Mei Xiang! Congratulations on the birth of your second baby! This marks the second panda baby born at the National Zoo in DC, both of them yours. I cannot tell you how excited I am! I feel like we’re neighbors and I should bring you dinner to help out during this first weeks but, well, you’re a panda. You probably wouldn’t enjoy a meat loaf.
Now, I’d like to share a few words of wisdom with you, mom to mom. I know this isn’t your first cub but it’s been a while since our beloved Butterstick (I know his real name is Tai Shan but he’ll always be Butterstick to me) grew up and moved to China. You may have forgotten some of the nitty-gritty of being with a baby. And your baby is already all kinds of famous so you have celebrity to deal with on top of it all.
First, good on you for holing up in a den for a week and bonding with the new little one! Spending lots of quiet time bonding with a baby is such a joy for a mom. Snuggle on in and get all the baby loving you can. There’s all the time in the world to show off the new little one but these first few days only happen once.
Second, accept help from the people around you. Most of us have to make do with a fly-in from helpful relatives and neighbors who drop by with gifts and meals. You have a round-the-clock staff of zoo keepers and volunteer panda watchers to keep and eye on you and bail you out if anything happens to you or the baby. Talk about the idea video monitor set up!
Third, feel free to keep the baby away from gawkers! I know there were people from all over the world who wanted to see Tai Shan when he was a cub but sometimes you kept him hidden away. This is fine, fine, fine. No mom is required to let people see her baby if she doesn’t feel like it.
Finally, let’s not let the fame go to your head. It might be tempting to go all Honey Boo Boo with the new baby but that’s just not wise. A baby is a baby, not a sideshow. Keep things sweet and simple. No need for glitz and glamor.
Again, I am sooooo excited to have a new baby panda in da hood here in DC. Be sure I’ll be stopping by the Zoo as soon as the new baby is ready for visitors!
Need more panda cuteness? Joslyn Gray shows us pandas around the world and Devan McGuinness brings us a giggly panda in San Diego at Babble Pets!
Photo credit: mantomalac
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