sticks his tongue out to make funny faces, and I do the same. We laugh a lot together and because of our time in front of the mirror, he is slowly grasping the concept of ‘me’ and ‘you’.
When Siyu first entered our programme, I gave him a red thread, which is a sign of good luck here in Yunnan and he wears it around his wrist everyday. This was important to me because my time with Siyu reminds me every day that my own challenges in life have been insignificant compared to his.
When Siyu sees this thread around his wrist, as he grows older, I want him to remember how much I love him and that I wish him good luck for his entire life.
By Infant Nurture Programme Nanny Li Huiying