Tuesday, June 04, 2019

[2050] Strange Thoughts

The other day, I was having strange thoughts. I thought, maybe I should have a third child. 

Yes, it's a shock to myself I'm having such thoughts. I still dislike kids in general, and I still don't feel very maternal. On most days, I just want the kids to keep quiet and be out of my way so that I can do my own things. On alot of days, I just want to strangle/slap the big kid when she is being contrary and difficult.

Maybe it's because sb is so cute. I don't remember what bb was like at this age. Maybe because it's the second child, sb has turned one in a blink of the eye. Somehow time just flew by really quickly and I have not been documenting as much of her life as of bb's. But to be honest, because there is also bb, I have been stretched quite thin in handling both kids. But I'm thinking, maybe a third kid would mean all the stuff I bought for sb would have their utility maximised.

I asked the hb on his opinion about this. He was shocked (to say the least) because I had made it quite clear I don't want to suffer anymore. (hahahaha..)  Maybe I'm more fickle-minded than I thought. He reminded me of the pain during delivery that I had told him repeatedly  - I definitely didn't forget that. Sb was a bigger baby + I was older so the pain was alot alot alot more than I had expected (or remembered) from the previous birth. The first year of sleep deprivation was super hard because I am now older and love my sleep and also, it's been 6 years since bb, so my memory of the sleep deprivation was fuzzy. 

I also shudder at the watery poo days in the months of total breastfeeding. Let me remind myself here of all the major public humiliation events - poo leak at Tangs foodcourt  (sb was around 2months +, I was with my sister, we were eating, and suddenly my thighs felt wet and there was a big yellow patch on the floor and I had to carry sb to the female loo with one hand and other hand carry diaper/tissues and to reach the loo to find out there was no changing table. Luckily the sink had a flat surface wide enough to lay the baby on, a kind lady saw me struggling to do everything and helped me.. while my sister had xigua with her so she also couldn't help), poo leak at budokan in Tokyo after we watched the BJJ competitions (no changing area, no spare carrier, we used alot of wet tissues as best as we could to wipe her down and clean the carrier, luckily the hb was there so at least someone could handcarry the baby), major poo leak in Kyushu in the rental car (somehow ALOTALOTALOT of poo leaked while sb was in the car seat and we had to figure out how to get sb out without dirtying ourselves and how to clean the child seat of all the wet poo and also the car seat under it. The car smelt like poo for the rest of the trip... ), Tokyo dome poo leak (I had already smelt abit of poo and we were kind of rushing to change her before it got to an explosive leak level but there was a super long queue at the loo and the horrible toilet attendant refused to let me go in to use the changing table, afraid I would cut queue to use the toilet, and kept telling me to try other levels' toilet and I WAS FURIOUS! because after we gave up arguing with her, the poo clearly leaked through the carrier and we had to change her on a bench instead. You can see why I am less and less happy with Japan and its people who are sometimes not very intelligent or flexible) and countless minor but no less gross poo incidents. I was super happy when she finally ate some solids and her poo also became solid.. 

Apologies for the long poo talk. I was trying to convince myself of why a new baby would be a bad idea with all the poo memories. 

I would also have less freedom than before.. Not that I have alot now. But what's another 2 years less of freedom since I'm already stuck for the next 6-7 years again huh.. Travelling might become alot more costly, but then I will probably attain supermom status by flying alone with 2 toddlers and a big kid. Given that they won't need to go to school until Primary One, we would have alot of money saved for all the air tickets. 

Foodwise, we already go through 5kg of rice every 3 weeks. Perhaps it will become 2 weeks if we have another kid. The beds might not be big enough though, we probably have to move bb to her own bed/room.  

PLUS - I really prefer to have a girl ... but it's not possible to choose.. 

The hb said if I feel like I can handle 3 kids he is ok (of course, men only need to provide sperm and money, so it's very easy to say they want a kid).. so I probably should think through it and decide soon as I'm not getting any younger... (>.<)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

[2049] Things change

Things change.

Children grow up. Very quickly in fact.

We have celebrated the baby's first birthday. The elder child will turn 7 in a few months.

