Well, his mum is a gaijin…

6 Dec

Sometimes along the road of things teachers and other people coming into contact with my children just have to accept the fact that they do shit cause a) that’s how I do it, or b) it’s not particularly what I’m teaching them but because I was not born with an inherent ‘wa’ of knowledge I don’t tell them to do shit the ‘Japanese way’, or c) cause they are kids and it has nothing to do with half gaijin DNA.

Two instances from yesterday, which was PTA at the school day.

Shou’s teacher told HTB’s mum and I that both boys only use one hand when they eat. They try and teach them to pick up which ever bowl or plate they are eating from with their left hand and then eat with their right. Remember Japan is a country where a meal can consist of anywhere from between three and 97 separate small plates or bowls.

I told the teacher that I still use a kid plate for Shou – one of those plastic plates with division on them. Kind of forces me to make sure the kids are getting at least three different things for dinner, even if one usually only has a mikan or a couple of slices of picked raddish. Its easier to wash up and easier to get the kids to bring their own plates up to the sink if they are only taking a plate, a miso soup bowl and a cup, vs a rice bowl, a miso bowl, a pickle plate, an ‘okazu’ plate, a cup, and a small to medium-sized plate for their mikan peel. And of course the chopsticks, which inevitably fall off whatever on the way to the sink.

But anyway, what I was trying to get across was that at home we use one plate – and if I’m cooking NZ food then it usually all goes on one big normal dinner plate – and therefore picking up the plate with your left hand to eat with your right is hard if you have a big heavy plate and a knife and fork. My kids rarely use a knife and fork together cause I’m still on small child autopilot whereby I just cut every fuckin thing up into mouthsize bites. But I was trying to culturally impart on the teacher that not all countries use ten plates per meal and drink their soup straight from the bowl.

Lightbulb moment – of course. It’s a gaijin thing. Sensei hadn’t figured that into the equation.

So what was HTB’s excuse then…

Oh, he’s just going through a stage where he wont listen to anybody. I don’t know why I felt the need to try and defend Shou’s behavior. I mean he’s bloody seven. Its a small miracle they both don’t try and stuff everything in with their hands – although apparently they do try on occasion but the teacher, who sits directly opposite them, puts a stop to those shinnanigins. On the rare occasion at home where I do give the kids more than one plate I aren’t harping on at them to remember to pick up the bowl and then take the food.

Then later, at the after school club meeting they unveiled these very cool banner things the kids had been making. Like one of the scrolls you would find on display by a Japanese altar. They usually have something quite profound on them and are written in traditional Japanese top to bottom, right to left.

Shou was the ONLY child that wrote his from left to right. Hub and the two other women had a giggle as they told me. Quite obviously a gaijin thing that he gets from me. Left to right. giggle giggle, snort, snort. It’s a scroll, hahaha, left to right. LOL and ROFTL.

Embarrassed as I am to say, we do not do much reading of English books at home. Not as much as I would like anyway. I would definitely say he reads more Japanese books  – so I don’t know, perhaps the want to write from left to right is something you learn via the umbilical cord – ya know, kind of like a 100% Japanese person’s want to slurp noodles or inability to run around outside in bare feet.

His scroll was pure awesomeness by the way. It said ‘Mum and Dad and Granny K, thank you so much for all your hard work, I love you, and keep working hard’ and then it had a picture of a tank with about a hundred missiles. They are going on display in the town hall for two weeks so no doubt there will be more people trying to read it from right to left and then realizing, and then they’ll look at who it’s by and some will go ‘ah, well no wonder, the poor boy’s mum is a gajin’…

And just lastly, cause I can’t not mention this. Its such ‘man’ response. I asked hub what he was going to get me for Christmas. And he said nothing. This is in front of the children. So I said that really I needed him to get more on board with this whole jesus celebration involving the exchanging of gifts, roast pork, carols, and champers. So he said OK, I’ll give you, and in his own poetic words…

Ten Business Times

I’m pretty sure this benefits him more than me but hey, can you at least make a little coupon book for our sex darling. Perhaps with a perforation line with a little scissors clipart so I know where to pull it off and give it to you when I’m feeling like some international relations.

SDGH&QL

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6 Responses to “Well, his mum is a gaijin…”

  1. Emily December 6, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    I laughed out loud at the tank – what is it with boys and fire power? Nothing says “thank you” like missiles!

    As for Christmas presents from hubby, I think most women would agree that most men shouldn’t be left to their own devices when it comes to presents, but should have a very specific list. With where to buy the stuff. Saying that, R has gone above and beyond the last couple of presents he gave me, but has admitted he has no idea for this year. I’ll think of something…

    • gaijinwife December 6, 2013 at 4:43 am #

      LOL – exactly. Thanks mum and dad, bang bang. I didn’t even notice it at first and then I saw it and said, what an awesome tank son. He looked super pleased with himself!

      I think I’ll just have to buy self a prezzie and then raid his wallet – which is really all one of the same. Sigh. We’re only up to Christmas number 10 and all.

  2. Tash December 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    I LOLed at the 10 business times. If he gives you coupons or not, I’d say that’s a pretty good pressie 😉

  3. doonza December 7, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    Yep for Christmas this year I brought home the brochure and circled exactly what I want – I was going to just subtlety leave it on his bedside table but think it would be safer if I actually gave it to him, just in case…

  4. Debra December 7, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    Love the combo of the sentiment and the tanks!! Kids write every which way when they are learning – he sounds brilliant to me!

  5. M December 7, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    My birthday is in October, and my husband literally had to sit down (panic attack) while in the mall one year in October when he realized that he had to think about buying me a birthday gift and Christmas gift within a few months of each other. I second the whole getting into Christmas thing. My husband thinks it’s eating dinner, maybe opening gifts, then turning on the TV. I hope your kids are at least into it!

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Mrs D Is Going Without

Too much wine in rural Japan

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