What’s in a name?

Future Trends, Baby Names I sometimes catch myself thinking about names for our second baby. No, I am not pregnant…yet. But, when I hear a good name for a boy or a girl (please God, let the next one be a girl!), I wonder if it would be a good name for our next child.

With our son, Kabir, we knew we wanted an Indian name which was meaningful but short and easy to pronounce. Kabir means “the great one”. We didn’t follow tradition and hold a naming ceremony but instead shortlisted 2 names that we loved and that met with some degree of consent from family. When K arrived, we knew from the twinkle in his eyes that he was a Kabir.

Traditionally, in Hindu families in India, parents hold a naming ceremony for the new baby during which family comes to bless the baby and a priest determines the best alphabets for the baby’s name, based on the baby’s astrological chart or kundli. The baby is named using one of the shortlisted alphabets. There are many variations on the naming ceremony in India, depending on the region of the country and the religion of the new parents. Out of curiosity, I Googled “naming traditions around the world” and found a few very interesting ones:

  • Buddhist: the naming process is similar to the one described above, except that the name is announced a month later by the priest when the parents bring the baby to the temple for blessings.
  • Australia Aborigine: a tribe in north-east Australia will name a baby during the birthing process. The mid-wife calls out the names of the child’s living relatives and the name chosen is the one that was said the moment the placenta was delivered.
  • Latvia: the godparents choose the baby’s name in a ceremony that involves a feast and dancing. The godparents vow to care for the baby during the ceremony.
  • Nigeria: the Yoruba community names their baby girls on the 7th day after the birth and baby boys after the 9th day. Many names are given to the baby and one of them is to describe the circumstance of the birth such as Idowu for a child “born after twins”. The oldest member of the family chooses the name for the baby which is announced during the naming celebrations.
I hear more and more names that are deeply en-rooted in ethnic cultures today. I do think this is more to have a unique and fashionable name than anything else. I know that if our next baby is a girl, we will be scouring baby names books looking for a different, trendy yet meaningful name, be it from any culture. Maybe a Nevah, Anoushka, Kara or Sophie…
References:
  1. http://www.confetti.co.uk/article/view/8089-8311-0-Naming_traditions_and_ceremonies_from_around_the_world_Baby_Shower.do
  2. http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/naming/namingaroundworld/
Advertisements

Caution: Mom at work!

  

Yes, during the week that is exactly what I do…ignore, shove stuff under the bed, wrestle clothes and toys into the closets or simply toss things in the recycling bin.  Saturday mornings the good girl my mom raised me to be, takes over; laundry gets put away, floors get scrubbed, linen is changed and tidying up happens. Anyone who comes in my way while I do my weekly clean-over is in danger of getting run over.

This Saturday was no different, and with extra inspiration from HGTV, I hit my chore list with a vengeance. After spending hours cleaning and scrubbing, I wandered into the kitchen to find my son eating a cookie.  He had grabbed one from the packet off of the counter and there were crumbs everywhere!  I suppressed the monster inside me who was ready to scream and quietly cleaned up the floor. What could I have done? A few minutes later, I notice the pencil marks all over my kitchen cabinets.What the….?  Where did he get the pencil from? Deep breaths in and out…”calm down, its okay”, I tell myself, “easy to wipe off”. Just as I finish wiping off my son’s artwork from the cabinets, I see K out of the corner of my eye reaching for the, baking soda that I had been using to clean.  NOOooooo! There it was on the floor, in all its whiteness, calling out my son’s name. As my shocked self moved in slow motion to get to him, he raised his foot and stomped in the powdery mess. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhh!!! Stupid me to leave it within his reach and even more so to turn my back on him knowing he was around me in the kitchen.

“That’s it there is no point at all in cleaning up!”, I shout. My dear husband, who was drawing up a financial analysis for his work, looked up briefly, raised an eyebrow in sympathy and went back to his computer. “I am not going to clean ever again.” I ranted on for a few minutes on how I have to do everything and that I am just tired of it all. My 20 month old had cranked me up real good.  Finally, I went back into the kitchen and mopped the floor AGAIN.

Note to self: Cleanliness will have to wait until we stop having kids and they all grow up. Until then, we’ll have to live with it!

Afternoon musings

“To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.”
– Josh Billings

Someone asked me today, “How do you feel about raising your child in Canada?” It took me a few moments to get my thoughts together.

As a parent, I worry about the things my son will learn from his friends as he grows older. I worry that he will drift away from us when he hits the teen years. I worry about all the things that we may not have control over. At the same time, I know I will receive guidance to deal with all that from my mom.  I have a great advisor in my mom who raised 3 girls as an expat’s wife. We lived in a number of different countries but my mom made sure we were aware of our roots and culture.

Having gone through the dilemma of growing up “abroad” and still observing most of our culture and traditions at home, it may be easier for me to bridge that gap with my son. I may be able to better understand the conflicts in his mind of who he is and where he is from. I hope that I can handle the challenge of raising K as well as my mom did with us. Although, if I tell her all this, she will say ” I told you, it is not easy being parents. Now that you have become a parent, you know what we went through! ” 

“To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.”
– Josh Billings

Someone asked me today, “How do you feel about raising your child in Canada?” It took me a few moments to get my thoughts together.

