Print Story Baby's First Xmas
By slozo (Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 06:00:35 AM EST) (all tags)
And don't get impertinent please about my spelling of the sacred pagan holiday known as Materialismas. Jeebus wasn't born under a fir tree in the desert on December 25th, and everyone knows it. Besides, baby doesn't know shit about any of the fantasies our society has spun into a web so strong and pervading that we feel obliged to become sanctimonious about rituals that represent nothing worth a damn.

No, baby just knows about drinking mother's milk. And pooping. And sleeping. And the occasional cry.

Did I mention pooping?

My little Bean was born healthy, and she has very good genes so she is lucky - but like all new parents I suppose, we worry about all sorts of things that one isn't sure of . . . and you want to be cautious and protective.  At first, we were both very worried about what seemed to be diarrhea in the first couple of nights at home, and were on the verge of going to emergency, if not for the new thermometer which told us her temperature was great. We got through that very tense night, but only with my tenuous assurrances for the wife (and myself). The next day, the doctor who we know very well at the walk-in clinic declared litle Bean fit as a fiddle though, quickly allaying any worries we might have had. Yes, somewhat non-solid poop was not uncommon, especially for breast fed babies. She had peed, which was good. She wasn't throwing up, also good. And she hadn't lost weight or had any fever.

It's funny how a bunch of runny poops can throw parents in a tizzy.

The mother-in-law has been a huge help with a fresh bean in the house, and her slight boredom and tireless work ethic has really worked in our favour. Mrs. Clean, as I will now dub her, has made a majority of the meals for us, done a ton of babysitting, has helped clean the house tirelessly and continuously, and on top of it all, she's knitting up a storm. I don't know what we'd do without her . . . I know my sister and CBB have been lucky to have a situation where there are babysitters on call downstairs at all times, and I can now appreciate a very similar scenario, albeit with a much younger grandmother with almost nothing else to do. Trust me, I'd never complain about someone who is willing and able to look after my child, so that I know she's in safe and caring hands while I'm away - and at a moment's notice currently, as she continues to stay with us. As an aside, it's not always necessary to sweep and mop the kitchen floor nearly every day, but why fight cleanliness?

Xmas was pretty nice, if low key. Mrs. Clean got to see how we do it up in Canada, with the xmas trees and present giving, as she slowly tries to comprehend the ritual of giving presents on birthdays, xmas, etc. It's funny how explaining cultural norms and customs begins a re-examination of one's own values and moral tenets in relation to those very customs, though.  A lot of our culture is a dressed up facade for us to buy into the idea that purchasing things, and owning things, can make us happier.  Not that Chinese culture is devoid of hints of this too, especially as north american culture invades and infects the world through every crack and crevasse . . . but the chinese are a very practical and straightforward lot.  Having to explain that birthday gifts and Christmas gifts are only given on a certain day, it has to be wrapped, it needs a card, etc - it's all quite perplexing and a little strange for Mrs. Clean, but YJ and I have done our best to explain.

It was a quiet family gathering at the littlestar and CBB estate, and we got to see the blossoming magician Popsicle performing an amazing magic trick while baby Yam mumbled along with help for an xmas tune singalong. My little Bean watched in gurgling anticipation, eyes fixated on . . . well, she was being fed at the time, so really, she had her eyes closed and little hands on a bottle, as my mom fed her. She did cut quite the cute little figure though, in her red festive dress which I had picked out for her in a moment of weakness.


Most importantly, everyone had a good time, and the food was excellent. I got more grape juice and a new demijohn to make wine with, and the first two seasons of Magnum PI on DVD . . . but the cutest gift was the baby book picked out by Popsicle, which I have already been busy filling up with pictures. Back at our ranch on the actual Christmas Day, we had my parents over for some food and drink and conversation. It was also very nice, and little Bean especially loved the moment when someone gave her milk after she awoke from her long nap. Yep, good times had by all, except for Mrs. Clean, who ironically got shat on for the second time while assisting a diaper change.

I love the smell of poop in the morning . . .

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Baby's First Xmas | 28 comments (28 topical, 1 hidden)
Maybe I'm not seeing what everyone else does by Clipper Ship (1.29 / 7) #1 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 06:45:36 AM EST
but one trip to Pacific Mall on a Saturday certainly convinces me that Chinese culture not only has materialism in it, but that it functions around it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure one other thing a new Chinese immigrant would find confusing is why North Americans insist on feeling so guilty about materialism in their big holiday of the year since New Year's in China is quit focused on materialism and wealth. They don't hand out those nicely stuffed Red Envelopes to the kids for nothing....


Destroy All Planets

Thanks for your insightful view . . . by slozo (2.00 / 1) #2 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:04:23 AM EST
. . . on Chinese culture. Illuminating.

