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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Raspy Marta

So Marta is a little sick (haige haige). I think we over did it on New Years'. We were all feeling lethargic and old and clan-like and were seriously doubting our plan to go down to the Hoboken waterfront and watch foreworks with all the other schnooks and crooks in this Mozzerell' loving town, Marta included.

We were going to give in and be lazy and dull but we dragged out butts down there. It was kind of cold, and there were Germans taking photos of each other in a big crowd on the peer. Germans are ok people. I really think that the music of Kraftwerk has redeemed the nation for that whole WWII thing.

Anyway I have a feeling it was then and there in the codl watching 2005 fade away that Marta git the sniffles. We then walked back through Hoboken where totally crazy individuals were launching fireworks into the air. Epp was kind of transfixed by these scene. She wanted to walk near the artillery unit, but I was a little skittish about the scenario. I, never having seen something like this, immediately wondered if it was a "Jersey" thing.

Washington Street was totally empty and smoky, and then we walked onto Bloomfield shere the street was filled with what can be best described as the "butts" of all the firecrackers they had launched. The streets were filled with good looking and happy people toasting the air, most a bit sloshed. And there were babies there too, like Marta. It was one of those moments that made me happy to have experienced a New Years in Hoboken.

The next day marta was snotty and then she was warm. I recall coming in the house and feeling her head and it was warm. She also looked a bit delerious. "Are you okay?" I asked. "Yes..." she responded. God, I can't remember the last time I said "yes." As Epp can attest, I'm more of a "yeah" kind of guy. In fact, I pronounce all 'O's with a a bit of an 'รค' - Blahg (blog), Arnge (orange), etc. And here's my daughter speaking to me in perfect English. It was a weird feeling. Where did she learn that word?

Now Marta has a raspy voice from being sick. It's funny to hear her say all of her common phrases (she starts and ends sentences with verbs in Estonian - like "tahad vanni - vanni tahad" or literally "you want a bath, a bath you want" - she hasn't gotten her tenses right just yet) in this raspy older sounding voice. I wonder, is this really my child?


Today I related my story of the trip to the Children's Museum last week to my colleague Ed at work. Ed is 36 and unmarried with no descendents. He looked at me with a superior raised eyebrow as I told of the screaming children running everywhere in the museum and how I regretted fatherhood (or possibly being alive?) for a few moments in there. Ed looks at me and says dryly "What did you think parenthood was going to be like? There's a reason why I am 36-years-old and don't have children." Thanks Ed.


Sometimes I feel like we are depriving Marta by not having a similarly aged related playmate around her to keep her company. At the same time I like that it's just us altogether. I feel bad for kids from huge families that are wedged in between siblings all the time fighting for the attention they need. One thing I have learned is that attention is really important. Marta does bad stuff sometimes (like trying to eat chalk) but all you have to do is refocus her energies and she responds. I wonder how many bad kids there are out there that are just bad because they didn't have their "energies refocused."


Name, name, know your name. Oh yeah, while I was reporting my tale to Ed we started doing imitations of annoying mothers scolding their children and used the ridiculous names that some kids have these days. I will try REALLY hard not to offend anybody who reads this, but when did two of America's lousiest presidents wind up carrying away with so many names? According to the White House, John Tyler, the 10th president, was called "his accidency" because he was the first VP to assume office after the death of a president. He tried to broker a compromise when the Civil War took off, but died 1862, a member of the Confederate House of Representatives. The parents of children named after Zachary Taylor have it better off. "Old Rough and Ready" died a war hero determined to hold the union together. But still? Zachary Taylor? Why not name your kid after a real president, like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, or Roosevelt? Well I guess that's why there are so many Madisons. :)

Eh whatever. If we have another daughter we'll probably call her Anna, after the grandmother of Jesus. Or after the Roman goddess of the year, Anna Perenna. Or after Leo Tolstoy's main character (see how easy this is?).