As a parent, I worry about the things my son will learn from his friends as he grows older. I worry that he will drift away from us when he hits the teen years. I worry about all the things that we may not have control over. At the same time, I know I will receive guidance to deal with all that from my mom.  I have a great advisor in my mom who raised 3 girls as an expat’s wife. We lived in a number of different countries but my mom made sure we were aware of our roots and culture.

Having gone through the dilemma of growing up “abroad” and still observing most of our culture and traditions at home, it may be easier for me to bridge that gap with my son. I may be able to better understand the conflicts in his mind of who he is and where he is from. I hope that I can handle the challenge of raising K as well as my mom did with us. Although, if I tell her all this, she will say ” I told you, it is not easy being parents. Now that you have become a parent, you know what we went through! “

Scattered

http://www.indhistory.com/partition-independence.html

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to sit with a 94 year old engineer who had, against all odds, saved his family from the massacre during the partition of India in 1947, resulting in the present day India and Pakistan. He was able to save himself and his family from being counted in the 500,000 or so people that perished during this time.

The partition of India caused a mass migration of people from one country to the other; the largest movement of people in recorded history.

Bauji (means father or grandfather), as I will call him now, was a young 29 year old with a wife, 4 year old son and a newborn daughter. He lived in the province of Jhang, which now falls in Pakistan. His young family and he were forced to flee from their home to India with nothing but the clothes on their back and some jewelry that they hid under their clothes. His newborn daughter was 4 days old when they started their journey, during which they cheated death twice, got separated and then reunited. He vividly remembers seeing bodies of people lying in trucks and the panic, fear and mistrust among people.

His story made me realize that there must have been thousands of such heart-wrenching stories. Of the millions of people that migrated from one country to the other, many must have lost loved ones, left behind family members who didn’t want to leave their homes and others became homeless. Their stories have gotten lost in trying to make a life for themselves in their new homes.

Bauji and Mataji (grandmother) went on to raise a family of well-educated and successful children. They now live here in Canada and are respected members of the South Asian community. I feel blessed that they shared their story with me.

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

Designldg by Laurent G

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only…

View original post 94 more words

Flying with a baby

We have traveled more after we had our son K and I don’t just mean getting in the car and driving to a neighboring city, but loooooong trans-atlantic flights and train travel.

We did Frankfurt, Berlin and Prague at 3 months, London and Berlin (again) at 8 months and Delhi, Goa, Indore and Mumbai (India) at 17 months.

So, we have traveled with a baby and a toddler and know how stressed out parents are right before a flight. Here are a few tips:

  1. When booking, let the agent know you are traveling with a baby. Make sure you let them know what you will need before hand i.e. bassinet, milk, baby food etc.
  2. Relax as much as possible before the flight. I found that if I napped before the flight or even just took a few minutes for myself to relax, I was better equipped emotionally to handle my son.
  3. Carry only the essentials in the diaper bag. On my first flight, I had a diaper bag that weighed almost 10 kgs and I didn’t need half the stuff! As we traveled more, I started only taking the essential items that I needed on the plane and then bought everything else once we reached our destination. I typically took enough diapers for the flight and half a day, a travel pack of wipes, pacifiers (always carry an extra one!), a pair of his jammies, food/milk, a plastic bib, medicines such as Tylenol or Tempra, a hand sanitizer, and a couple of toys. I also had a separate diaper pouch within the bag so I wasn’t carrying the whole bag with me to the washroom in the plane.
  4. Entertainment is necessary! We always keep a new toy with us for each plane ride. On our last trip, we took a DVD player and a touchpad to keep our little one busy. These worked like a charm and kept him on his seat and out of the aisles!
  5. Sleep time. We would turn off our seat lights, tv screens and try to make K as comfortable as possible. Typically, he would fall asleep.
  6. Give your baby space. Its ok to let him move around, shout and babble. Most people are understanding and don’t create a fuss.

Now that you have a baby, traveling is no longer easy. But if you are prepared for it, vacations can be almost as enjoyable! 🙂

A day full of hearts <3

I have to write about Valentine’s day.

Preparations began early in the morning at 6 a.m.; writing 22 cards  for K’s daycare class and organizing them with the approved treats for each kid.  I was supposed to have these done the  night before but was horribly sick and zonked out on the couch loaded on Tylenol. Debated putting K in a red sweatshirt and black pants…too much…dressed him up normally. Packed him up and off to the daycare. Met with a lineup of tired parents handing over their kids and a bag of sugar-laden treats.

My dear husband and I wished each other in the car on the way to work. I quietly slipped a handful of Hershey’s kisses in his coat pocket as a small surprise.

The day went by at work coughing and slugging away at the computer.

Picked up a very hyper K from the daycare with a treat bag (more sugar!) decorated with red and pink hearts, came home and collapsed on the couch again. DH returned from work with dinner and we watched our kid run from one room to the other scribbling on walls and doors. By the time he went to sleep, we’d forgotten it was Valentine’s day. At night when we lay in bed, we noticed a little heart sticker stuck on K’s shirt. DH and I looked at each other and laughed. This had been the most unromantic Valentine’s day ever but we didn’t need to celebrate our love in any other way than to just hold hands and laugh.

Sappy…? Thanks to K’s treat bag and extra strength Tylenol.