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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » I am a Dad.

   
Author Topic: I am a Dad.
Orincoro
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Hi Everybody,

Sorry I haven't kept you updated on the whole kid thing, so I thought I'd fill you in, in case anybody was worried about it:

The original thread is here: http://www.hatrack.com/ubb/main/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=059705;p=1#000000

Our son Leverett Horatio was born 6 weeks ago in Prague.

Here is a picture.

We joke that he is Half-American, Half Ukrainian, and Half Czech. That is all about half right.

There were some complications during the pregnancy, and my wife was hospitalized, and we thought at one point that we would lose him toward the end of the first trimester. But modern medicine definitely saved the day, and he was born healthy, and about 10 days late, in mid September.

The name we chose because it is my Great Great Grandfather's name. He was a quartermaster in the civil war (union army), and then the manager at a mill. He was also apparently an prohibitionist, and his son apparently never had a drink in his life (nor did his daughter-in-law, who I knew growing up at 105 years old, and who was the sister of great western writer Louis L'Amour, whose own heroes like Hondo never drank either, at least in the books).

He is very sweet and incredibly well behaved for a newborn. He doesn't cry much, but he likes to be held as much as possible, and he just started to smile in the past few weeks. He is very curious, and seems to like strangers. I look forward to getting to know him.

In case you're curious about language, as most people are, we speak Czech at home when we are all together, and Sasha will speak Russian (which is her family tongue, not Ukrainian), and I will speak English. We know a few other couples who have similar arrangements, and it all works pretty well past a certain age, but it can be difficult apparently when the kids start going to school, as they want to speak the school language at home.

A monkey in the wrench is that I have my eyes set on him going to a Spanish/Czech dual-language Gymnazium (like highschool and grade school together) which has a good reputation. Here you have to decide very early what a child's education will be like, and I think if he is anything like his parents, he will be going to a language gymnazium. There are other options such as science and engineering, or arts, and some second tier choices like IT and business, but the best education is known to be at the language gymnasiums, because the students are typically fluent in at least 3 languages. We'll see, that's far into the future, but people do make these decisions quite early here.

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scifibum
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Congrats! Nice looking kid.
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advice for robots
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Congratulations, gratulace, and Поздравляю!

Cute kid! Is that a Spanish language course he's listening to? [Smile]

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Orincoro
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Gratuluju, in Czech, gotta know the verb conjugations [Smile]

He's not actually listening to anything, but he was delighted to have them on. He sees me wearing them so often.

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advice for robots
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Huh. Certainly not arguing the finer points of Czech with you (I googled the word), but just interested that it's a verb. How does gratuluju translate literally in English?

I was hoping he was either starting his 3rd or 4th language or listening to some of your music. They must just be comfortable. [Smile]

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BlackBlade
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Congratulations, Orincoro & Co! As I always say, fatherhood is the grand adventure. Thanks so much for sharing the experience, I'm so glad Leverett managed to stay with us. Very excited to see the world within our world he creates for himself with all of you.
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kmbboots
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What a happy, sweet-faced, handsome little guy. Congratulations.
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dkw
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Congratulations. He's adorable.

I'd love to hear commentary on how the language learning goes. What you're planning is what I usually see recommended for multi-lingual families, but It would be cool to hear first-hand stories.

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Geraine
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Grats! Kids are the best. It's hard to imagine how awesome fatherhood is until you have a child, then you realize it is better than you ever thought it could be.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
Huh. Certainly not arguing the finer points of Czech with you (I googled the word), but just interested that it's a verb. How does gratuluju translate literally in English?

I was hoping he was either starting his 3rd or 4th language or listening to some of your music. They must just be comfortable. [Smile]

Haha. Well he lives in a trilingual household, and my wife's family is bilingual Russian/Ukrainian, so he will have 4 family languages to learn, then we want him in a bilingual school with a 5th language. Virtually all bilingual schools also have English as a requirement as well, but he'll have a leg up with me at home. Since all my siblings and I speak Spanish as well, and it's such an important language, that is the natural choice for the 5th, but there are also some very good German schools here, so we'll see.

In Czech you say congratulations as a verb, so "gratuluju" (or formally gratuluji) is the first person singular, "I congratulate," and gratulujeme is the first person plural. The noun is gratulace, and the verb infinitive is gratulovat. In Czech, a lot of objects are implied in the verb, so you don't have to say "you," just the verb alone.

It's just some preference in the language for the verb over the noun, but you could maybe say something fancy like "Bychom chteli te (vam) gratulovat," or "We would like to thou/thee congratulate."

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by dkw:
Congratulations. He's adorable.

I'd love to hear commentary on how the language learning goes. What you're planning is what I usually see recommended for multi-lingual families, but It would be cool to hear first-hand stories.

We don't know what it will be like. We have a few friends in a similar situation, such as Ukrainian/English/French, and Bulgarian/Czech/English, but it will be interesting to see on a daily basis how everything will go.

My wife and I speak what they call "home Czech," which means we don't always use all the declinations and paradigms consistently, because they're very hard to remember, especially for me. So he may be at a slight disadvantage when he goes to school, as he will need to learn to speak properly. But we plan to get him some play friends, and send him to Czech kindergarten so he doesn't fall behind.

For some sense of what this is like, just imagine that I can speak very clearly and intelligibly, with a very good accent, but I make consistent errors in some subtle way. In English you might think of it like puttING the wrong acCENT on evERY other word. EveryBODY undERstands you, it's just weird.

We also plan to read in all 3 languages at home, every night. This is very important for building his base of vocabulary, as he has a lot more to learn than other kids.

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Kwea
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very cool....congrats!
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Elison R. Salazar
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Free slave labour for mowing the lawn once he turns eleven!
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Szymon
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Awesome! Congrats!
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Orincoro
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We have no lawn thank god. Or we do, but it's shared and I have no idea who in the building mows it. Not me for sure.
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Wendybird
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Congratulations! He is adorable [Smile]
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Dogbreath
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What a adorable little guy. [Smile] Congratulations to you and your wife.
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Sean Monahan
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Pic made me smile.
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Elison R. Salazar
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50 lbs boxes then!
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Orincoro
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Well, it's Europe, so Kilos. You just can't win Elison.
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MaryCobb
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Congratulations on this new chapter of your life. Having a kid is indeed handful but all these are worth it. It requires a lot of patience but it will be very easy to give.
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Elison R. Salazar
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I won't be happy until I know some other kid somewhere also had to be dragged around doing pointless busy work that he'll never see amount to anything. [Mad]

I was supposed to get my own room!

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Orincoro
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He won't have his own room. Almost nobody does that here, interestingly. I don't think kids actually need their own room at an early age, but that's open for debate.
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PSI Teleport
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They don't, but i do! Congratulations, He's adorable.
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