Just one trip to Pacific Mall? (for those not living around these parts, this is the Chinese mall centered in the more authentic 2nd Chinatown on the outskirts of Toronto) I would have thought your thirst for better and cheaper illegal DVDs might bring you there more often . . .

Red envelopes are pretty new to the scene, historically, and most of what you see here and what you imagine to be Chinese culture is quite different there. It's almost never seen in the north of China, it's only given to children, and the amounts are relatively small. It's also a very practical and straightforward thing, as opposed to the need to go out shopping for merchandise. What you see here is mostly Hong Kong culture through a very thick western lens . . .

[ Parent ]
how wonderful!! by misslake (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:22:28 AM EST
i am glad that you have had such a nice christmas!!
your baby is really beautiful, she is lucky to have such a loving family.

Cute baby by theboz (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:04:54 AM EST
Also you're very lucky to have a babysitter in the house, if you can stand to be around your mother in law all the time.  I get along well with mine, but she lives in another country.

- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
So in that first picture by jayhawk88 (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:51:01 AM EST
Why is your baby doing Kung-Fu?

Only half Kung-fu by Clipper Ship (1.14 / 7) #13 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 01:56:36 PM EST
She's only half Chinese. It's like White-Fu or something. They can still give you the Palm of Death but instead of killing you it makes you write Emo songs and work at Starbucks.


Destroy All Planets

[ Parent ]
Well, two things . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 07:04:02 PM EST
. . . first: it's gong fu, kung fu is actually cantonese, although it's hard to fight it's common english usage now. And, she's actually performing tai chi . . . baby steps, you know. 

[ Parent ]
don't you mean tai ji? by HappyDude (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 08:51:25 PM EST
... yeah, I'm done.

Congrats on the kid man! Sounds like you and Yijie have quite the nice little family started there.

[ Parent ]
Dui bu qi, wo de peng you . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 11:51:50 AM EST
. . . tai ji, dui. BTW - wo de lao po sir YJ, xie xie ;) 

Wo de jia tai bang le! Wo de pu tong hua . . . well, it's still bu hao de, but man man lai it's getting there.

[ Parent ]
Na.. bu cuo by HappyDude (2.00 / 0) #27 Sat Jan 24, 2009 at 10:51:06 PM EST
Ni jin bu de hen hao

[ Parent ]
All babies by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 01:00:00 AM EST
... explore a wild variety of hand, arm and leg positions. Over time, they narrow that range to those made in the culture they are born into, so that a Scottish baby, for instance, will by the age of 2 or 3 have mastered the rudiments of a Glassgow kiss.

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

[ Parent ]
How cute is she... by littlestar (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 03:30:22 PM EST
What a little darling. I love that in the first picture you can now see her face with her features starting to show. What a sweet pea!


Damn Worthess Rituals by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 03:50:35 AM EST
I won't take exception to your spelling, but I do think you're being glib, irreverent and dismissive of a high holiday -- which is pretty "impertinent" in and of itself. However, I do believe the only part that really bears calling out is when you say, "we feel obliged to become sanctimonious about rituals that represent nothing worth a damn," which suggests that you have fallen out of touch with the True Meaning of Christmas (TM).

Whether people are sanctimonious or not, I'm fairly sure what the rituals are meant to represent something eminently worthwhile. I'm also pretty sure that it's not the ritual's fault if someone is sanctimonious rather than earnest, nor does it change the core ideas behind the rituals.

Due to the holiday being effectively forked into religious and secular versions, one even has the luxury of choosing their rituals. One can celebrate Christ, or one can celebrate family and togetherness. Neither are worthless, in my opinion.

Why do you seem so mad at Jesus?

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da.
Guilty as charged . . . by slozo (4.00 / 0) #22 Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 07:04:55 AM EST
. . . on being irreverent, and dismissive. I object to glib, however: I don't think it's glib to state one's honest opinion, or to talk about the perversion and amalgamation of chosen rituals into a giant soul-sucking, commercialist adventure which to me undermines and contradicts the very values Christmas pretends to promote. I too choose to celebrate family togetherness, but looking at the origins of Christmas from the pagan side (whether it's the winter solstice, or the feast of the son of Isis) and Christian side (date of the birth of Christ as decreed by Pope Julius I), the stated intent of the holiday is not family togetherness. As in every ritual or holiday where people gather and have time off from work, obviously we will have families getting together - but it's not a stated reason for the holiday.  

And, I'm not angry . . . besides, why would I be angry at a figure I believe is entirely fictional?

[ Parent ]
Awe by duxup (4.00 / 1) #24 Thu Jan 01, 2009 at 09:41:11 AM EST
*makes baby ogling sounds*

Baby's First Xmas | 28 comments (28 topical, 1 hidden)