Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wetting the Baby's Head

One of my Ukrainian colleagues and his wife recently had their first child - a boy - David. This is celebrated by "wetting the baby's head". My first thought was that there was going to be a christening of some sort. I'm glad that I asked first.

What this means is that the proud father takes people out to consume large amounts of alcohol in order to celebrate the new arrival. It's kind of like a baby shower except that it takes place after the baby is born, it is more for the father than the mother, and there is a lot of drinking involved.

Dmytro rented a private room in a pub, for last night, where there was a continual loop of baby photos playing on the video screen. We all brought baby gifts for little David. Then every five minutes or so someone made a new toast to the baby. Since I had to work this morning I knew to just keep nursing my beer and not get too wrapped up in the hot chilli-infused Ukrainian vodka shots.

I've gotten much better at this whole metric system thing. Except for last night. In the USA, if someone says their baby is X lbs Y oz and is however many inches long then it makes sense to me. But when Dmytro said how many kilograms and centimeters his son was, I just wasn't able to make the connection. Oh well, I guess I just need to keep at it.

Last night was a lot of fun. I even got the opportunity to use my Russian again but I'm sorry to say that it has turned to complete rubbish. I don't think that I'm smart enough to handle two Slavic languages. The more I study Czech the more my Russian slips away. At least it was fun to try to use it again, and it never stops being fun for me to see the look of surprise on people's face when they come across an American who can actually speak more than just English.

1 comment:

  1. What a fun idea for new fathers to help them handle their transition to Papa! They deserve this.