Last time I did one of these, a week before Mr. K was born, I inadvertantly chose an especially dull day to write about. This time, I inadvertantly chose a slightly more stressful day than usual.
A quick note on the layout of the house: it’s what gets called a 3K here, which means three decent-sized “bedrooms”, a bathroom/laundry, a toilet, and a kitchen. We use one of the “bedrooms” as the bedroom, and the other two rooms are living areas. The bedroom and one of the living areas have reverse cycle air conditioning, and we can warm up the other with a kotatsu and a room heater well enough. The rest of the house, and any of those rooms without the heating on, are icy cold. Factor in how much electricity costs, and the end result is we all tend to gather in one room.
Also, a warning: there are references to baby poop and vomit. No pictures, though!
Finally, please try not to judge my parenting? R and I are doing our best. Thanks.
Weather: 11 degrees Celsius, sunny
Daylight hours: 6:50am – 4:49pm
Mr. K: about 2.5 months old
Our “house”, looking suitably small and cold
12:52am Wake up. Mr. K is squirming on his futon and making noise, but it hasn’t been especially long since he fed. R and I blearily conclude it is gas.
2:50am Wake up again. This time, Mr. K is definitely hungry. I haul him onto my futon and onto his feeding cushion, and begin to feed him. He is still squirming.
No, we don’t sleep with the lights on full, this is just to illustrate the whole arrangement. R and I have our futons pushed together and Mr. K sleeps between/on them on his own island-like baby futon.
3:20am Mr. K finishes on one side, spits up, and then we switch sides. His ultimate goal for feeding aggressively at this time becomes clear when an explosive sound and telltale smell emerge. This done, he falls abruptly into a deep sleep and I consider, briefly, just leaving his nappy even though we will all come to regret it. Then he wakes and poops again.
3:30am Change horrifyingly full nappy. Luckily, he hasn’t leaked. It’s cold. It’s 3:30am. Why oh why have I decided to write about this day, of all days?
3:40am Put Mr. K back into his futon, head out to kitchen and put the nipple shield in the sterilising liquid. Go back to bed. Sleep and have a weird dream featuring the midwife who delivered Mr. K and, in the dream, can now speak stunningly good English, an unfamiliar clinic, and driving our out-of-control to R’s parents’ house.
5:50am Mr. K is awake again for another feed. Sigh. Tired.
6:30am Wrapping up feeding of Mr. K when my alarm goes off to wake R.
6:45am Mr. K and I are trying to get back to sleep now, but R is deeply resistant to alarms and stays asleep even when his own keeps going off.
7:15am Sleepily prod R and tell him the time. He has a minor freakout and rushes off. Minutes later, I hear his motorbike roaring off, bound for another day at the post office.
7:20am I believe I sleep.
8:30am Begin to wake up again, this time for the day, but doze for a bit. It’s hard to wake up. Recently, Mr. K has typically only been waking once in the night, so last night was unusually rough.
8:50am Make self get up, albeit slowly. Mr. K is still dozing so I plunge into shower – there’s so much saliva, vomit and poop lately that I feel like I need a couple of showers a day. Get dressed.
9:30am Took longer than expected in shower, so breakfast is rushed – a banana, toast and, yes, coffee. Noises from the bedroom indicate my baby is not planning on sleeping much longer…
9:45am Mr. K is definitely awake, and reasonably happy about it this time. We “chat” and then a nappy and outfit change ensue.
Getting kind of big for the original change mat now.
10:05am We commence another feeding. Mr. K has been smiling at me while feeding a bit lately, but this time, for the first time, he tries “talking” while feeding too and it’s adorable. He settles down, though, and that leaves me with too much time to think. Work, and returning to it. Life. It’s my cousin’s birthday and I can’t decide whether to bother e-mailing his father (cousin himself either doesn’t have an e-mail address, or won’t divulge it) to pass on happy birthday.
10:55am Feeding is finally done and Mr. K is asleep. Dart out, do hair, and brush teeth.
11:05am I have decided that we are going out today and we will do so ASAP. Ha. Anyway, there’s a home centre I like that I’ve been meaning to visit for awhile so I can look for some plastic shelves/drawers for the bathroom. They also sell good cat food, which I will almost certainly buy if nothing else. I rush around measuring space in preparation for the search for the former.
The tape measure, because his body is actually the end of the tape and it’s fun
11:10am Tidy up bedroom for a bit, as Mr. K has dozed off again. I change him into his Cookie Monster suit ahead of going out, yet he still wants to sleep.
Very, very sleepy
11:30am Things continue to go a bit askew when I get a text message from Mum on Viber and the cats arrive wanting food. We don’t have much (hence me wanting to go out and get it as soon as I can) and they only get dry food.
Nom nom nom
11:35am While waiting for the cats to finish their early lunch and shoo, I hear the postman – R’s friend and coworker – arrive. I go out and the check the mail to discover he has born goodies for us in the form of a gift from an old friend in Australia and some mail order catalogues I especially like.
11:40am Ignore cats now and begin organizing the pram, bag, etc. Mark Two leaves, but Neko Neko waits, unimpressed.
Keeping an eye on things
11:45am Pick up the drowsy Mr. K to go to car and get vomitted on. Feel dismay. Clean self and him up.
11:50am Evict Neko Neko, continue with carrying things to the cars, including Mr. K.
12:05pm We finally depart. Driving is relatively easy and happy gurgling comes from the back seat. The latter is interrupted by a vomiting sound. I sigh.
12:25pm We arrive at Day 2. The sign reads D2 but the Japanese katakana says day 2, for reasons I can’t even begin to figure out.
