Desmond Tan Says His Childhood Habit of ‘Winging Things’ Came in Handy When Daughter Arrived 2 Weeks Early

"Before I became a father, I didn't want to look into the future or back in time, I just wanted to live in the moment. But now, I'm just filled with curiosity about what's going to happen in the future, how my daughter's gonna look like, and stuff like that."

It’s been just over a month since local actor Desmond Tan and his wife welcomed their baby daughter and so far, he says that fatherhood has been "really fruitful and very fulfilling".

Since postponing work until April to prepare for his baby's birth in March, the 37-year-old told AsiaOne in a recent interview that he's been a hands-on dad.

"I'm in-between two production periods so I have breathing space and can actually support my family," he said. "It's been a really magical experience."

On returning to work soon, he added: "I do see myself stretching a little thinner. Honestly, I don't really know what to expect because it's also my first time being a father. 

"At the same time, being a perfectionist and someone who really wants to push hard for every single role, I see myself having less sleep maybe. But I've been training over the past month for that."

Calling himself a "kiasu Singaporean by nature", Desmond said that he tried to plan extensively for the arrival of his daughter — from packing hospital supplies to decorating her nursery — but could "never be fully prepared".

"The baby came two weeks ahead of time, so the nursery was not fully ready at home. There were some final touches I wanted to do, but didn't manage to in time," he shared.

"But the more crucial thing is the software, our hearts, which I felt were not exactly prepared for the baby. We were looking forward to it, but we didn't really visualise the labour process and what things would be like."

This was when Desmond's habit of "just winging things" during his school days came in handy, he said.

"But I think babies are hardier than we think," he added. "They have strong adaptability and I mean they're warriors who fight to get into the world."

While the actor is waiting to get back to filming, his latest drama, Moments, will start airing on Tuesday (April 9) on Channel 8 and is already available to stream on mewatch.

His character, Zhan Hefeng, is a private investigator who works in a company that Gu Yuexin (Paige Chua) inherits from her late father. After a meeting with a mysterious figure, both gain special abilities — Yuexin can see into people's pasts while Hefeng can see into their future.

Paige recently told AsiaOne that she wouldn't like to have either of those powers in real life, preferring to live in the present.

Desmond said his answer would have been the same before fatherhood, but he now has a different outlook.

"I think looking into the future will be more interesting, because when it comes to the past, you basically can't change much about it," he explained. "But being able to see into the future gives you a lot of different perspectives and you could avoid unnecessary harm to people around you.

"Before I became a father, I didn't want to look into the future or back in time, I just wanted to live in the moment. But now, I'm just filled with curiosity about what's going to happen in the future, how my daughter's gonna look like, and stuff like that."

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Pet Dog's Special Connection With the Baby

We've all watched movies or viral videos where furkids are protective over their new human siblings, but that wasn't exactly the case for Desmond's two dogs.

"I've been watching movies like A Dog's Purpose where the dog looks over the baby, but it was really underwhelming [in real life]. They came over to sniff the baby, but there wasn't a magical moment where they locked eyes because the baby was sleeping," Desmond said.

But Desmond revealed how his older dog, 14-year-old cocker spaniel Hoshi, seemed to be waiting for the baby to be born.

"Before the baby came, Hoshi was hanging out in the nursery for a long time and the place he usually slept was where we put the baby cot eventually," he said.

"And because Hoshi was really sick last year, we were actually praying really hard he would pull through so he could meet his human sister. Eventually he recovered and the baby came, and there were all these magical signs that he was actually waiting for his 'little sister' to come by."

To capture the special connection, Desmond took a photo of Hoshi looking over the baby.

Meanwhile, the other dog, 8-year-old Udon, took a while longer to come around, but Desmond said he's stopped barking at the baby.

"He's usually so barky when it comes to children, like whenever he hears a neighbour's baby crying or screaming. And he was quite barky for the first week after the baby got home," Desmond added. 

"He couldn't understand why we were holding onto a 'teddy bear' and got a little jealous, but since then he improved a lot."

This article was first published in AsiaOne and was republished on theAsianparent with permission.


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