I am still waking up every 2-3 hours at night somehow for feedings. (Don't ask me why the baby is still not sleeping through the night. I wished I knew. The first kid slept through the night properly.) So with primary school for the elder kid, I am forced to wake up early daily even though I barely slept every night. Fitbit has me at 4-5 hours of interrupted sleep every night. I am exhausted to be honest. And, it's not like I can ask someone else to walk the kid to school (because there is no one else, the husband has already left for work).

Now that the elder kid has started school, do I have more freedom? If I manage to stay awake after coming home, I will have lots of time to do stuff, except I still have the baby with me, which is not that much freedom. I try to eat, prepare meals, do some housework, get some (usually bare minimal) work done, feed the baby her lunch and then school's over. After that, it's homework time, and I have to supervise the elder kid on her piano practice plus the day's homework plus homework from her school in SG.

I feel like I'm being spread very thin with so many responsibilities. But I can't really push them to anyone else either. I guess it's a matter of choice, I can choose to be alot more relaxed, if I choose not to go back to SG regularly for bb's schooling. However, the consequence being she will most likely lose her English/Chinese skills, and should we ever want to go back to SG, she will never be able to catch up. Do we want the best for our kids? I do. Since she has the chance for a trilingual education, why not, especially if the plan is financially viable? I want her to have the chance to meet more people, do more things, be able to think for herself as much as possible.

I must admit I feel super lonely. Sometimes. Most of the time I have no time to even consider it, given whatever extra time I have, I'm usually trying to read a book to escape. But I see friends and family on social media and I feel homesick. I miss my friends, and maybe just time away from kids. I think this gets worse the longer I have lived in Japan. I disagree with so many ways to do things, I am tired of rude people who shove (yes Japanese people), I just saw an old lady pluck flowers (stealing basically) from the flower box outside a restaurant this morning while I stare at her in shock. She took all the stalks, around 6 in all, and just openly walked off with them. I'm tired of the general hypocrisy of the society here, all the wayang ceremonies and unspoken rules and all the passive aggressive ways of the people. No matter what, the kids are Japanese racially, all the more important bb gets to experience life in both countries for comparison and decide for themselves where they want to live.

Song of the moment - 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

[2048] 7 months old!

In the blink of an eye, the small bear is now 7 months old, more than half a year has passed, starting to crawl/wriggle around to explore the living room space.

She's weighing a hefty almost 9kg, and wearing 12-18months clothing size. For a baby that's still being exclusively breastfed, not a mean feat!

We have been back in JP for almost 4 months, and finally feel like we are coping fine. If I manage to wake up earlier than everyone, I get to do a short hour of work, otherwise I try to cram some work in the evening. On other days when I snooze and snooze, I get up when I finally have to and prepare lunch, wake everyone up when the food is ready, and feed the baby while bb eats. After some milk, usually SB is in a good mood so she will play by herself on the playmat (rolling/crawling/chewing stuff) while I then take my lunch. If we're supposed to go for any lesson in the afternoon, we get changed and ready while SB is still in a good mood and then BB does some worksheets while waiting for time to leave. All the classes are within walking distance but we try to reach at least 5 minutes early (or else with no such goal, we would probably leave the house too late instead). After her 1 hour class, we might head to the supermarket for some groceries and then we reach home around 6pm to feed the baby and then cook dinner. and the aim is just to survive each day.

Sb has been to quite a few places so far in the past few months. She's gone to a baseball match, soccer match, Nagasaki, Tokyo, and Bangkok. Besides the crazy number of poos per day, (5-6!!) she's been a good baby so far, and she falls asleep without much struggle every 3-4 hours, which is definitely a big help. Bb tries to be a helpful elder sister, helping me take stuff or entertain her sister whenever we need an extra pair of hands. The hb tries to help out at home with the kids' bathtime mainly.

I would say it's hard giving attention to 2 kids.. especially the elder one, because she is somehow so noisy compared to the baby (I think the lack of sleep makes me very short-tempered) and I am just nagging and nagging at her to please give me some quiet. She asked me what is my favourite activity and I said - "being quiet" haha!

But this year is nearly at its end, with the new baby, the year has gone by in a blink. The first time round I didn't feel that time went by so fast though. I do wish this phase when sb is so smiley and happy and cute would last longer. Before long, she will become this 130cm being whose expression is mainly sulking and frowning and also start thinking she knows all there is to know in this world.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

[2047] New Bear to our Family

Finally the whole ordeal of the pregnancy is over!

