I got my tea, my chocolates, my notebook, good to go!
This is probably the #1 thing on my pre-baby to do list (aside from taking the icky vitamins).
Kind of random? Not really, my husband is Dutch, in case some of you are not aware!
And for the longest time I’ve dwelled on our linguistic dilemma and how we are going to handle it. With him being Dutch and me being Russian, and us living in the English speaking US of A, our baby is going to have to learn 3 languages and that’s that. But in order for the baby to learn, we have to learn first! And while my husband has been making excellent progress in Russian over the years (perhaps because I am a good teacher?), my Dutch has remained limited to the word “fart”, but its a hard one to pronounce, so I’m proud I’ve mastered it!
I don’t expect it should be difficult for our child. And who knows – maybe we will end up with a linguistic prodigy that will land in the book of world records for knowing the most languages, perhaps better than Norbert? =) I believe a child’s brain has practically unlimited capacity in the beginning, and I’ve seen a very interesting documentary on babies that only confirms this. So, I think it is our duty as parents to give our child everything we possibly can, and then the kid can do with it as he or she pleases. Even if it does not turn out to be directly useful, I’m sure there will still be positive effects. I may not play the piano much anymore, but it sure did help me in math and science (coincidence, perhaps) and I type super fast!
So that’s that. In case anyone wishes to expand their linguistic skills, www.lauraspeaksdutch.info is the fantastic website I’ve come across to officially start my lessons. And there is actually a multitude of free podcasts for any language one might want to learn. The only problem I’ve run into is – in itunes I can only get the last “episode” of a podcast, but luckily that website has all the recordings there. I’m not much of a mac person, so I’m glad I don’t have to delve any deeper into the apple world. (Hmmm, now I want an apple, great! Or better yet – an apple flavored popsicle. Haven’t seen those anywhere in the US =( )
Another Dutch website I want to mark and share is – http://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/ . It’s hilarious!
I’ll be honest – did not know much about the Netherlands until I met my husband. I didn’t even know a Dutch oven was called a Dutch oven, or – to my great shame, that Holland and the Netherlands was the same country (there is a subtle difference, I won’t get into in on here, it’s kind of different, but really it’s pretty much the same). Since then I’ve learned a lot, and we’ve been to visit, and I am completely fascinated by the culture, the traditions, the country and the lifestyle. And the Van Gogh episode of Dr. Who is DEFINITELY one of my most favorite ones!!! (So relevant, I know!)
And while this may not seem like a matter directly related to pregnancy, to me this is a very big issue that comes along with having children.
How do I raise a child in a truly international household? How do I keep our cultures as important to him or her as they are to us and not let them become secondary to the culture that we live in? I feel like I have a very big responsibility, especially since I plan on being a stay at home mom, and since my husband has less ties to his culture than I do to mine. I still want both sides to be equally important.
I don’t know any other couple that has a similar situation. All our friends are either from the same country/background, or one of them is American, so there is still only one foreign element.
Overall I’m really excited though, my child will get to have a childhood twice as charged with tradition and filled with opportunities for making lifelong memories which will be called upon for years down the road as “the good old days when life was carefree and wonderful”.