Told HTB’s Mum

17 Feb

On Fridays I have HTB’s English class – with him and four first graders from the school in town. I had everything planned last Friday. I’d invite the mum over after English but before having to pick the other kids up from kinder (a 45 minute window). I’d have the train tracks in the other room so HTB could play to his hearts content and me and his mum could talk about how I was deserting her child and taking my kids back to NZ for six months.

But then one of the kids from the class got the bloody flu – so I had to cancelled the whole class.

Decided to invite her anyway. She didn’t see my txt until like 4pm and then asked if I could just tell her over the phone and I said I’d rather talk to her in person yaddah yaddah yaddah.

So she came and I put the coffee on. I was all nervous and shit – like LOADS more nervous than telling the school principal. And yes, I realise I shouldn’t be nervous. It is a fabulous decision about my children’s education, heritage, culture, future, rah rah. But, this is Japan. And if you are doing what I’m doing in Japan, these occasions can be a bit nerve-wracking. I am essentially upsetting the ‘wa’ for six months. The school ‘wa’, the volunteer and reading ‘wa’, the soccer ‘wa’, the dance ‘wa’ and the English class ‘wa’.

Went and spilt my entire coffee over the bloody table I did.

Thankfully I missed her and her bank OL (office lady) outfit. Filled another cup, took a deep breath and told her. She was a bit surprised. I hadn’t worded it quite right. She thought I was leaving hub and Japan for good and never coming back! Tis the difference between saying ‘going home’ and ‘taking home’.  Haha, that’ll learn me.

Because HTB will be in a mixed class with the third graders next year he will never be on his actual own. She would prefer he stay and agrees that transferring schools for ever – for a mere three months that Shou isn’t there – is kinda stink. BUT, she also knows her husband will have the final say, and at the moment it seems like he is looking for anything to get HTB away from Shou. Especially after last weeks ‘bullying’ episode.

(which by the way I had to fill in a questionnaire for last night – not specific to that episode but a third term ‘bullying’ questionnaire. We get one every term. Hub told me I shouldn’t label it as bullying as surely there was some blame with HTB – as in the fact he can’t walk fast enough and in fact is a silly bugger on the way to school. Full. Stop. (Don’t think me a bitch. If his parents would walk a few days with the walking bus, preferably a week or so, then they would KNOW. They don’t. I DO. And its my son that’s getting labelled the ‘bully’, along with three kids who are all older than Shou

(and of course because I’m a mother bear I hold the 10-year-old more responsible than my seven-year old. He should know better).

A bit of a jibe is not ‘bullying’. The boy himself wasn’t even traumatized, it was the mother and father who were more so.   If everyone else in the walking group can fuckin walk to school, and one kid is being a dilly dally, stops to pick up anything, hold up the que, then damn, drive the bloody kid to school if you don’t want to walk with him and sort it out. Gaaaah. The whole thing is so frustrating. ANYHOO, I answered the yes no bits of the questionnaire and hub answered the ‘write what ever the fuck you want’ section.

He said he hoped that should a bullying situation arise, that it was discussed why it came about in the first place (ie: because he was a slow poke walking to school and kept stopping to pick shit up and pointing out makes of cars etc), and that ALL parents needed to be informed and a plan of action decided on by all. I thought that was great. None of this ‘hey, you’re 10 now so you can tell your mum yourself that you’ve been a bully’. Jeeze)

So anyway, the mum left on Friday and I haven’t heard anything back yet – and ditto the school for that matter. Am going for ‘volunteer drill supervision’ tomorrow though so will check with principal re; the education department. And to be honest I don’t really care what HTB’s dad decides to do.

Go try the school in town with 14  boys and two girls and a teacher who doesn’t know how to control the naughty ones. Good luck with that. My son will be fine on his own.

It’s kind of amazing how things have turned. Last year HTB was enrolled in the school in town but we couldn’t get in because of zoning issues – so they decided to leave HTB with Shou, his friend, and not a rowdy class of ruffians…. And now its my son that is bullying him and the source of his potty mouth and the father wants to separate them.

PS, that last sentence was dripping with sarcasm.

I teach HTB. He is not a bloody saint.  and Shou isn’t even in the class with him.


He must come up with some of that potty mouth bad behavior on his own.

nighty night.

enough angst for one evening.


Edit: spoke to the principal. He has informed the education board and yes, of course we can go but he will get back to me after they have told him how the school needs to ‘mark it’ on the attendance record. This hasn’t happened in our city before so the city education board has to confirm with the prefectural education board, who probably has to drink fifteen cups of green tea, hold 7 meetings about when to hold the proper meeting, and pass round 734 pieces of paper in pink and green cardboard folders requiring 29 people’s personal stamps, including that of the tea lady who made the original 15 cups of tea.


10 Responses to “Told HTB’s Mum”

  1. Adam W February 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    HTB’s father seems like a wad of annoyance. His mom seems like a sweetheart though, and it sucks that she has to rollover for him. Sorry you have to deal with all this bureaucratic neighborly bullshit. Seems like a headache.

    • gaijinwife February 18, 2014 at 1:24 am #

      She is lovely and I’m sure he is OK, just not when it comes to this bollocks. Fortunately I don’t have to see him very often and hub is banned from inviting him back here to carry-on drinking after wannabe fire brigade or grass cutting group piss ups!!

  2. Susan February 17, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    It really irks me when people can’t see that their kids are KIDS for god’s sake, just like all other kids, not angels. We all have the instinct to defend our kids when there is an incident, but most of us are clear-eyed enough to see that it almost always takes two (or a whole walking group!). I am so glad that you’re taking your kids back to NZ now, while they’re young enough to really get benefit, pick up another language easily, and not at the age where they don’t want to leave their friends – the be-all and end-all, unlike their sucky parents & family 🙂

    • gaijinwife February 18, 2014 at 1:32 am #

      Exactly! While personally I’m not a huge fan, I can appreciate that he is just a normal kid. Why can’t his dad see that? Blaming Shou on his potty mouth. FFS. Wash his mouth out with soap or take his precious train track off him if he talks to you like he’s part of the bloody mafia. Don’t do nothing and then blame us!! Jeeze. Anyhoo, am also glad trip home is falling into place. Very exciting. Need to start writing lists like update passports and book tickets and the like!

  3. Penny February 18, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    That last bit had me in stitches! The funniest bit is that I can visualise all those steps, bits of paper, green teas and all, bloody hilarious!

    • gaijinwife February 18, 2014 at 1:27 am #

      isn’t that just how shit gets decided here 🙂 I had to write comments for the drill volunteer thing this morning, in green and pink folders no less. I also got tea. I didn’t need to stamp anything. In fact I haven’t had to stamp anything for a while. Hmmmmm. stamp withdrawal.

  4. Ruth February 18, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I am just dying to see how HTB’s Dad reacts! It’s like being left on a cliff hanger in my favourite soap opera 🙂

    • gaijinwife February 19, 2014 at 12:02 am #

      HTB’s mum and I laughed about it, said she should make him a nice dinner and give him a few beers and then tell him 🙂 I had to say good morning to him this morning because he was dropping HTB off, and he didn’t jump out of the car and try to beat me or anything so unfortunately it might not be as much of a cliff hanger as you were hoping for!!

  5. Christi February 20, 2014 at 2:05 am #

    Just curious, really but… so I get HTB = High Tiger Boy.
    But why is he called that? I’ve wondered that for a while.

    Love the nicknames, btw. :]

    • gaijinwife February 20, 2014 at 2:58 am #

      His Japanese name translated into English 🙂

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