& the ordeal of having a newborn in the family begins. (T.T)

Towards the last 2-3 weeks of the pregnancy, somehow the weight of the baby or position was pressing on some nerves or ligaments and I was unable to walk without sharp pains in my left hip area, so in the end I couldn't enjoy the last few weeks much, and could only leave the house if someone provided a lift, drove me out for lunch or if I walked slowly to the shops downstairs with my sister in a very very slow and limping manner. So all we did was dabao food to eat at home, and watched netflix all day with feet propped up and looked after baby watermelon together. I'm super appreciative of friends who showed up in the last few weeks to bring me out to lunch or brought lunch to the house and ate together.

Finally - this is totally deja vu - on 28 March - everything felt extremely low in the tummy area, my walking had become a waddling gait, I just kept feeling like any minute it could happen. In the middle of the night I just suddenly woke up at around 3+ am to see some messages on my phone, was replying them when there was a suddenly weird round crampy feeling around my whole tummy area from front to back. It wasn't painful, just felt weird. I decided to just quickly put my things together just in case and waited to see if there was another cramp coming up. The previous time with bb I thought there would be time to shower but now I know things progress pretty fast so I had already taken a thorough shower that afternoon (due to just some gut feeling). I got changed and finally woke my parents up and my sister stayed home to watch the bigger bear. The contractions got worse and we reached the hospital at about 4+am. Unfortunately, somehow, there were no delivery rooms available!! I was stuck in the admission holding room with increasingly painful contractions for at least 1.5 hours with nurses coming in intermittently to check on me and get me to fill up forms and I was almost screaming into the wall with pain by the time a room was finally empty.

After that.. I had thought there was going to be epidural administered asap but I think I waited at least an hour more while they sorted out my report and blood tests etc. (it felt like an hour to me but maybe it was less).. Finally the doctor came and gave me the epidural, but the pain didn't subside until another 20-30 minutes later.. not sure if it's due to alot more pain this time or just the epidural not kicking in. However, when it did kick in, I finally could breathe alot easier and relax until around 10.30am when I started to feel pain through the epidural even though I was increasing the dosage every 10 minutes. The nurse finally said she was calling the doctor around then, and the doctor finally came in around 11am. hmm.. It was pretty quick, he kept pressing on my tummy to push the baby out (which hurt more than the birth itself) and the baby really emerged after about 15 minutes. It was quite painful surprisingly, (contraction-wise) because the previous time I didn't fell a thing. I think it is very likely due to aging.

Small bear says hi!

Big bear meets small bear

Again.... perhaps it's age, I felt very nauseous for almost half the day after the delivery. The previous time I was totally fine after I puked my guts out when the epidural wore off, but this time it didn't wear off until like late afternoon. & I didn't really want any visitors, just because I felt so tired. (maybe I grew more antisocial with age..) Slept abit, had some visitors who brought me a better dinner than the hospital food (what's with all the bland crap!!) and it was kinda lonely without Ryo there at night. Luckily the baby slept quietly mostly, and although I woke her up to feed every 2+ hours, the nurses helped change her diapers mostly and I was able to rest somewhat.

The next morning, we were all ready to be discharged but the process somehow took forever and I was only finally able to leave at 2.30pm.  & my freedom is gone once again for the next few years..

Thursday, February 22, 2018

[2046] Week 34

In the midst of  Week 34 and already feeling like this was a big mistake.

Do I really want another child? Do I really want to go through all the sleep deprivation again? Especially that I have discovered the wonderful feeling of sleeping in until 2pm nowadays, not sure if it's due to winter or the pregnancy fatigue.

The doctor said the baby is slightly bigger than average (for the number of weeks). According to theBump.com, it's supposed to be about 4.7pounds (2.13kg) but the baby was already 2.3kg a week ago. It's a good thing, bigger babies are definitely better than smaller babies, given the initial few days of starvation until breast milk comes about, but I'm feeling the strain -  aches in the pelvic area (SPD), sudden pains in the very heavy lower abdomen when I walk too fast (this happens alot because we always leave the house too late due to someone dillydallying).

