Nyein C. Aung
3 min readJan 1, 2022

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Twig

Yo Yo fell asleep on me in the middle of Harry and Andrea’s wedding at Collingwood Children’s farm.

A few weeks ago, I took Yo Yo out for our usual morning stroll while Thinn Thinn caught up on her sleep. We were singing, chatting, and pointing out birds, dogs, cats, trees, and flowers. We’ve done this maybe a hundred times now, and everything was as usual. I checked left and right for cars, then pushed the pram down a curb cut. I suddenly found myself facedown on the asphalt, I looked over, and the pram was on the road. Facedown. I can hear Yo Yo crying from inside.

I panicked, rolled the pram over, and saw my son with blood on his face for the first time. That’s also when I noticed the small branch that derailed the pram: this branch, this treacherous villain to our dynamic duo. I picked Yo Yo up, he was screaming, and I called Thinn Thinn in a panic. “We had a pram accident. He’s bleeding. Please bring the first-aid kit. We’re down the usual road”. I held Yo Yo in one hand and pushed the pram with the other back towards the house as quickly as I could. In hindsight, I probably should have left the pram there. There was blood coming out of his nose and mouth.

The Yo Yo has his Mum’s, my Thinn Thinn’s, perfect lips. They look like Rāma has set his bow down on top of a velvet cushion, a golden arch on top of a perfect rose petal. I’ve drawn those lips with great admiration as many times as we’ve taken this morning stroll without incidents. Now they’re covered in blood … because Da Da fucked up. I felt terror, shame and disappointment in myself. But I didn’t feel the cuts where chunks of skin were missing from my left hand, right elbow, and knees. Dr Nyein Chan Aung, designer, inventor, artist and father who so often visualised how he would protect his son from the world, currently completely detailed by a rogue twig.

Enter Thinn Thinn. Thankfully, things always get better when she shows up. Thinn Thinn put ice on the cuts on his face, checked everything, and confirmed that the cuts were superficial and that stitches were unnecessary. I cried and cried and cried. Thinn Thinn came over to look at my wounds, cleaned them up, and reminded me to get ready for a big meeting that’s coming up in an hour.

A week or so went by. God, in His wisdom, designed children to survive first-time parents, so Yo Yo has already healed up very well. I still had the bruises across my torso, and my fingers still won’t bend right. We were playing in the backyard with driftwood, twigs and toys I’ve fashioned out of tree trimmings. Maybe the trees had a reason, after all, to get back at me. I got tired after a while and lay down on the astroturf in a shady spot. Yo Yo came crawling on top of me and showered me with kisses. On the cheeks, on the nose, and when he kissed me on the lips, I felt a small hard spot on his lips.

I swallowed back the saliva that pooled in my throat and wiped small tears from my eyes.

“I’m sorry, kid”.

You didn’t care.

You just kept kissing me.

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Happy New year to everyone and to all the first time parents. I think you’re doing great!

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Nyein C. Aung

I am an Industrial Design PhD candidate and lecturer at Monash University. My research is in aerospace design with a focus on passenger health and cabin design.