Archive | October, 2014

Seven, Seven, Seven

30 Oct

Pretty much without fail every time I hear the number 7 I think of a Japanese ultra man song that goes Seven, Seven, Seven…, which in turn leads me to the image of Granny K and the European Stylist’s uncle serenading us with this song when we were all in the car on the way to big long swingy bridge place years ago. It also used to play at one of the local supermarkets – like all the fricken time.

But I digress,

Marina turned 7 ya’ll…. Gaaaahhhhhhhh. I think I started blogging before she was born.

Her actual birthday was during the four day labour weekend so apart from some prezzies and a family dinner out it was pretty quiet. She did however have 4 girls from her class over on Tuesday.  So nice that her birthday was when it was and she had enough time to make friends first and be able to have a party.

Unfortunately we spent the whole four day weekend at home more or less, and the house was a complete pit so I had to spend most of Tuesday cleaning it and blowing up balloons, hiding lollies, wrapping up pass the parcel yaddah yaddah – in between a last minute translation I stupidly said yes too. Marina really wanted me to make her a super duper character cake but I just didn’t have time so got a store bought one and decorated it with store bought decorations. One of her little friends saw it and said:

  • little friend: did you make that cake?
  • Me: no, New World made this cake but I decorated it.
  • little friend: you mean you just stuck flowers on it (walks away)…

Alrighty then. Thanks very much. Later, when we were sitting down eating it declared it absolutely yummy and looked at me and in a small voice said “we can just pretend you made it”….

That and her comments on how small our house was and I think she is lucky that Marina likes her and actually seems to be a nice girl – well, a nice girl minus a filter.

In other news – I haven’t had another day like the day in my last post. In fact, we drove past that store again and the kids laughed as they remembered the free lollies that came out of the gum ball machine they shook to within an inch of its life. haha, that was so much fun aye. They seem to have forgotten that mum completely lost her rag and raged at them all day almost.

Anyhoo, I think we are over that rough patch, although I personally had a shit sandwich of a time for a wile because My uncle got cancer and died and his funeral was on Wednesday – it all happened quite quickly and I didn’t make it down for the funeral which I feel immensely guilty about – although I will be seeing them all in three weeks when we head down to Central Otago to visit mum and dad’s graves and catch up with that side of the family.

Lets hope its plain-ish sailing from here on until daddy comes over in something like 7 weeks!! Bloody hell. And then its home James to Japan and cold and sweet black beans and rice cakes for new years.

I’ll be ready I think.

 

SDH&QL

Not Pretty

19 Oct

Today was without a doubt, to date, the worst mothering slash parenting day 😦 I did so many things wrong. Admittedly my kids weren’t behaving nicely and I tried, I did. But it didn’t work and I think at the lowest point of the day I had all three children sitting on a mat in the garage while I sat in a corner of my room and cried, wondering how it had got to this and whether I could get hub to come over and take one of them back with him.

Its not really something you want to share and on several occasions during the day I felt like everyone was just looking at me and judging me by how my children were behaving. Oh my god, that disheveled woman is actually rewarding her kids over there breaking the gum ball machine by getting them DVDs and popcorn….

We went on an impromptu one night vacay to see some friends. Woke up yesterday morning and it was raining and thought hey, why not. The kids had a blast at the inflatable bouncy castle extraveganzar with my friend’s kids. They weren’t overly unkid like as we were getting or eating dinner and they went to bed relatively OK considering the pub across the road was pumping sounds until half three in the fuckin morning – which I guess was where some of my angst started from. Didn’t get to sleep until 4am now did I. Fucktards. I used to drink at the same pub when at uni and without a thought to whoever was having to not get their sleep due to my drunkenness at twenty years old and at 2am.

So I woke up at 7am, reliving the sleep deprivation I had while breastfeeding, and was not happy. I was meant to meet friend for cuppa but had to just pile the kids in the car and leave, because in the grand scheme of things car time is more bearable than not. At least one might go to sleep, or I can stop on the side of a road, in front of a paddock full of cows, and say I am quite happy for one to get out. Has any parent ever followed through on that?

We got home and it was still only lunch-time so decided to go and find the Labrynith on DVD as friend had said her kids had loved it. Went to DVD shop and kids were bastard spawn of devil – kicking UFO catcher, Marina banged her head on coke machine, kids all bashed the lollie gumball machine and fell over each other when non-paid-for lollies rolled out – prompting further banging and yaddah yaddah. And YES, I was trying to stop said behavior and if ya’all feel like pipping up about what I should have done then you can fuck off. Especially if your kids are not this age.

