Archive | November, 2015

Ask and Thee Shall Receive

13 Nov

I was rather busy up until yesterday but today was pretty much blank, bar my English class in the afternoon. I was almost asking for some action.

And then I went to pick Shou and Marina up. I mean seriously, I should have just ordered them a taxi and started on the wines. FFS.

It was pitch black, I was in the middle of tea, the dog hadn’t been for a walk BUT I had to go and collect the kids up from after school care.

I arrive, behind four other cars on a single lane. I get out and go up to the ‘supervisor’ (a term I use very very loosely). She informs me that a window was broken and because Shou and Marina were in the number of kids who had touched aforementioned ball, they had to stay (and thus I did too) to wait for the head of the after school care program to drive over from in town to give them a talking to. The fact that you would employ someone who feels they can’t give the kids a talking to themselves??? Well shit. The whole shebam is just a comedy of errors. Like every fuckin day.

So I waited outside, with 4 other mums, a grandma and a neighbor, as our kids got told off for kicking a ball inside on a rainy day. I quietly told the supervising lady that perhaps next time she could TAKE THE BALL OFF THE KIDS – This is not the first time this has happened. Someone breaks a window, with a ball, at least once a year. The after-school-care rule is NO BALLS INSIDE. For fucks sake. Remove the fuckin ball before it happens. She has no foresight at all – possibly due to not having any children, which may or may not be a choice I don’t know but damn. She is the most clueless¬†child care minder.

She tries to blame the 7 year olds – oh you know, I told them over and over again for like two hours but nobody listened….. Seriously, that is what she says to us parents.

I am very intolerant to uselessness by adults.

SO, telling off is over and we can finally get in the car and head home to our Friday Night Roast dinner and TV and good family times yaddah yaddha – fuck, and wine.

In the car Shou says he has something to tell me. It isn’t good and can I please not get angry. I sometimes do get angry at the kids and in fact I weigh up the pros and cons about going back to NZ every year cause if I yell at them down the chip aisle at the supermarket, or smack a kid’s bum, some good-doing PC brigade might feel the need to ring the police about my incompetent parenting.

I tell him he needs to tell the truth because the consequences of not telling the truth are always worse.

He tells me that that he got called into the principal’s office for strangling HTB.

I slam on the breaks and give everybody whiplash.

What do you mean? You tried to strangle him? Really?

Well, he put a plastic bag OVER HIS OWN HEAD and I just grabbed the handles without thinking. I let them go straight away but I-kun told sensei, who told the principal that Shou tried to strangle said kid yaddah yaddah.

Said kid was fine. He didn’t fall over like the other kid told the teacher. Shou didn’t try and strangle him to death.

And yet the school didn’t follow through. They believed everything the 7 year old said, rang hub and suggested Shou needed counseling.


I didn’t find this out until hub got home of course. As soon as Shou told me we went straight to the boy’s house and apologized. The mum was perplexed. Her son was yarning on to Shou about games and staying the night yaddah yaddah. The boy had no inkling of why we were there. He had not told his mum about the supposed ‘STRANGULATION’. Because it wasn’t. I agree Shou shouldn’t have done what he did but the incident didn’t need to escalate to what it did.

After speaking to me, and finding out what really happened, hub rang Shou’s teacher to tell her what really happened. He said yes, Shou was in the wrong but it wasn’t a huge event, the boy didn’t complain, he was a as happy as a pig in shit and perhaps the school shouldn’t rely completely on the evidence of a 7 year old. I mean FFS Marina was there – and there is no way she would let Shou tell me false information – like never ever ever.

I’m fuckin over it. I know I am being a defensive parent and perhaps don’t want to see how bad their child is but I also think the school is relaying too much on misinformation. Shou is not a bad kid. He has to be at school every fuckin day with one other kid in his grade and his sister in the same room with a teacher he’s had for THREE FUCKIN YEARS.

I want to squiff back bottles of wine just thinking about how shit that must be. I know the other boy. I teach the other boy. I understand their realtionship and I see what goes BACK and FORTH – only Shou doesn’t fall over when the other boy does or Shou doesn’t OTT the situation when the other boy does. I see it, with my own eyes. His mum understands his ‘personality’.

That aside I have never felt as shit a parent as I did tonight when hub said the principal of the school thought they should bring in a counselor…..

OK, so when Ryu fell down the deck steps in his walker and got a huge egg on his head and we rang the emergency services – Yeah, I felt pretty bad then too.

