Autumn 2017

It’s September, late September. 

My fog-shrouded brain needs to remember that. I would like it to hurry up and not be September anymore because this month has been rough, but writing a list of 7s in the month column on K’s childcare schedule isn’t the solution to that. 

And whether you judge the seasons by the calendar, the equinox, or if you too are an optimistic UNIQLO retailer that realized everyone was sick of summer by early August and started stocking accordingly, it’s definitely autumn now. The days are getting steadily shorter, the light is turning more golden, there are autumn fruits and vegetables filling menus and supermarket shelves and the leaves are changing colour. There’s Halloween stuff everywhere and even though the temperature are still high, a wrap is becoming a good idea in the early morning and evenings. It’s very definitely autumn. 

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Big baby, very small boy

 

 

Some of the supermarkets here leave out kid-sized baskets for the children to use. This is very evil of them.

My son is nearly 20 months old now and recently, I’ve started having startled moments where I look at him and no longer see a big baby but a very little boy. It’s not a huge change and he doesn’t metamorphose into something else overnight.

 

And yet he does too. All the time. Little changes and then they’re big changes after all and time goes so quickly really.

Mother’s Day 2017

Yesterday, I successfully navigated my second Mother’s Day. My own mother is lovely and R, despite not even noticing the occasion until a morning radio segment brought it to his attention, came through in the end and picked up some flowers and chocolates for me on Mr K’s behalf. 


I’m always a bit baffled by people who get pissy about these as a present choice. No, it doesn’t require much thought or effort. But flowers and chocolates are two of my favourite things!

I feel like I’m reading a lot more analysis of the whole Mother’s Day phenomenon this year, in defense of it and criticizing it. I suppose that’s unsurprising, given society tells us that mothering is the bestest, most important job in the whole world while simultaneously devaluing it at every turn. I wonder the whole working/stay at home thing is such a mindfuck. 

A lot of it has been frustrating to read, on both sides. I wish we could all just accept that parenthood is a big deal but not the only, all-defining deal. That mothers are people, no more and my God, no less. That working rights and sensible hours would be good for everyone, parents or not. That Mother’s Day is hard for some people and the reasons for that might vary greatly and be intensely private. That most of us know that it’s an overcommercialised load of bullshit, deviating far from its humble origins and that an epilator or – I’m looking at you, department stores of Japan – an apron are not the greatest gift ideas. 

I know.

But I’ve had only a handful of good nights of sleep in the last two years, wiped up a lot of body fluids and juggled a whole brunch of things that become a lot harder when you constantly have to work out what to do with a very small, dependent person in the mix. I just want to enjoy my cheap flowers and nice chocolates.

Cherry Blossoms 2017

I wrote this last year, thinking about the transience of everything in the face of my uncle’s death a year earlier. Five days after I posted it, my father suddenly passed away.

I thought I would hate the cherry blossoms after that, but I find that I don’t. I have so much sadness this week but I want to take these little flowers for just what they are – flowers, a beautiful, brief display of them, and a sign that spring has finally arrived. I’ll reserve my sadness for this Friday.

First post of 2017

Hello, and happy new year!

It’s been a long time without blogging. Things were tapering off a bit by October and in November, I attempted NaNoWriMo. I didn’t quite succeed at it, but it was an interesting experience… and it was quite a time thief. I also managed to get sick in November, and even more sick in December, the first half of which involved work being extremely busy.
The second half of December, though, and going into the new year, I’ve found myself on vacation and, to be honest, just relaxing. It hasn’t been totally stress-free, but it has been nice to wind down. I’ve nagged myself to catch up on blogging a few times and tonight, here I am, doing just that.

Getting to the end of 2016 felt like limping over the finish line of a very long, brutal race. I don’t know if 2017 will be better, but I think most of us would very much like it to be. Maybe that will give us something to work with?

As always, I’ve missed this and, as always, I’m hoping to be better at staying on top of things in the future.

Baby-carrying

My name is Lyssa and I’m a baby carrier convert.

This afternoon, Mr K was grizzling after lunch. He was tired following his unwilling participation in an ESL class and the broccoli I had presented him with as finger food with was not to his satisfaction. After trying to settle him elsewhere, I gave up and wrangled him into his carrier, slinging it onto my back like a backpack. He immediately calmed down and, ten minutes later, he was asleep.

The baby carrier is a relatively recent acquisition. Up until Mr K was 10 months old, we lugged him around with our arms and I his pram. Shortly after we moved into our new house, though, a neighborhood earthquake drill happened and we were told to make areangementS for something with which we could carry Mr K on our backs. I grudgingly went out and forked over five thousand yen for a carrier that looked like it might do and we proceeded to participate in the drill.

And something else happened too. We fell in love with the carrier.

It’s relatively easy to use, it frees up my hands, and most importantly, Mr K is happy because he’s still nestled close to me. Yes, it hurts my back and shoulders a bit, but back pain is part of this baby gig and you get used to this particular version and the pay-off is very, very worth it.
I have to admit I’m a little frustrated with myself because I knew all this before he was born. I bought a secondhand carrier because not everyone else entirely sold on it, and it didn’t work out very well, not least because carriers just are kind of awkward for very little babies (you’re better if with some sort of sling, apparently). I bought another one that I didn’t really like, and then I gave up.

 And I really wish I hadn’t! I could have saved myself a lot of anguish if I’d just stuck to my gunson this instead of letting my eroded self-esteem get a little bit more so.

Anyhow, we’ve got it now and Mr K and I are both a little happier for it.