I wasn’t a video member so was filling in the forms and then had to keep answering questions and when he asked one too many about my emergency contact I said ya know what, don’t worry – he had been witnessing my kids unfolding from grace and yet, as a teenage boy and you would expect, was not sympathetic.

So I left.

Without Kung Fu Panda, without Home Alone, and without the karaoke sing-along version of fuckin Frozen, because Let It Go thirty times might have cheered me up ya know.

And on the way home I yelled at the kids. NORMAL CHILREN LISTEN TO THEIR MOTHER… (and various other things)

It wasn’t nice.

My throat hurt.

But then they all started laughing at me.

So we walked in the door and I opened the door to the garage and told them to go in there until they could behave.

I went in about 8 minutes later and sat down and apologized for yelling the universe down but asked them what they had done to contribute to the day being a complete horrible shit fest.

Fortunately they knew.

We had quiet time for two hours and then I suggested we try the over video shop in town as a re-run. See if we could listen to mum part II.

I am pretty sure the saving grace on round two was BEMUDA TENTICLES – the DVD showing in the shop. The giant squid kept Shou engrossed while I filled out the card forms and got Marina and Ryu choosing a video.

We made it home. They are bathed. They are watching Kang Fu Panda in their PJs and eating Popcorn.

Their games and iPad have been removed for the foreseeable future – because the day included a lot of ‘life sucks unless I can play my game’ shit. If you haven’t got a touch screen device, or a handheld game for your child – DON’T. You start out with the best intentions but unless you have a stylist, bather, fitness instructor, chief, nanny and maid, you WILL inevitably use the device more than you initially intended.

I nearly sent out an SOS to my family. Can someone please come for an hour so I can leave and not feel the need to physically harm my children. I reckon if you have never had that feeling before then there is no way you could understand what I was dealing with today. Don’t bloody comment and say you will ever only permit 7 minutes and twenty seconds of screen time a day. And if you have managed that then go pat yourself on the back while I skull tequila.

I hated them. I hated myself. I hated myself more than I hated them – or rather I knew that it was my fault, as the parent, for them behaving like they were and hence me reacting and hence, like a big old dirty cycle, them further reacting.

Such are the perils of single parenting three small children. I used to think I was single parenting in Japan when hub wouldn’t get home from the tax office till 11pm every night for six months a year…

I was wrong.

This and that are not the same, and in hindsight the shit days I had with smaller children don’t compare to the ones I have now.

I have no-one. Yes, my sister and brother would come through if I really needed it but my brother has smaller children and hasn’t reached (and can therefore not understand) the stage of kids speaking back and saying they hate you and worse. My sister’s kids are all older and while she can remember this stage she has never had boys and once even suggested that I get Shou tested for ADHD.

Yeah, put him in a room of girls and maybe you’d think he had a problem. Put him a ring with other boys his age and bloody hell. Boys and girls just aren’t the same.

So, today was not nice.

I can only hope that I can conquer these feelings – well to be honest, they were pretty short lived. I also hope my children do not have memories of today. Perhaps enough to know that mum loses her shit big time if you carry on like that but that she does love them and would never truly want them to go live in the mountains with bears…

OK, so I didn’t actually say that but I did cry a lot today – for me. For my children. For hub. For everybody who had to witness what (in my mind) was totally not acceptable but had I seen it from another mum’s perspective wouldn’t have thought that at all…

This 6 months away was meant to be a positive experience. Where we all ran through fields of bilingual daffodils and came out the other side speaking English and Japanese….

It would seem I may have succeeded, to some extent, on the bilingual thing, but that that whole field of daffodils shit…

Yeah, fuck that.

8 weeks and counting.

 

SDGH&QL

 

And I will hit post on this because I think it is important to later read and keep me grounded and know that it WAS hard, and I did try my best but sometimes I really wasn’t winning at all. I don’t expect comments to say what a great experience I am giving them yaddah yaddah. Today was NOT a good experience. Perhaps tell me how you’ve fucked up yourself. That shit will make me feel a bit better.

Speaking More English (1)

16 Oct

I am the first to admit that when the kids were small(er) I was a very lazy mother in terms of raising bilingual children – read as I was bloody lazy and didn’t invest the time to sit down and encourage my children to learn English. I did try to use English as much as possible but it was never an overly conscious decision and if shit was hitting the fan I would revert back to Japanese so that things got done, husband understood, Granny K understood or whatever.

