Tuesday, December 04, 2007


That's the bath - she loved her bath again last night, conveniently forgot the sneezing episode. Nothing seems to fluster this baby, she's one calm kid.

But I have other children, you know, and maybe you'd like to know what going on in their lives. Amy is a proud big sister, and is the best at getting Erica to talk or laugh. She has no shame! And it's funny to hear the kinds of things she says, which are copied off me, you know that dorky stuff you say to babies for lack of anything else to say 'You're a pretty baby, yes you are! what are you doing? Are you talking to Mummy, yes you are you clever little darling!' all said in that high-pitched baby-talk voice. It's the same in Japanese!

She has a big school run tomorrow - can't call it a cross-country, as it's around the city streets! They have been practicing in the grounds at school every day, and so far her asthma seems to be handling it okay. There is so much dust though! The school yard, for those who don't know, has no grass, it's just dirt, turning to a mud-bath on rainy days. She also has a toe-nail coming off, so between the two little problems, I'm a little concerned about the run. I'll go stake out a spot at the half-way point to see her come past, and check that she's okay!

School is going okay. She hates getting so much homework every day and is dying to get back to school in NZ, where there is much less. Not to mention grass! Everyday she has to practice sums, write a page of sums, do some reading and practice writing characters. In addition she has piano practice, and she wants time to play, so we are not getting any time to practice English, except for reading before bedtime. Due to all the classes, long winter baths and baby care, bedtime is getting later and later, which she doesn't like - she's made the connection between how good she feels in the morning and how late she went to bed, and is keen to get to bed earlier! "Let's go to bed at 5 o'clock tonight Mama" she says!

She's keen to start ballet and art again, although I am afraid that she'll just quit again. She's too independent! She likes doing her own thing - the downside to having a creative kid who very happily amuses herself without ever wanting to watch TV. Meanwhile, she's doing swimming and piano. Piano upsets her - she can't do it, and doesn't like to do something she can't excel at straight off. But I want her to persist, because I don't think it's good to only do things that come easily. You have to learn to put some effort in, and it's a much greater reward when you worked hard at something. It's been better though since I stopped interfering and left her and the teacher alone!

Lena is not enjoying Kindy as much as Amy did. She has 'friends', if you can call them that, as they seem to tease her as often as be kind to her. Lately her mood seems to hinge on whether one of them calls her hair-tie or her clothes cute or not. So every day is a battle to get her wearing something she feels will be acceptable to her 'friends'. We all want our kids to be stronge against peer pressue, but I lean towards giving in, as it just seems SOO important to her!

Often they reject her totally, and even tell other girls not to play with her, or you can't be our friend. So Lena plays with the boys. It got bad enough that the teacher called us to kindy to talk about it. Lena got so upset - they told her she had weird, 'different' eyes - she has the most beautiful eyes you can imagine, and she's made to feel ashamed of them! She wanted to change her name, seeming to feel that her name was wrong, or weird too. (It's actually a very common Japanese name). She wanted to change it to 'Ayumi', which is the name of Japan's No.1 pop star, because then everyone would like her. So I'm playing music to her by some pop stars whose Mums are foreigners. There are a few in my Foreign Wives' Club whose daughters have made it in Japan's music industry.

It seems to have settled down for the time being, but then again, she doesn't report to me what happens every day.

She had her ballet concert a few weeks ago. She was Little Red Riding Hood. Once again, they went all out, with professional costumes, lighting, sets, everything but the symphony orchestra! She has started piano, but she is very naughty, and prefers to do silly things like fall off her chair. She loves swimming, but I want her to take a rest for the rest of this month, as it makes her cough worse. I think she has asthma. Two weeks ago after swimming, I could swear I could hear wheezing in her lungs, as she coughed and coughed after her lesson. I have heard that although swimming is good generally for lungs, pool water can aggravate asthma. Also the hot air in there, then the cold air outside wreaks havoc on weak lungs. It seems her cough from a cold way back may have developed into asthma.

I gave her ventolin, and the effect was almost immediate reliefe. I took her to the hospital the next day, and the doctor said she couldn't hear asthma in her lungs, but her lungs still sounded better after the nebulizer. She gave me a short course of antibiotics, plus mucus and cough medicine, as, she said, they don't pass out asthma medication at the first showing. It may just be a bad cough. We are going again on Dec 26, when we will also get their second flu shots. With all this threatened asthma, and a baby in the house, I don't want any flu this season if I can avoid it!

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