Life at seven months

Strangely enough Sophia’s 7 month mark on this world took place this week.  She has now spent more time away from us then with us.  We call Coco’s parents constantly and even have them hold the phone up to her ear so she will hopefully still recognize our voices.  She is standing up now, I stood up at about the same age and was walking a few weeks later, and can point to things she wants.  She is crawling agressively and is quite happy and vocal.  We did not get a chance to see her this past month, August, mainly do to scheduling and financing.  When I get back from Chicago it is just 7 days until October golden week, celebrating the formation of the People’s Republic of China.  That whole week we will spend with her and if she is not walking by that point I will see if I can show her how.
I am a bit concerned she will not understand me, as well as being scared of me as I don’t look Chinese as that is what she is used to seeing every day.  As much as Coco assures me it is ok, I can’t help but worry that the first 6 months of her coming home, in about a year but hopefully less, will be problematic and full of issues.  One reassuring thing is that this practice has been going on in China for quite some time.  Unlike American malls and public areas the Chinese kids don’t seem as disrespectful, shallow, self centered, and withdrawn as you see the ‘typical stereotype’ American kid.  Now the culture here is very different and expectations and such are far different but it makes me wonder, why are American, and increasingly European, kids stereotyped as lazy and spolied brats while Asian kids aren’t?  Now in China and Japan you will find the premadonnas and spolied rotten kids, but that is not the image people think of when they think of Asian kids. 
Quiet, diciplined, good at math and science is the average view of Asian kids to Americans.  Asians know  of our kids through Nanny 911, Wife Swap, and movies, all of which show kids completely out of control and parents unable to do anything.  I have not talked parenting with the other dads in the office yet, there are 2 other fathers in my office with daughters roughly Sophia’s age.  I may start asking to see if the practice of parenting here is the same as in the US, and I venture its not.  In the US diciplining children is no longer allowed, unless its time out or going to their room.  This sort of thing would not work with me and I don’t think I would have responded to it positively either.  London is experiencing a rapid and disturbing rise in youth crimes and mostly revolving gun violence (guns are banned in Londin by the way).  I am sure the theories and punishments in the UK and the US are not so far off, and now it seems they have a generation of teens out of control and emulating the ‘thug life’ as closely as they can.  Maybe Stanley Kubrick knew something we didn’t. 
There is no real point to this post, just marking a monthly event and thinking out loud on some things that have pressed my mind as of late. 
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2 Responses to Life at seven months

  1. Chris says:

    Don’t worry, Sophia will adjust once she is back with you guys – kids are amazingly resilient.  My son, Garrison, just moved from baby class to toddler class at his daycare.  For several days, he cried at the sight of his new classroom and new teachers.  But by the end of week two, he totally bonded with his teachers and started to run to them with a big smile and a hug every morning. 
    Language is also not a problem – at this age, kids figure things out through context.  The actual spoken language seems irrelevant.  I speak to Garrison in Chinese while everyone else speaks English, he responds to both languages.  It will take much more effort to raise truly bilingual children as they get older, but in all fairness it’s much easier to raise an English-speaking kid in China than a Chinese-speaking one in the U.S.
    I wouldn’t dwell too much on stereotypes.  There is a good reason Chinese kids are often referred to as ‘little emperors’ – most of them are only-child, spoiled by dotting grandparents, and overburdened by homework as soon as they start school.  By comparison, American kids seem more self-confident, independent and outgoing.  Either way, it’s a tremendous advantage for kids to have the opportunity to experience vastly different cultures at early age.
    Good luck and hope to hear more about Sophia.     

  2. Bobbi says:

    Nice to see you blogging again.  Sounds like that baby girl is doing just great.  Kids are so much fun, and then they grow up and are gone.  Enjoy every minute you can.  Just stopped by to say that you are correct in the comments you left on my blog and I enjoy hearing from you.  Bless you and your family. 

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