For example trying to talk to 3-year old Shou in English about who cut his first lock of hair off wasn’t going to happen when I was so angry I was just about hyperventilitating into an empty wine bottle. No, I had to half Japanese, half sherades ask him…

Chokki chokki (arms flailing) ??? Dare chokki chokki shita no? (who snip snipped your locks dude? – arms still flailing in random scissor hand motion)

Granny K got a pretty mean version of me (remember, I had a 2 year old Marina and a baby Ryu at the time so that coupled with sleep deprivation and yaddah yaddah). I screamed at her in Japanese, which didn’t leave me feeling very satisfied, so finished off with a ‘Stupid Bitch’ in English and slammed her door – which was very satisfying if not highly inappropriate behavior in front of my kids and to my mother in law.

But I digress (quite a lot it would seem), and this post is meant to be about my kids and how their kiwi-speak is coming along.

  • Ryu had his first dream in English. Went something like “No, No, No…. finish!!” Hmmm, not quite sure what it was about but it was definitely English.
  • Last night as I was tucking Shou into bed and he said, unprompted, “Mum, I love you so much”. Considering all I feel like I ever do is yell at them this was a lovely surprise, and the fact that he said it in English made me tear up it did. Bless’em.
  • Shou got invited on his first play date – by the boy who has invited him to his Speedway birthday next weekend. He had a great time and is enjoying school a lot more in general. I really think its due to the lowering frustration levels in terms of language and what he can and can’t say, ask, say back to other kids if they annoy him (and vice versa)etc.
  • The kids use a lot of English when they play together – and it surpasses the previous ‘Ryu is in, Ryu is in, Ryu is in the rubbish bin’ yaddah they had. Now they interchange a lot of phrases between Japanese and English and I haven’t heard any ‘I don’t understand’ or ‘speak Japanese’ lately amongst them either. They are by no means talking to each other solely in English. Not by a long stretch. BUT, it is definitely increasing and hey, I’ll take what I can get.
  • We spent most of the two-week holiday with other kids and it was awesome seeing the kids happily playing and talking away in English.
  • At home there are a lot of English words being thrown around in Japanese sentences. Mixing and matching depending on what is faster to access from the brain I guess. Japanese sentences with the verbs in English, like “ママ、put on shoesしたよ。
  • I am in the process of resourcing heaps of cool English stuff we can use to continue with our study back home. It’s fun looking but I fear the amount of shite I will be having to post back next month!

In other news, hub is missing us and while our time here is flying by I think his is probably going more slowly 😦 That said, we only have a little over TWO MONTHS to go!! Gaaaahhhhhh. Only a month or so and I’ll have to start my list of what I need to get sorted, buy, last eats etc, before we go home!

I am only just tonight getting the boxes ready of NZ choccies to send to the dance girls and soccer boys. Figured that if I don’t get my A into G then they wouldn’t arrive till the week before we get home! Slack bitch.

Right, off to check a translation and go to bed.

 

SDGH&QL.

Horrible, horrible

9 Oct

Had an experience today that was horrible. Just horrible. One of those, blink of an eye, life is precious, must slow down and smell the roses, must be nicer to kids, must drink ten bottles of tequila in quick succession to recover, kind of experiences.

Tis the second week of the school holidays and we are in Taupo – lovely city a couple of hours north of where we are living. Have been catching up with best friends from high school and today my sister, who is also here after spending the week looking after Marina last week, and tomorrow – quite randomly, with uni friends who we just happened to pass as I dropped my sister off and said uni friend was taking her son to the toilet. Was bizzare. They live like 3 hours away and neither of us knew the other would be here!

Anyhoo, sister is staying at a Time Share – which I’m not sure if is NZ thing. 51 people went in on purchasing something like 14 units slash apartments and then have turn on turn off holidays there. Right on the lake front and great if you have family and all meet there every year kind of thing. Has a communal games room and lounge and pool too.

So the kids all went in the big pool. My kids have never been in a pool they can’t touch the bottom of. Shou and Marina are getting a lot more capable and can swim the length of the pool now but are used to being able to stand up mid way.

 

Shou jumped straight in and got a fright that it was so deep and then started swimming survivor style to the other side. I was so busy watching him and wondering if I was going to have to jump in to rescue him that I didn’t realize Marina and Ryu had done exactly the same thing about two seconds later – very quietly at the other end of the pool.