I know I'm supposed to have gone through all these before, but I don't remember it being so tough or tiring. Is it just my modified memory or it's really old age catching up? Another piece of advice - do not schedule the pregnancy to end in the winter months. You have to buy layers to fit your growing body just for that few months and you can't really not buy anything because it's cold. I had to buy at least 5 sweaters 1-2sizes up and heattech pieces in L and a new larger coat because this winter is particularly brutal (and they feel like they are almost getting too small with 2 months to go because the tummy is blocking the buttons). So - only try to get pregnant from August and stop trying by February because your wardrobe is going to cost you alot of money!

Friday, January 12, 2018

[2045] Year of the Dog

It's my year at last!

Currently listening to an audiobook titled "13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do: Raising Self-Assured Children and Training Their Brains for a Life of Happiness, Meaning, and Success" by Amy Morin. The book is aimed at how to encourage your child not to have a victim mentality and take responsibility for her own successes, how to practise finding the silver lining when things don't go their way etc rather than engaging in self-pity. I can actually think of several adults who should learn these skills as well unfortunately, and they go through hours of complaining without thinking they should be taking responsibility for their own choices in life. Another point in the book was how kids manipulate adults by taking advantage of their guilt. When kids see you being wishy washy about making decisions, they lose confidence in your position as a strong leader. Which only teaches them that you are an easy target for manipulation in future. Luckily I'm such an emotional robot and rarely feel any guilt, so there's no room for bb trying to guilt-trip me. Muahahaha.  "To be a good mother is to be a good enough mother" - one of the best lines in the book for any mum to follow - there is no need to be a perfect mother, good enough is good enough.

Today while I waited for bb at her ballet lesson, there was another mum who was waiting with her 1.5 year old girl. It was a similar situation on Tuesday, when another mum was waiting with her 1.5 year old son. I had no idea how to interact with the toddlers actually. Generally I don't really know how to interact with other people's toddlers, because I just want to enjoy some quiet time when bb is finally away from me. I just smiled when they did silly things like opening/closing the dustbin lid repeatedly etc, because I wanted to avoid having them come to me to try to play with me. I shudder to think of what I'm getting myself into with the 2nd child coming in a few months. (and also an even stronger conviction that I really am not very fond of children)

I have been feeling super tired (age...) this time round, and can barely get out of bed every day. Of course the cold weather doesn't help, and we always wake up just in time to eat some lunch, get changed and go for the afternoon classes. Even while writing this blog entry I'm sorta dozing off. (only 10pm by the way). I can't wait to be back in Singapore, but at the same time dreading the coming rest of the year of being sleep deprived (again....).

Friday, September 22, 2017

[2044] No Childhood?

At Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Just some thoughts.

Being the eldest child in my family, I have a more dominant character.  With regards to work, I aim for perfection most of the time, can't tolerate any laziness, would not allow myself to fail because I had to meet my parents' expectations. I had to set the example for my younger sisters and  I was the one getting most of the punishments when we were children because I was the one testing the waters and boundaries with my parents.

I read about all the people who complain how the education system in Singapore is sucking all the "life" and childhood out of the children, who will grow up to be mental. Didn't they go through the same system? Are they saying they are all mental now? I find it hard to understand why they are still in Singapore subjecting their children to this "difficult" childhood if they disagree with it. They can always move to Australia or US if they want to have a relaxed basic education. Being overseas (and with the first child personality), I actually want my child to be subjected to a rigorous education instead of growing up to be a "soft" millenial. (The haters are contradicting themselves daily.. complaining about soft and lazy millenials who cannot take hardship yet complain the system is too hard .. which do you want?!)

Here in Japan, kids have a relaxed education - eg addition of double digits are only taught at Primary 3 level, no writing/reading in kindergarten at all, not much homework but how does this improve their childhood? In waiting areas before external lessons, I hear the kids kicking up a ruckus while waiting for their lessons to begin, complaining they are bored, whining, fussing (yes throwing tantrums from boredom at primary school level...). Simple habits such as bringing a book to read never seem to occur to the parents, even the parents rarely have a book with them, all staring intently through the glass window to view their kids for the whole hour (yes, barely even touching their phones probably because they also have no habit of doing anything constructive while waiting). If we were in Singapore, I can imagine most kids doing their homework while waiting, or reading a book from the library, and most parents would chastise their kid if they complained they were bored ("go do your assessment books!").

