XiXi is pronounced "She-She", just like the female pronoun. Well, technically it's "She-She"with a subtle hint of "See-See" thrown into the mix. (And if you can easily accomplish that bit of verbal gymnastics, you should sign up for Mandarin classes right now because you'd be awesome.) "She-She" doesn't sound terribly masculine and even in Kunming, our guide said that XiXi is usually a girl's name in China as well. So no matter which country he's in, the poor kid's a boy named Sue.
Naming is hard for me. Re-naming is especially hard for me. With Cholita, we had to make a conscious effort to call her by her American name. She just didn't seem like anything but QiuJu. However, I knew that Americans would never pronounce her name correctly and frankly, a Mandarin speaker would tell you that I don't even pronounce her name correctly, and I'm her mother. So, we slowly made the switch to her American name, but still frequently call her QiuJu and horrible derivations of Qiu (pronounced Cho)--such as Cholita.
With XiXi, it's a more difficult situation. Cholita was only 11 months old and didn't seem terribly attached to her name anyway. XiXi is almost four years old and he absolutely knows his name. In China, I tried adding his American name to his Chinese name and almost instantly, he added that name to all of our names--Simon Mama, Simon Baba, etc. It was like he figured it was a precursor to a name and wasn't necessarily referring to him. For the rest of our time in China, we only called him XiXi. He was dealing with so many new things, I didn't want to add one more.
On the blog, his name will remain XiXi. At home, he's still XiXi (She-She). That's all we call him right now, with some horrid derivations creeping in. I think my favorite is Lyle's nickname for him-- Sheesh. Or Sheesherton or Sheeshinator. All pretty awful. I'd originally thought that we'd ask his opinion on naming, but I've changed my mind. I feel quite confident that he'd only want to go by his Chinese name, which is fine, but I think he needs to understand the English language a little bit more before he can make that decision. A couple of years from now, when he fully realizes that a "She" is a girl, and has answered the "How do you pronounce your name?" question about 100 times, if he still wants to be called XiXi, I completely support it. He does know now that both names refer to him and he answers to both. I think when he starts school in the Fall, the tide will turn in favor of his American name. Either way, we sure love our disco-dancing, ukulele-playing, purple heel-wearing What's-His-Name.
Adore him, actually.
Calling all hairdressers!
What to do with hair that puts one in the mind of....
to be honest.....