I’ve been working behind the scenes on a collaborative blog effort for foreigners in Japan, by foreigners in Japan. It’s a really cool blog and its developing daily. Please check it out, if you have the chance. kajapan.org
This little piece is about moi! How I came to be in Japan.
Meet the People – Elle M N | K-A International Mothers in Japan.
Republishing as got stuck in “drafts” after the move over to self-hosting. Apologies to subscribers who will receive a notification.
Today is day 238 of having three children under four. My eldest has started Montessori since I last posted properly. They start mid April here in Japan. So nowadays its “team Onna” as my husband calls it mixing English and Japanese to say “the girls” basically. Life is notably quieter since Chonan (=eldest son) went off to Montessori. My middle daughter is a very easy, low maintenance child. My youngest daughter is high maintenance, but once I put her in the Ergo on my back there isn’t a peak out of her. So our adventures continue.
Today we went to the local free Children’s Centre (called Jidose in Japanese). It was our first time in almost a year to this particular jidose. I love the place and so do the kids, but when we were doing play-a-day we had so many other places to check out. Today, was the youngest’s first time to a “Jidose” and also her first time participating in one of their free events. The toys, facilities and events at a Jidose are free to use while on the premises, you just have to sign in, providing names and telephone numbers, and respect the rules of the centre. Some centres, like the one we were at today, also have a library room and you can borrow books for a period of a week.
Today at our local centre there was one of their weekly “baby salons”, salon taking from the French expression for a gathering. The baby salon is for children under one year of age. It is led by one of the employees of the centre and usually involves some songs, finger play, interaction and story books. Today’s gathering was themed around bees and the teacher had made bees out of plastic cups. We sang bee songs and did bee finger play much like “round and round the garden”. My youngest delighted in it and chased (on all fours as she’s still only 7 months old) after some of the baby boys in the group! O-ne-san (=older sister in Japanese) was happy to play with some of the millions of toy food and kitchen goods they have. She also played on the trampoline which they take out randomly; they rotate toys and activities so that the kids don’t get bored. We bored some books before heading home for lunch with Daddy, who comes home for lunch everyday.
I pick my son up from Montessori at 2pm. When we got home we snacked and read some stories before heading in to the in-laws next door. Baba (Japanese for Grandma) had a nice surprise; some tomatoes for the kids to plant in our garden. THey got stuck in. Son in particular loves shovelling up mud. I just realised it is the first thing any of them have ever planted in our garden in Japan, but son and eldest daughter have planted things elsewhere (son in Ireland, both of them in Baba’s allotment). They were fairly wrecked at this point of the day, 4pm, having been up since 5.30ish. They used to go to bed at 6.30pm, but the last few weeks its 5.30pm. So I start the night-time routine at 4pm! The older two were fast asleep by 5.35pm and the youngest by 7pm. She takes longer to put to sleep normally, so tonight was as good as any to try a more personal type blog.
Tomorrow we are off to a puppet show in the morning and who knows what the afternoon will bring. In the meantime its bedtime for me! Oyasumi as we say here in Japan…