The world is not slowing down. Do we want our kids to be at a disadvantage in the future?  The childhood is created by the parents - you can choose to be more involved in educating and spending time with your kids than outsourcing everything to the tuition and enrichment centers from a young age. (The kids' memories will have more of you in them if you are just sitting beside them trying to help them with their schoolwork and projects than you saying bye as you drop them off from venue to venue) Of course, this gets harder and harder to do as the difficulty of schoolwork increases with level, but the child won't forget the time you spent figuring out maths problems together. With the additional time saved from not travelling to lessons, your child can have a "childhood". (Just a generic personal opinion, definitely not comparing situations between different parents and how they do things.)

I admit I'm lucky to be able to be in this WAHM arrangement with bb. Part of not sending her to kindergarten is based on control issues (I don't trust the level of education here after the preschool stint - they place too much emphasis on parents providing money to the school and parental involvement to set up activities for the kids instead of kids doing most of the work with teacher guidance.) Everything is too wayang (see previous post) and bb will definitely not be ready for joining primary school in Singapore, given how advanced most of the preschool books are. Of course if I was a full time working mum outside, this wouldn't happen, I would have to send her off to childcare but I guess a lower income for more time to be part of bb's life is definitely worth it.

So many benefits - money saved from no school fees. Travelling anytime we want without caring about school schedule, although this is somewhat made troublesome by her other lessons. No worries about her social skills, she happily plays with other children, although very competitive (we have to work on this https://www.todaysparent.com/kids/school-age/6-ways-to-help-a-sore-loser/) happily plays with adults who are patient enough to entertain her, knows her manners most of the time, is kind and helpful mostly.. She does go to childcare at her dad's office once a month or more if her dad is available to bring her there and back, I guess it's good for her to get a breather away from her tiger mom as well. She does 2 subjects a day at home, any 2, and because I'm still working, she knows to just sit beside me and do her 5/10pages and then get the rest of her day to play or do other things. I would think it's a pretty relaxing childhood, all in all.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

[2043] The Wayang-ness of Being

Question mark situation 1
Bb's ballet school told us that they were moving to Amagasaki (that's near Osaka) with like a month's notice. Fees would also be raised from July onwards. I was definitely reluctant to go all the way to Amagasaki on a weekday evening for a one hour lesson so I started looking around our home area for other schools. I saw one that seemed suitable in terms of fees and lesson timing so I wrote in for a free trial lesson. When we went to the trial lesson, it turns out that bb's previous classmate from the preschool was already learning ballet there. I felt fine with the teacher (she was stricter) so we signed up from June onwards.

I thought it would be nice to have someone familiar around but I was wrong. The intricacies of these mummy relationships still baffle me:
First lesson - since the mums were from bb's school, they asked me to join them for coffee during the waiting time while the lesson was ongoing. So we had a good chat for that one hour. 
Second lesson - they wanted to shop so I said I'll join them. However, they seemed to keep hinting at the store "if you want, you can go for coffee, we'll be a while" and I was very confused if they wanted me to leave. In the end, they finished browsing, went out of the store and suddenly just said separately, "I'm going to Daimaru", " I'm going to the bank" without so much as a backward glance and I was suddenly alone. It was weird, and kinda awkward. I didn't know if I was supposed to follow either of them so I just went to 7-Eleven and got myself a drink and walked back to the school myself.
Third lesson - To avoid ambiguity, I decided to just escape the mums by saying "I have somewhere to be today, see you later!" to one of the mums and fled to a further area with benches outside starbucks to read my book. 
Perhaps it's just the introvert in me. It's extremely tiring to figure out what correct behaviour is called for especially among mummy acquaintances and to wayang through each session with the appropriate small talk. 

Question mark situation 2
Also - the ballet mums started discussing that the teacher told them that the class would not be doing any performances as the class were still full of beginner kids (their daughters have just started lessons in April 2017 - definitely  not performance ready). I was relieved, because in JP, recitals = spending a lot of money, it could go up to USD1000 per performance, from experience with the previous ballet school. I always timed travel with the performance dates to avoid having to join. Do I want to see what my daughter can do stage? Yes, I am a little curious. Do I want pay more than USD100 to see what my daughter can do on stage? NOOOOOOOOO!!! From watching her lessons, her skills are barely there; if the recital was in class and do not cost any money, fine. Why would I want to spend a crazy sum of money watching her do minimal movements on stage just for the sake of photos and videos? (JP schools like to make parents buy DVDs of their kid's performances - another usd100) Do we look like carrot heads? The USD1000 would be much more valuable as bb's air ticket. 

