It's January, it's below 10 degrees outside and there are 30 minute queues at the supermarket, which can only mean one thing: it must be Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy everyone! I wrote about Chinese New Year last year and I can't believe all that has happened since then. I never imagined that we would be expecting a baby (and soon) the next time CNY rolled around, but given that it was the year of the rabbit, I really shouldn't have been so surprised! Our J was born in the the Year of the Ox, and at the time we read a little bit about what that meant, just for fun. But our little BITO is a different story - he/she will be a dragon, and I've learned that this is a very big deal around here.
Once again, just for fun, I started reading up on what kind of personality my little one would have, based on the Chinese zodiac. I learned that dragon babies are incredibly auspicious, and are destined to be intelligent, powerful, successful and wealthy (Bruce Lee was a famous dragon)- which inspires many parents to do some creative family planning. The dragon is the only mythical creature of the zodiac and that has a lot to do with its desirability apparently. It's considered to be a blessing to have a baby, especially a boy, in a dragon year. Reading about the lengths some people go to to have a dragon baby, I feel a teensy bit guilty that we did it with very little effort and no consideration whatsoever, but also strangely proud - whether we intended to or not, we've done our child a great favour, or so it would seem. We've been hearing a lot about how lucky we are, and then I read this article... I haven't really blogged yet about the insane competition for school places here, or fight for beds in maternity wards, but trust me when I say it's fierce at the best of times. It seems crazy to me that the quest for a baby with certain qualities would place such an extraordinary burden on an already overwhelmed system, but after 4 years here I'm not surprised, and I have my elbows out, ready to fight with all the other parents of dragon babies out there. I never imagined I would be that parent, but I have the application form for our desired school already printed out ready to be filled in as soon as BITO enters the world. I'm hoping that the fact that he/she will arrive fairly early in the year will work to our advantage but I'm still struggling to believe that this is something we even have to think about!
While I'm prepared to do battle with anyone standing between me and a private hospital bed, or between BITO and a place in a good school, I won't be forming too many preconceived ideas about the kind of child we're about to welcome. Whatever they will be when they grow up, they are still babies that eat, poop, throw food and deprive their parents of a great deal of sleep, and they will also bring us great joy, future world leader or not. At the end of the day I'm more concerned with the health and happiness of my kids, but if someone finds any evidence that dragon babies sleep more in their first year than others, I'd be very interested indeed. Whether or not my dragon is destined for greatness remains to be seen but I do find it quite funny when I picture a dragon arriving in a home that already houses a goat, a rabbit and an ox - if there's any truth to it all, life will certainly be interesting!
Despite my scepticism, one of the quotes from the BBC article that really resonated with me was, "When the dragon wants to do something, there will be no stopping him." Our little one has already proven that he/she is determined to be here, and I have no doubt that, regardless of how he/she turns out or how many dragon qualities we see, that determination is set to continue. Here's hoping for an auspicious year for all of us, it's already off to the best start imaginable.