If there’s one thing most likeable and noticeable about Koreans, young and old, it is their genuine fascination for babies and toddlers. Indeed, if you are a mother with a baby or toddler in tow, you are almost always given special treatment. Babies and toddlers receive a lot of attention. Needless to say, foreigner babies receive more attention. My son whose eyes is bigger than Korean children almost always receive admiring glances and affectionate exclamation of the Korean word for handsome or cute (no Korean characters in my computer). At one point, he screamed from exhaustion during a trip to the park when two well-meaning photography students kept on following him and taking his pictures. I guess that was just too much for a toddler whose only care in the world is to play and play… and play. On a few other instances, my husband and I received some kind requests if they can take a picture of our son. The most irritatingly funny request happened in a toilet when he was just about 9 or 10 months old and he just got up from the inconvenience of being cleaned up after making poopoo. I bet those high school students didn’t get a decent picture out of his wailing face.
The Koreans’ fascination for babies and toddlers does not just end in their vocal appreciation, albeit over the top at times, for children. The fascination is translated to convenient facilities for mothers and babies. Nursing stations in department stores abound. And so do playrooms. Toilets are equipped with convenience for mothers who have babies. My son’s pediatrician’s clinic has a playroom where toddlers can while away time waiting for their turn. So, you bet, entertainment is not a problem for the moms. It is dragging the toddlers away from the playroom when their turn is called and worse, when it is time to go home. That happens to me ALL the time.
I am writing about this today because I went to see a dermatologist for my winter skin allergy. When we went to the pharmacy just in front of the clinic, my Little Dynamo screamed in delight.
For a few minutes, I was delighted as well. I didn’t have to deal with his boredom. I had to cajole him into going out, though.
This is the first and only pharmacy I know which has a playroom/play area for kids. The pharmacy does not just cater to kids, of course. It is quite thoughtful of them to make room for the convenience of mothers with their toddlers.