As I was saying, I was relieved. The other mums, on the other hand, were a little disappointed. I don't understand this obsession with recitals and ceremonies in Japan. Eg. Sports Day seems to be such a big deal, that the PIL brought it up as a reason bb should go to kindy. huh??? Is that even a reason? Not the socialising and all? The Kindy entrance ceremony 入園式 is another question mark.  Why the big fuss about entering kindergarten? Did they get in based on their own merit? Is it something to be proud of? If they had taken some difficult exam and got into high school at 4 years old, I would think a entrance ceremony is a must, but not when it was all based on the parent's interview. Even bb's music lessons had a recital last year (I escaped by going to SG because they needed us to prepare certain formal attire) when most of the kids in class could barely sit still. The mum was supposed to go on stage with them. (who will take photos? and videos?) 

All these wayang ceremonies. It's really reflective of the society and how everything is handled I suppose. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

[2042] What We Did Since March

I have not been posting anything for the past 2 months because I was in Singapore. Sorry!

I was back since April week 2 but I was busy adjusting back to the life of loneliness in Japan again so there was no time (or mood) to write.

Finally it's golden week. FINALLY.

I am just glad for a breather from the maps job.

Singapore was as usual, too short a trip (even after 5 weeks). Took a trip to Penang, thanks to the village for watching the bear, and managed to get a few days to enjoy myself with friends and remember what it feels like to travel without a child again - very wonderful - (Walk alot, eat alot without caring if it's a child friendly place, got toilet or not, be able to stop anywhere I want, walk at my own pace, take photos, anyhow cross the road, just care about myself basically). Bb got her time with my family as well, sort of a chinese immersion program where her chinese/mandarin skills in conversation and writing/reading improved by leaps and bounds. She wants to communicate and argue with my mum (it's in her blood) so she would learn actively the words to use to speak to my mum. She misses them more as she grows older, and she was looking forward to visiting SG this time, and was counting down to the trip day by day and mentioning everyone's names daily. After coming back, she kept saying "I miss Ahma, gong gong, ah yi(s), uncle J etc" Sigh.. I also miss everyone.. and I would stay longer in sg if I could..
Penang = Lok Lok!
We made a trip down to Gunma (群馬) to visit the hb's relative about 2 weeks ago. He was an old uncle, and might not make it past the next month due to illness so it was quite a last minute decision to visit that couldn't be postponed further on even though we just got back from Singapore. Gunma is super far. I realise I am not able to stay in any city that is more than 2 hours away from any airport. (There would be no escape back to Singapore in case of any emergency situation.) The town we visited was about 2.5 hours away from Tokyo by an express train which ran once every 3 hours. We left home from Kobe at about 6am to catch a flight to Tokyo and we only reached Gunma at 12 noon. We had lunch and then visited Ryo's uncle for about 30 minutes and missed the train back so we had to wait until 4.30pm for the next train back to Tokyo. The town was not near any famous landmark or attraction so we sat at Ryo's cousin's place for about 3 hours. I snoozed my time away on the sofa while the men entertained bb with toys and tv. When we were leaving, I wanted to get some snacks from the convenience store at the station but there was barely anything there! It was such a good feeling to get back to Tokyo and be able to access restaurants, shops and other conveniences within a short walk. The rural area is a relaxing place if you are well stocked with your drinks and food but totally not for a city person like me. Give me noise and lights and transport and people anytime (not too many people though..). In Tokyo, we managed to catch Ms PS for lunch and also the Marvel exhibition which was quite interesting, because it covers some of the cinematics as well as the history in comics.
Picture taken by Bb!
During Golden Week, we went to the Capcom villa for a 2 night stay. Just the 3 of us. It was quite relaxing. We went to stroll around the Ise yokocho (usually we couldn't browse in any of the stores as we were with the big group) and finally I got to see most of the stores properly. We didn't really do much sightseeing, just the Ise Shrine, and bought some fresh and very cheap seafood back. I accidentally bought a pack of abalones in their shells for about $30. Very good buy! The chef in the villa was a new chef, and it was interesting to see some of the changes that I've thought of previously - like a communal rice cooker so that people just take what they need (a separate pot of rice for each table is just wasteful), more juices for breakfast, quantity of food has been largely reduced to satisfying after finishing everything, instead of so much good food that usually some has to be thrown away because we are already too full by the 3rd course.. etc. The game room has also gone through a game revamp! There were several new machines there now! Mostly good changes! I'm looking forward to the next trip because we can actually eat proper lunches again and not skip a meal in anticipation of the heavy dinner!
Bb outside the Snoopy Cafe
Akane visited from Canada for a 1.5 month long tour of Japan using the JR pass so she stopped by during Golden week for a short stay as well and we went to Naoshima! Finally I get to see the spotted pumpkin! However, her schedule was quite packed so we made do with a generic tour of the island and the sculptures and skipped all the museums which all had long lines. It was good to catch up, and the first time I met her after she moved to Canada.
With the famous Yayoi pumpkin
That pretty much sums up a very activity filled 2 months - looking forward to a quieter time ahead!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

