This week, it was my husband’s turn to be out of town. He left on early Sunday morning and came back on Thursday evening. I was left with two young, very active toddlers. Though it was physically challenging at times and exhausting to be on “kids duty” for the whole week without extra pair of hands, my emotional status has been surprisingly even and calm. I noticed that I hardly raised my voice to my kids, I used humor to redirect them and got them do things, such as getting ready in the morning, or getting them to sleep at night. Since I knew that I will be on my own to pick them up from daycare after work and put dinner on the table, I had planned each meal in advance and actually ended up cooking more than I would normally do. In other words, things went really well on that end.
A while ago, my husband suggested that we purchase “How to teach your baby to read” program by Gentle Revolution. It’s like a stack of flash cards written with huge red letters and you show them to your child while saying the word – the idea is that rather than memorizing the alphabet “a” “b” “c” and different ways to pronounce them depending on the combination with other letters, we have them memorize the entire word and how it sounds. Since my first language is not English, and I believe that English is a difficult language when it comes to the pronunciation of a word, I thought it was a great idea. Continue reading
この言葉はもともとアフリカの格言で、It takes a village to raise a child（子育ては村中でするもの）という意味です。ヒラリー・クリントンが同名の本を書いていますが、この名前のついた、子育てについての会議がサンディエゴで行われます。去年が第一回で、9月に行われた会議に一般参加者として出席した私は、閉会式で私が師と仰ぐSusie Waltonが締めの挨拶をしているのを聞きながら、来年は私がプレゼンターとして参加すると意を決しました。今から思うと、そこからRCB日本語コースを教えるための活動が出発したように思います。(写真は去年の基調講演をしたMax Simon)
Some time ago, my husband and I watched the movie “Seven Samurai” which was highly recommended by my friend Henry. It is an old movie (1954) made by the world famous film director Akira Kurosawa. We enjoyed it very much. It is about a village of farmers that decided to hire seven samurai (ronin; masterless samurai) to defend themselves from an impending attack of bandits instead of letting the bandits steal their crops after the harvest. There were many things to be said about this movie. I liked what Kanbei (the head Samurai) said to others when he was trying to recruit his small army. He was honest about it up front and said “I have a job that brings you no money and no fame”. Continue reading
My two sons are only 16 months apart. We wanted to have our children close in age because both my husband and I have close-in-age siblings, and our experiences of growing up were overall positive. When people see us with two little ones running around, they say that we have a handful, and it is true that we do, but when we see them doing things together such as playing, giggling, sharing and entertaining each other, my husband and I look at each other and smile. As my husband likes to say, “It’s all part of the master plan”.