When I turned to them Marina was flailing arms above the water and Ryu, my little baby, was fully submerged and wriggling with no chance of getting above water.

God it was horrific – like what you see on TV when they ‘re-enact’ someone drowning. How the fuck do they do that anyway?

I ran over and was about to jump in when the husband of the couple also there watching their children (who had also been voicing their concern over whether Shou would actually make it to the other side), ran past me and said I’ll go in.

So in he went.

And pulled my little white, blue lipped (perhaps slight exaggeration by panicky mum as son obviously not been under water long enough to turn blue) baby out of the pool.

And Marina – who was OK but still in shock at not being in a pool she could stand in and panicking rather than using her swimming arms. Her and Shou were both swimming back and forth seconds later.

But I had to hold Ryu and try not to cry and thank the man who jumped in and, and….

After ten minutes of consoling and the boy wanted to go back in – so I let him. On the shallow ramp bit. And I didn’t take an eye off him as he laughed and played for 15 minutes, until I could convince him the hot tub in the room was really niiiiice.

When I went to purchase those ten bottles of tequila (slash one bottle of Mt Difficulty (seemed appropriate) wine) the poor lady on the register asked me how my day had been.

And I told her.

She must be a mother. I thought she looked compassionate anyway, because I left that bottle store and we both had tears in our eyes.

I now understand when people say they just ‘looked away for a second’ and a drowning happened. I will never ever say under my breath as I watch the news ‘bet the stupid mother was on her phone or texting or not paying attention enough’……

Sweet dreams you lot.

Stay safe, and above water

 

xxx

Catching Up

7 Oct

It’s true, I’m out of my blog mojo – but also realize that the rest of the world is too and therefore at least catching up is better than letting people read about your life for 7 years and then just stopping!! (read as anybody who has done that – you suck)

Last week me and the boys hit Cessnock – which is a small town in NSW in the land of kangaroos and koalas – of which we saw and patted both 🙂 Had great catch up with uni girlfriend who has recently had twins. Adorable, both of them but damn I don’t think I could go through that again – both in terms of mental wellness and sleeping and husband stuff. It’s like husbands think that as soon as their wife has babies, anything they do is being a good husband and in need of praise. Tis as if sitting round with your tits out tandam feeding two of your spawn on twenty minutes sleep isn’t enough… though will admit friend’s husband was very helpful (and an outstanding cook) – and Shou’s second most favorite time of the week was making, sawing and nailing shit in the man shed with the dad.

His first most bestest experience was the bats we saw on our last night. Oh, and the coolest water park ever with a huge bucket that fills with water and dumps it over everyone, and, and the tallest slide ever – although Shou claims it was only 100m long and the one we go to in Japan is 300m long!

In other news, I went to the toilet in the middle of the night. In itself, not a special piece of news. I didn’t flush because it was the middle of the night and inevitable I would be the first in the next morning anyway. Turns out Marina was first in – and spotted a bit of blood on some toilet paper and promptly came in to my room crying at 5am,  asking if I was dying. I said no – so she went in and proceeded to tell the other two about my bleeding fanny. A few theories were thrown around amongst the children during the day but they generally got distracted by going to test fly our boomerangs (I am SHIT – kids thought it was hilarious)

But then at bedtime they decided they needed the actual answer. Of course I had to intervene and then had to have one of ‘the’ talks – which turned into THE TALK of all time.

  • Shou: So why do you need to bleed out your fanny?
  • Mummy: Older girls do – for a few days every month.
  • Shou: Why? (marina was still in shock so Shou had to do the Q&A)
  • Mummy: so that if we want, we can have babies?
  • Shou: Do boys bleed out their fanny too?
  • Mummy: No.
  • Ryu: Does it hurt?
  • Mummy: No, but it can make me grumpy (and want to skull coffee, drink wine and send you all outside – not in that particular order).
  • Shou: (mind cogs turning) how does the blood lead to the baby?
  • Mummy: (fuuuuuuck) girls have eggs
  • Shou: like duck eggs?
  • Mummy: kind of but really small. They come down and get met by a man parade and they all travel safely up the tube to the baby party.
  • Shou: why do you bleed after a party?
  • Mummy: the bleeding doesn’t hurt, making babies doesn’t hurt – but if you don’t all shut the fuck up and go to sleep it will hurt.
  • Good night

Gah, parenting is HARD.

SDGH&QL

Mrs D Is Going Without

Too much wine in rural Japan