After a great Girls’ Nite Out last night, I stupidly dozed off on the sofa this morning as the kids were playing happily together. I was woken not 15 minutes later by James saying “mummy, mite” (Look at this mummy). I opened my eyes to see what marvel they had completed and was met facing two green legged munchkins. They had found a small bottle of green ink and decided to colour their arms and legs green. One of James’ Shinkansen trains (the object he woke me up to look at) was also the same bright shade of green. Got them in the bath and was amazed how easily it as to scrub away the ink. I remember when James drew all over the floor, his legs and Alexa’s face with a permanent red marker pen, it took a few soaks in the bath to get the red stripes to disappear from his legs. Big relief until I inspected further and realised that they had blobbed some green ink on the arm of the sofa. How I managed to remain calm, I’ll never know. My tone with the kids all day has, however, been cool. Whenever I have asked James to do something – get to the bathroom, pick up your toys etc…. He has done it without question or resistance. He knows he is in trouble! When Alexa had her nap, James and I nipped out to the dry cleaners to drop off a few of my suits and then on to the homecentre for some industrial strength stain remover. It hasn’t completely come out but there is no egg-sized bright green blob on the “greige” sofa anymore just a faint shadowy reminder of the naughtiness of my two kids.
I was convinced I’d removed all the “yoku dekimashita” encouragement shinkansen stamps from reach and I had, but obviously had not noticed this refill ink bottle. I had done a bit of spring cleaning on Saturday whilst Tadashi and James had gone to Mega Web in Odaiba (again!) The bedroom has been spruced up – the bed has been turned around and is further away from the window. I gave the tatami a good blast with the steam cleaner and moved one bookcase and the stereo back into the living room. The bookcase has a couple of those linen-look storage boxes which are filled with nick nacks I was planning to organise properly today. The new location of the bookcase obviously created a renewed interest in the bookcase and the boxes. Stupid mummy for not finishing her spring clean in one day.
Girls’ Nite Out on Saturday was a sayonnara party for Christine who is moving to France with her French hubby and daughter. I first met Christine a little over a year ago when Team North East first started. At the first play date was Helen, Christine and myself in a crappy jidokan in Kinshicho which we have never returned to! The evening began early – meeting Akiko at 5:30 at our local station and then on to Mitsukoshi mae station to hang around on the platform to pick up Emma and then on to the Ginza line to hotfoot it to Ginza. Quite unbelieveably, James and Alexa were both aleep before I left at 5:15pm!!! It’s typical that on an evening where Tadashi has to look after the kids and get them to bed, they are in bd ridicuously early. James clearly knackered from his jaunt to Mega web and Alexa had missed her nap and crashed on the sofa around 4:30 whilst watching The Wiggles as mummy slapped on some makeup in the bathroom. Was very surprised to see her zonked out when I popped my head round the door to see if she’d finished her milk. She hadn’t but had placed the bottle on the table before climbing back up on the sofa where, judging from her position, she must have crashed literally seconds later. A great night was had by all, lovely food at a lovely izakaya place sandwiched between Mitsukoshi departo and Matsuya departo. iit was a typical 2hour set nomihodai/tabehodai menu (all you can drink/eat)and they really do mean 2 hours. We arrived at 6pm and were told that the table was also booked for 8pm and so we had to be out at 8pm on the dot! Off to karaoke for a few hours of drunken warbling and crooning. I have to say I was quite hoarse this morning hence the need for a bit of shut-eye on the sofa this morning.
Other developments include James’ decision to give the toilet another try! We have had some success (and some set backs) but at least he is now wearing underpants everyday and using the loo at home nearly all the time. He has used the loo at Toys R Us last weekend not once but twice! He refused to use the loo or a potty at nursery the following day – he had pads in his pants – but decided to use the potty at nursery the next day. There have been a few times where he has peed in his pants almost deliberately and I have gone ballistic – I told him if he wet his pants again (at home) I would smack him. The threat has worked and he started to use the potty at daycare too. He has had a few accidents though. On Saturday, before they left for their day out, I asked Tadashi to make sure that he took James to the loo. There were extra pants in the bag, but was sure that James would go to the loo. He came home with wet pants. Tadashi hadn’t even bothered changing him, because he hadn’t even noticed that his son was soaking wet through! Just what do men see when they open their eyes??? Not only was James wearing pissy pants, but he had slippped in some mud by the river near home and done, judging by the mess, a classic banana skin slip. The back of his blue fleece was thick with mud as were the seat of his pants. Naturally, it was me who had to deal with the mess when they arrived home. I was too distracted by the need to scrub off the mud from his clothes to carry through my threat of smacking him for wetting his pants. When asked, Tadashi admitted he hadn’t taken James to the loo and seemed completey surprised when I mentioned that James had peed his pants. Twice today we have had wet pants, but no smacking as I really don’t want to go down that alley, if I can help it. I have taken away a few of his toy cars. These are all toy cars he has received over the past 6 months or so as rewards for trying to use the loo. I have now told him that he is not allowed to play with his black taxi, yello VW beetle or his blue Ford Galaxy until we have had a whole week of dry pants. I know he can do it and am encouraging him as much as one can when one is pissed off that ones 3yr old has just done a wee on the bed (my bed!!!) My fault as both kids had had a very early bath again and so I told james that I would keep him in pants under his pjs and put him in his nighttime nappy later. I think he genuinely forgot that he wasn’t wearng a nappy under his pjs as he normally would be! There have been other developments recently too. James’ Japanese continues to amaze me. He has learned a few Japanese songs and sings them all the time. “Saita, saita, tulip no hana ga, naranda, naranda…” Very cute. He has also developed a real taste for reading. Instead of asking what every sign we pass says, he now tells me what they say. At Sun Street last weekend, I bumped into Emma and Keisuke in the supermarket and as we emerged from the doors, James stops infront of the sweet potato stall and reads the hiragana outloud – やきいも (yaki imo). we were reading an animal photo picture book the other night too and I was amazed at how many animal names beyond inu and neko (cat and dog) that he can read. Instead of him continually asking me what things say, he is now saying “That says jitensha” when pointing to the cycle path and when I asked him what the other sign read on the other path he announced it read “walking”. Fair enough I guess pedestrians are indeed walking!
Better get myself to bed. I have no lessons tomorrow and am debating whether or not to go into school to get some organisation done. I may just potter about at home but given that I did a load of spring cleaning it might be more productive to go into school and really get ahead of myself with lessons and whatnot.