Monday, April 8, 2013

Welcome Ba!

After a tough end to Shayna's second month, the third month brought nothing but smiles. Sixteen days ago Shayna's ba (grandma in Vietnamese) arrived from Vietnam. The two of them bonded immediately even though her ba kept insisting she was cold, even though she wasn't. For the first week or so we had to battle with my mother-in-law to stop covering Shayna with blankets and unnecessary outfits. My mother-in-law felt cold and assured us that Shayna must be cold too. Every time we turned our back, Shayna would have another layer on. My Vietnamese sucks but there's a few words I can easily recognize such as "lanh" and "ret." Both mean cold. My mother-in-law basically said these words a minimum of ten times a minute. It got so ridiculous that I changed the lyrics to Old McDonald to this:

Old McShayna had a farm,
Ee i ee i oh!
And on her farm she had a ba,
Ee i ee i oh!
With a "ret" "ret" here,
And a "ret" "ret" there,
Here a "ret", there a "ret", 
Everywhere a "ret" "ret". 
Old McShayna had a farm,
Ee i ee i oh!

It's become an instant hit in the house.

Huyen's maternity leave ended last week so it's been just me and my mother-in-law at home during most of the day. Despite some culture clashes, it's been amazing having Huyen's mom here. She's really wonderful with Shayna and has embraced the way we want to raise her. Here's a few things that Huyen's mom isn't used to but has quickly adjusted to:
1. Babies shouldn't leave the house for the first six months.
2. Babies should spend all their time on their back. There is no tummy time in Vietnam.
3. Babies shouldn't use a pacifier or suck their thumb.
4. Babies should spend ALL of their time eating and sleeping. 
5. Babies should be attended to the very second they cry.*
6. Babies should be held until they're fast asleep.
7. Babies shouldn't be comforted by their fathers. That's a mothers job.

*I don't like when Shayna cries but sometimes you need to give her a minute to let out a ten second cry and fall back asleep. For the first few days my mother-in-law would sprint into the bedroom and start clapping and singing right in Shayna's face to get her to stop crying. The problem is that Shayna usually would nap for an hour more after she has her ten second cry. Soon instead of taking three long naps during the day, Shayna was taking five short naps.

The next couple months are gonna be really interesting for all of us in our one bedroom apartment. I've started to call my life's sitcom: "Two and a Half Vietnamese Women."