The school will be merging in two years with the school in town and originally I was thinking the small school environment was much better. The school in town is still small but the merge will mean Shou goes from a class of 2 boys to a class of 16 boys and 2 girls. I teach English to a third of those boys and I can guarantee, without a doubt, that if Shou’s current teacher had to teach any of that lot she’d be calling in all sorts of fuckin counselors.


Loving the 9-year old boy shit.



PS, after giving the kids whiplash, talking about the whole thing in the car, going to apologize to the other boy etc I told Shou that that was the end of it. We wouldn’t talk about it at home. Hub came home and I knew he knew. I still can’t believe the teacher completely bypassed me and rang hub instead, but anyway it is what it is. Hub and I had a hushed conversation in the next room and then he went upstairs to ring the teacher. He hasn’t said anything about it to Shou and you could see the relief on his face when I told him what had happened. I mean seriously. He got off the phone with the teacher thinking Shou had gone in and tried to choke the kid. FFS. Next week will be interesting. I can feel my monster parent slash mother bear side warming with the now lit fire.


Monkeys vs Plates

12 Nov

We don’t have monkeys in New Zealand so seeing a wild one is kind of exciting.

Unless it’s angry looking and a meter away from the walking school bus, including three of your children and your dog.

(We do have plates in NZ)

About a week ago I was walking with the kids to school. 2km from the meeting point to school, 1km of which is along the main, busy road. Half way along this route Ryu and I sometimes choose to veer left. The kids have to walk along the main road because it has a proper footpath and is thus deemed to be a safer option. I agree. The secretary of the school goes the other way and burns round the corner at about 100km an hour. Fortunately I know her morning routine and I usually pass her on the walk back and not when I would have to hold my third born child flat up against the side of the hill to avoid squash-age.

Anyhoo, on the day in question Shou was being an older brother and chucking shit at Ryu. Those sticky beady grass things. Ryu was covered in them and it was oh, ya know, kind of wearing thin and getting fuckin annoying so we left the group and veered left. ¬†As we met them at school about 15 minutes later they were excitedly talking about some bloody monkey that had run along beside them – as in right beside them along the footpath. I have no doubt it was the talk of the school for at least a good three and a half hours. When Ryu found out later he was absolutely gutted that we’d missed it. Apparently there was a man walking with a flag trying to chase them (there were two) back up into the hills. They very very rarely come down this far – as in I didn’t even know we had them here. There is a mountain in Beppu famous for its monkeys but Kunimi? wild pigs – tick, deer – tick, raccoons – tick, rabbits, ferrets, the occasional fox – tick.

The next day was uneventful and no monkey spotting occurred, although we did spot the principal of the school who was walking up the walk-route with a bright hello school flag – just in case.

The following day however…

I had the dog with me again and we had walked about 900m, during which time Max had pee-ed slash marked his territory 12 times. All seven kids were keeping count. He was onto number 13 when he got a whiff of something and started snouting around in the shrubs.

When a fuckin monkey jumps out and up the nearest tree. So he was there swaying up and down precariously on a very flimsy branch about 1m above our heads. Obviously the whole dog about to eat him thing and he didn’t have time to choose his tree very wisely at all. For max it was like all his bloody Christmases had come at once. Shou and HTB were prancing around doing their best monkey impressions, which in hindsight I should have put on You Tube just to see if it could go viral – it was very entertaining.

But obviously I was in mother bear mode and at that precise moment I was justing thinking that the bloody monkey was going to come down and eat my children – much like the Mukade scenarios that play in my head – although they don’t eat my children, they just slide into the mouthes of my sleeping babes.

Actually to be honest I was thinking fuckin fuck it. We have just gone through the whole Max doesn’t have rabbies thing, he’s getting his shot in a week and now he might get fuckin bloody Ebola. I’m not even sleep deprived but it would appear that having children has made my ability to act calmly in life threatening situations go right out the window. Because it was a life threatening situation aye :p

I shoo the silly boys onwards and tell everyone to up their walking pace – as the monkey climbs down the tree and proceeds to sit in the middle of the footpath. He makes a few ‘should I try and man up and go after that dog or not’ moves, decides not to and just sits there, watching us. About 100m further up the road is the local policeman, who is on monkey watch it seems. I tell him he’s in luck, he turns round, gets in his little noddy police car and goes to investigate. The kids are animatedly talking about THE monkey encounter to end all monkey encounters.

