Saturday, October 31, 2015

二千二十九: In Between Employment

First official month of unemployment.

It was kind of therapeutic, I could fetch bb without the stress of having to rush back for work, we could take our time walking, I stopped shouting at her so much to hurry up. We went to Legoland, her school's halloween party, tried to bake more.

We also did bb's 七五三 because her grandparents insisted.. it was an expensive affair (about 60,000yen??) . Photoshoot at the studio including rental of her kimono, she enjoyed the hair and makeup but refused to smile at the camera and doing the Chandler look thing whenever the cameraman told her to smile. In the end, she looked the same in all the photos so we just picked one of it to give to her grandparents. The family picture looked ok. so we just took one of us 3. In the temple, we took more pictures with my camera, nothing really good since the camera was not in very good condition. We paid another 10,000yen for the prayers process - parents/kids all went up into the temple area to get blessed by the priest with chants of "good health and good studies" . Quite interesting, but to a very cynical me, all these "traditions" have become too commercialized. All are just opportunities to get money from the pampering parents, but what about not so rich kids? How will they feel if their parents cannot afford all these celebratory actions supposedly to uphold traditions? I would think that teaching the kids their heritage and the stories behind these traditions is more important than spending all these needless money taking photos and renting clothes every 3,5,7 years old for the sake of "tradition". But it's hard to argue with the elderly unless we escape to another country...

I tried to spend abit more time creating flashcards for bb to learn, especially Chinese words. I'm very keen for her to be able to read and write Chinese, no matter how basic, because China is going to be a global superpower and why pay money to learn as an adult when she has all the practice she can get with family? English is ok with school, but I'll have to put in more effort teaching her next year when school ends. She's already muttering in Japanese when she plays with her toys at home so I think her other languages will be taking a backseat unless I aggressively continue to practise with her.

Finally got my first certificate from Coursera. I was waiting at the station for bb during her ballet classes and just reading and thought to use the time listening to the lectures as well, and earned an Introduction to Philosophy certificate.

There was also bb's school sports' day which was quite fun (we didn't participate last year as we went to Hawaii).  But not sure what the fuss is about that people need to go and snatch for floor space early. They did some mass exercises, parent-student competitions etc., a very mild version of the real sports day in normal Japanese schools. At the end of the day, all the kids received a medal and a packet drink.

Also managed to wean bb off the ipad by deleting the youtube app. Added quite a few more educational apps instead. Since she couldn't watch Youtube, she started using the apps to draw etc, and I set the no ipad during mealtimes rule so she stopped watching the ipad with her meals. She does however, keep turning around to watch the tv..


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