If it's a boy maybe it will be Sam, after Sam Spade, the "I'm in it for me" detective in the Maltese Falcon. Or maybe after my great grandfather. If I had to name him after a president, he'd have to be Van Buren Petrone. I think Epp could agree to that. ;)


Blogger Eppppp said...

I thought we would call her Anna because of your grandmother and my greatgrandmother?
Samuel is ok, too (after your greatgrandfather) but I also like Martin (my greatgrandfather).
If we want to stick with
1) Family names
2) Names that are normal for both our cultures
then we dont have big choice.

PS. For others - We are not expexting a baby, its just a mindgame.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Kaur said...

Anna is a very beautiful name, with only one drawback: it is THE most popular name among Russian children born in Estonia. If you call her Anna and she will live in Estonia, then everybody will automatically assume that she is Russian.

Both "tahad vanni" and "vanni tahad" are grammaticaly correct in Estonian (think like: tahad peksa? peksa tahad?)

7:45 AM  
Blogger Eppppp said...

to Kaur: For some reason it does not bother me if some (everyone?!) would think Anna is a Russian name.

As for Martas grammar, she wants to say "I want to take a bath" (think: mina tahan peksa ;), but can say it only on 2nd person...

1:58 PM  
Blogger Martasmimi said...

To Kaur,

I hope you had a good Holiday Season...
I was wondering if you had seen the movie "The Polar Express"
Marta loves this she calls it the "the Train movie"

Martas Mimi...

2:43 PM  
Blogger Giustino said...

Marta's great great grandmother was called Anna and was born in Estonia more than a hundred years ago.

5:43 AM  
Blogger Kaur said...

My own great grandmother was also called Anna. I believe that it must was considered a German name at that time.

But currently it is perceived as a Russian name. And Estonians are definitely allergic to any connection, real or imagined, to Russians. A friend of mine got a baby a month ago, and she told me that they had huge fights over the name, because the Danish father wants a Russian-sounding name (like Sonja or Tanja), which no Estonian could even consider...

eppppp probably does not have all those deep nationalist complexes that the most of us over here have and share. However you should not deny that those attitudes exist.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Eppppp said...

I know personally two little Estonian girls (born in last 3 years) called Anna. Anna Liisa and Anna Maria.
Estonians definitely use this name as well.
For my perception Sonja and Tanja are Russian sounding and not Estonian, the same with Natalia (that Justins mother advised) but Anna is.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Giustino said...

If Estonia could accept a poet named Lidia, I am sure they can accept a bambina named Anna.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Martasmimi said...

I liked the name was a name I had considered for a female child butI had two sons. I guess that is pronounced differently in Estonian..I like the name
Annabelle it is my mothers name ...
She never liked it and is called Ann...Genevieve is my grandmothers name I like that too...all of these names will end I would guess ....

6:53 PM  
Blogger Giustino said...

Grandma Petrone's aunt was named Natalie. But most Natalies I know had the nickname "Nat" which sounds like a small insect that bites you at the beach, or the name of a contractor whose office was a port-o-potty in Stony Brook about 20 years ago (Mom will get this joke).

The best are he boys' names though. Names are like shoe departments. The woman's shoe department is filled with tons of ornate and interesting shoes. The mens' side has about 12 different styles, all boring.

Likewise with names, there's Chuck, Bobby, Joey, Freddie, Sammie, Don, Ron, John, Mick, Mike,Bill, Will, and Frank. Pick one and let's go home. Your options are limited.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Anu said...

That`s why our daughter`s name is Susanna. Anna is such a common name in all over the world. And very popular russian name, indeed.

7:52 AM  
Blogger andry said...

By the way, my mothers name is Marta. That is one of the reasons I like Martablog.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Giustino said...

Estonians have cool boys names too, but ones that would be hard to play well with in America, like Ants, Ats, Ott, or Vambola.

1:50 PM  

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