In my role as educator of other cultures and all things NZ I feel the need to tell them that we don’t have monkeys in NZ, only I say “We don’t have plates in NZ”…

Which if I had said in English would have been the dumbest thing to mix up – monkey and plate – like I would have had to be on some serious drugs to mix that shit up. In Japanese however, it is the difference between ‘saru’ (monkey) and ‘sara’ (plate)…

The kids had a great laugh, at my expense and I’m not entirely sure they didn’t spend the rest of the day telling everyone they saw not about the monkey but how dumb Shou’s mum is!!!

No plate sightings since.

Although Max had a good sniff at the same spot today – and even a forelonging look up at the tree.


PS, is forelonging a word?

Autumn Guests

5 Nov

It IS officially Autumn. As in I think we’ve even had Autumn equinox day and everything. Everything being I also think I spied a gal in boots the other day. Not here of course. Boots in our town means gumboots and rice planting, or harvesting, or burning off the rice fields or similar.

The mornings and evenings are cold and the afternoons can be as hot as the middle of summer. It’s deceiving. It’s easy to get manflu – as evident by the recent two week long flu had by a not-to-be-named man in this house. Fuckin wuss. Seriously. Get over that shit already.

The fluffy blankets are out on the beds and on the odd morning I think we should just light the first fire of the year already – but then I remind myself that that warm snuggly fire feeling in the morning is a slippery slope. After that first fire it’s hard to go back. And really, we’re out of the house by 7:15 every morning so what’s the point! Will try and hold off on the fire for a good few more weeks yet. If we can get to December we’re doing good (pats self on back in advance).

So Autumn is here. Summer has GONE. Or so you would be led to believe, until you get three mukade and a hand-sized spider in the space of 36 hours… and it’s totally unexpected because you had to wear three layers when you left the house that morning and these creatures should be hibernating or whatever beasts do in winter.

The first one hub found doing a slow-paced stroll down the hallway. Very sluggish because obviously he’s been tricked into thinking it’s winter already, and then you get one hot day (like yesterday) when it must have been like 28 degrees for twenty minutes in the heat of the day, and all of a sudden the oversized mushi brigade think it’s bloody summer and have to come out and play. Hub called for the ‘hasami’ which is also scissors in Japanese, but also means our long BBQ tongs – a pair we have specifically for capturing mukade and disposing of them in the RIVER – well that’s our usual location. Hub, while holding the offending poisonous insect up to my face, asked if the toilet was OK.

Hell no, if that sucker goes in the toilet then even I’ll think it’s going to rise up from the dead and come bite my ass. The river, quick smart my man, possibly after you’ve stabbed it a few times with a gardening tool, squashed it and then set it on fire.

Ten minutes later hub is in the bath with a child. As they are getting out, said child screams ‘mukade’. Hub lets out a grunt slash squeal and then opens the bathroom door butt naked and asks for the ‘hasami’ again – during which time the mukade has quite literally bolted (obviously sucked all the energy out of the last one we saw) out the door and is off, possibly running away from naked husband. I see it, briefly, tis quite large. We move a set of drawers, convinced it must have gone behind them, but to no avail.

Five minutes later Granny K finds one outside her door – not as big as ‘the one that got away’ but at least it’s captured and been fed to the trickling stream 20m away from our house.

I go to bed telling myself mukade cannot climb stairs. They can’t. Can they? Have you EVER seen a mukade casually ascending a flight of stairs?

No, neither have I.

This aside I have a dream about a 30cm mukade (like three times their normal size), with some smashing of the mukade with some form of instrument, with interludes of me dancing with a stranger, followed by all three children as babies and with varying insects crawling near their beds, followed by some wine and more dancing with aforementioned stranger.

While I did wake up wanting to find this alluring dancing stranger I was very thankful the 30cm mukade was just a dream.

And then today, fuckin today, I was bringing Max back from our evening walk when in front of us crawls, and I swear this is like almost so true it hurts, a really really long mukade, possibly 30cm – ok, so perhaps only 17cm but still, quite obviously the mother of all the mukade that have ever been living in our house.

The only tool I have on me is the flashlight – because despite it being only 6pm it is dark – because it is AUTUMN. And so, as you would expect, I do NOT let the creature crawl off into the night only to later sneak into out house and into the mouth of a sleeping babe. No, no, I smash that sucker with the flashlight, feed the dog and calmly walk inside.

If I see any more this year I will stockpile them and burn them in some kind of offering to the gods.