The car – you get used to things and kind of forget that Japanese cars are actually a bit different
12:30pm After unloading the car, cleaning up Mr. K and getting him settled in the pram, I realise I’m actually hungry. Very hungry. I head over to the takeaway van and get a cream taiyaki, sweet batter shaped like a fish and filled with custard.
12:40pm We head in to the shop. I browse the plastic tubs, but worry about Mr. K getting them open and resolve to check out baby-proof clasps before making any purchases on a later date. Find cat food and, surprisingly enough, hair conditioner. I browse the plants on the way out, unsure what will survive the extremes of Japan’s seasons and my neglect, and decide to focus my energies on saving my dying jacaranda before investing in more.
The very important cat food
I don’t even know what I’d do with this, but the Tetris lover in me adores it.
1pm I pack Mr. K, who has fallen asleep again, and his stuff back into the car and we depart.
1:25pm We arrive back at our local supermarket and I buy my lunch, things for dinner, etc.
Many, many bentos
The contents of my shopping basket, plus my boots and the green tea aisle
1:45pm Return to car via elevator.
1:55pm Arrive home. Except for when I was very pregnant and when I buy particularly big things, we seldom drive only to the supermarket; like today, it’s usually a stop on the way home. I unload. It’s quite a procedure. I set Mr. K up in one of the other rooms, the one that’s “mine”.
The room. God, my table’s a mess.
2:05pm Eat my lunch while Mr. K continues his latest nap and worry about his endless vomiting for what feels like the millionth time.
2:25pm Mr. K wakes up from his nap and changes his nappy and his suit.
2:35pm It’s another feeding time. We start watching “Life at 7” on my laptop at the same time.
3:20pm Mr. K is done with his milk and so, nearly, is “Life”. I put Mr. K in his futon, which I have also brought into my room, and go and do laundry.
3:30pm A messy hour follows. Mr. K cries, we watch TV again, Mr. K cheers up and I set him up on his play mat. He is happy there for awhile but then he becomes grumpy. The cats return again, I try to hang up laundry and get a snack, and Mr. K eventually sleeps at 4:30pm after I hold him for a bit.
During one of his cheerful moments
4:30pm Yesterday, my mother-in-law came over and brought a sweet potato that neither R nor I ate for dinner last night. I decide to consume it now with some peppermint tea in it. I find a suspicious hair in the potato and wonder if she’s plotting to kill me.
Okaasan’s sweet potato
5pm Mr. K wakes with a loud fart and then another messy hour follows in which I manage to juggle a crying baby, e-mailing a thank you to my friend who sent us the parcel, and replying to an e-mail from one of my English students regarding a lesson maybe tomorrow. I like her a lot and she’s very generous with my pay. If she agrees, it will be the first lesson I’ve done since having Mr. K, but I’m not expecting her to say yes. I check on the cats and discover Neko Neko is still hanging around, wanting more food. A battle of wills ensues. He wins. I feed him.
6:02pm R calls and tells me he is on his way home. This is surprisingly early. I haven’t started dinner and I have to feed Mr. K. Shit.
6:10pm Change Mr. K’s nappy, start R’s bath (it’s a Japanese thing, the must-have bath). Neko Neko has finally left the building. Commence feeding Mr. K.
6:25pm We are halfway through and, between breasts, I pause to go and stop R’s bath. Mr. K is enraged by this, but settles down when we resume feeding.
6:40pm R returns, bearing a donut for me. Mr. K is still feeding and dinner is still definitely not yet happening. R is surprisingly fine with this, admits he got very hungry a little while ago and ate on the way home. He suggests I take a break and go out for dinner.
7pm After dithering about how best to get to a restaurant, I decide to go by car because it’s very cold.
7:10pm I arrive at Coco’s. An adorable young waiter serves me and he is a bit gaijinstruck (i.e. stunned by the fact I’m not Japanese). It’s cute.
7:20pm Eat dinner, feel relieved. Coco’s is another thing I haven’t done since pre-Mr. K.
Dinner – more than I’d usually order but hey, who knows when this outing is going to happen again?
7:52pm After eating, I sit and make notes about today (and I’ve needed them, believe me, to remember what happened) until I notice the time. Damn, I told R I would return by 8. I rush off, pay the adorable waiter, and drive home.
8:02pm R isn’t fussed about me being two minutes late – and yes, he does get that obsessed with time sometimes – but I am promptly handed an unhappy Mr. K. I don’t get much accomplished over the following hour beyond juggling Mr. K and, with my spare hand, playing with my phone.
My view of the evening
9:15pm It’s R’s job to give Mr. K a bath and he has decided that he is going to do so tonight, even though it’s getting later now. Because my room is one of the ones with heating and it really is cold tonight, things are cleared and the bath is dragged in. Mr. K is not terribly impressed by any of this, though he does enjoy his time actually in the water.
The baby bath, post-use
9:45pm We give Mr. K formula in the evenings, both so I can take a break from the feeding and so R can feed him as well. Tonight, however, it’s up to me to feed Mr. K and given I got to go out earlier, I don’t comment. Mr. K is happy enough with his bottle while he is feeding but not happy when he discovers he has finished. Burping and vomiting happens.
10:10pm R takes Mr. K off to settle him for the night. I am going to take another shower, what with being covered in baby vomit and all, but before I do, I check my e-mail… and discover my student actually does want a lesson tomorrow. I am a bit freaked out by this, given the afternoon/evening we’ve just had. Can Mr. K really handle sitting in a cafe that long…?
10:30pm I exit the shower, brush my teeth, and head into the bedroom. The lights are off and Mr. K is asleep. R is playing quietly with his phone. Everyone is tired. I’m fairly sure sleep happens very quickly.