[2041] Not All Women Speak 20,000 Words a Day

I think I'm becoming more and more grumpy with age. No wonder old folks are generally grumpy.

When I send bb to her swimming lesson, I am prepared with my noise cancelling earphones, because I want to enjoy my alone time with music in my ears, I have no intention to chat/make friends, I just want some quiet time to read/play gamess and not having to talk to another human being.

From experience, there are some parents who have younger children waiting with them for their older children to finish lessons. That's totally normal. However, their children decide to fight because they are too young to want to share toys. Also, there are not that many toys in the waiting area so the toddlers are bored. Lastly, the parents are having a nice chit chat and just ignoring their fighting, screaming, crying kids who are bothering the rest of the parents who just want to enjoy some alone time in a peaceful environment. We are wired to only accept the crying noise of our own kids, because even though I am sympathetic to parents having to cope with their kids' tantrums, I can't stand the noise. I'm barely accepting of my own kid's whining in truth. When I see parents ignoring their tantrum-ing kids, I'm more annoyed at the parents who pretend nothing is happening than the noisy kids. Do they think we are enjoying their kids' behaviour and volume? If the parents are actually doing something to try to quiet their children, at least I feel slightly pacified and resigned to escape the scene with my earphones and loud music.

Every third week, the swimming school allows parents to go into the poolside to watch. I chose to go in to avoid the noise. After a while, a group of mums came in with their younger kids. (Can you hear the panic alarm going off in my head? Young Kids - Group of mums) And guess what. The group of mums start chattering really loudly. Their children gets bored because there are no toys for them at the poolside. They try to edge towards the poolside. The mums continue chatting very loudly and ignore them. The children keep bumping into me or splash me while they run around. Can you sense my annoyance? The point of the poolside watching is more of observing their children at class. Obviously the chatting mums are just chatting - can't they just do it outside? I got seriously annoyed at them for spoiling the peaceful observation space.

When Ryo and I went for our anniversary meal, we were early so we had the whole place to ourselves. It was so quiet and frankly, bliss. I didn't have to fight to speak over the voice of a child determined to continuously interrupt my conversation with Ryo, I could actually finish my sentences, I didn't have to be selective to pick the most important thing to say to Ryo in the short few seconds of quiet that I could speak when she was chewing her food and I actually had time to slowly think of what I wanted to talk about - random conversations included. I had taken to just keeping very quiet during meal times because the child refused to let me talk to her dad. (which made me feel very angry with her in general for being such a brat). There we were enjoying our quiet lunch, and 2 ladies came in and sat next to us. Immediately, the whole elegant restaurant atmosphere transformed into a noisy cafe. Every single phrase the women spoke had to be in exclamation marks and surprised, excited tones and 2 levels louder than the other tables. (Maybe it was an internal competition to see who could act more excited) I could feel my tension returning, because I couldn't hear the conversation at my own table and the other party and I would have to resort to speaking as loudly as the noisy culprits. Another table of 2 ladies arrived later on, acting the same way. "Oh, you look great!""You too!" "No, this old thing??!" OMG......................

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