Shock Horror!

Today started off reasonably well.  Luka woke me up at just before 6a.m.  I gave him his “dream feed” last night at around 10:30p.m., and when he woke up again at 1:30, I gave him some water (which he ever so reluctantly took), and then threw himself back down on his tummy in the cot in protest, where I patted him to sleep.  So anyway, back to the day…I got up and made hubby’s bento.  I forgot I hadn’t washed rice the night before, so I said,

“hmm, we only have ching rice”, meaning that vacuum packed microwaveable stuff, to which he said,

“Urghhh, for bento?!?!  That’s horrible.” 

“It’s better than nothing,” I replied, and then he got really pissed off.  Turns out he thought that by “ching rice”, I was going to get some old rice out of the fridge (that he had apparently put in there himself for some reason), reheat it, and stick it in his bento.  Ahhh, the delights of miscommunication!  I only called it that because he always does :))

Hannah didn’t get up until 7:30, so I was a bit worried about getting out in time, but she ate her breakfast and let me help her get ready like an angel today, although for some reason, we ended up being a little late and having to use the “late gate” at nursery.  Good for Hannah though, because her friend Milia was late too.  So cute to watch them smiling at each other, excited about the day ahead!

Then it was off to the bank.  I found one of my old bank cards and remembered that I had a bank account from when I was living in Tokyo.  So after depositing some money in there a couple of days ago (thought I would try out this “secret account” business, just to save us all some money, not to diddle my husband out of his salary..).  I didn’t have a passbook for it anymore, so I asked at the bank for a new one.  Oh the fuss and palaver!  Realised that my maiden name was still on the card, and stupidly told them so, because I didn’t have any I.D. with my old name on.  So I went back there today with my old passport, new passport, drivers license, foreigner’s card, hanko, kitchen sink, etc.  When there, I had to fill out about a hundred forms.  Each with the same information on!!  Love it!  One for changing my name, one for losing my passbook, one for changing my address (funny trying to remember my Tokyo address.  They had to keep giving me hints 🙂 ), one for hmm, delivery of my new card (bank is now Mizuho, but was Daiichi Kangyo when I joined and had Hello Kitty on the card!) and another for delivery of my new passbook.  Soooo funny!  Then I had to redo one of them, because my “full name” (I use speechmarks too much) was written in lower case and not capitals..

So after about an hour, it was all done, and I felt quite proud of myself.  I DID wonder if it would have been easier just to open a new account, but it was all done by that point.  When I first came to Japan, I could only say, “doko?”, so to sort something like that out, even with a lot of help from the lobby woman, is quite a major achievement.  I am trying to do more things on my own, because although my husband says he is happy to help me (and I really do think he means it), I would rather do some things on my own.  Especially with the kindergarten, where I often want to say something directly, but he is not really happy about doing a direct translation.

So, on to the kindergarten incident.  Hannah has taken a bit of adjusting because it’s been two months since she was at nursery.  She is still having trouble talking in Japanese.  She forgot a lot of vocabulary, but can still pretty much understand everything, but is talking to the teachers in English.  One of the teachers said, “Good morning” to her, to which she, quite understandably burst into tears.  It’s confusing enough, without having people suddenly switch languages on her.

Today was early Friday, so I went to pick Hannah up at 2p.m.  We all have to wait in a line outside the nursery door where the children are dismissed one by one, and the teacher gives information about each child.  This is, I suppose a service to the parents, but it takes a long time, and I personally would rather communicate through a notebook system, like they have at hoikuens.  So this one little girl came out to a mother two people in front of me.  The girl had a perfectly round bite mark on her arm!  You could see each tooth mark very clearly.  I watched the teacher telling the mother that somebody had bitten her, but that the offender had apologised, and that they were very sorry.  I remember thinking, over protective mother that I am, that I was glad it wasn’t Hannah who had been bitten!

When Hannah came out, she looked a bit miserable.  Her hair was all stuck to her head with sweat and her hat shoved on.  She basically looked really hot and bothered.  The teacher just told me that she had had fun playing and that was about it.  On the way back to the car, she said,

“My hair is wet because I’ve been crying, I think.”

I asked her why she had been crying, and she said,

“From biting somebody.”

Wow, shock horror!  I wasn’t really sure, because sometimes she says really bizarre things that don’t have too much truth to them.  Plus, the teacher hadn’t said anything to me about it, so I doubted it was true.  I asked her where she bit someone, and she said,

“two girls, finger.” 

Now I knew that it wasn’t the little girl I’d seen, because that bite was on her arm.  But it was a bit of a weird co-incidence.  I thought maybe she had seen someone else do it, and then copied them.  She said the little girl didn’t cry or anything.  But when we got in the car, she started to get a bit more upset and said that the teacher had shouted at her.  She really did look as if she’d had a tiring and stressful day, so I pulled her into the front seat of the car and gave her a hug.

When we got home, I mailed Yusuke to ask him to find out what had happened. 

Shock horror!  She HAD bitten TWO girls!  Apparently, there were some primary school children visiting the nursery today and Hannah was really excited.  She had bitten one of the girls in the class above her, but the girl hadn’t said anything because it hadn’t really hurt.  But the second girl (I am guessing this was the JAWS type bite that I had seen the result of) had cried.  The nursery hadn’t told me because it is only their policy to tell if the children had been fighting.  Because Hannah had just done it out of excitement, they hadn’t told me.

Now, I can kind of understand their logic.  But..I feel really bad about this, and I wish that I had known today, so that I could have apologised to the mother of that little girl.  I know that it isn’t my fault, but I really worry that others might think I condone that type of behaviour, when quite the opposite is true!  I know I am probably being a bit daft.  Quite apart from that, I think that any mother should know if their child has hurt another child.  I mean, it’s not even as if it were an accident!

So, after chatting with Yusuke, he agreed and said he’ll write something in the notebook and the teacher can read it on Monday.

I really hope Hannah can settle soon.  She seems to get so stressed out about things.  I don’t think I help sometimes, because I get stressed too.  I have been trying to calm down because she really seems to pick up on my stress.  Ah well, fingers crossed for Monday!

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4 thoughts on “Shock Horror!

  1. Oh I hear you on the bank dramas with changing names on a card and losing the bank book- both things happened to me with my account I had from last time I was in Japan (actually have had it since I was a student when I was 19- when I recently changed the address it was STILL the one I used as a student way back then even though I have lived 2 other places since then. HAHA)

    What a giant pain in the ass hey- you need so much stuff. Did they charge you for the NEW passbook too? I had to pay because I lost the old one. Stupid banks.

    Sorry to hear that Hannah has been biting at school- I am sure it is something she will grow out of. Maybe get Hannah to make a “im sorry” card for the girl or something. That way you can teach her about consequences of actions etc.

    We had a biter at our kindy where I taught- rest assured though Hannah is not nearly as bad as her- this girl used to draw blood she bit that hard. She once bit a boy through his jumper and drew blood- she had so much rage. I shouldn`t laugh, but I can`t help laughing thinking back to it. At the time the boy had done something to kind of deserve been bitten and we were just about to step in to break it up when the little girl retaliated and bit him. I was kind of on her side….

  2. Ha ha, I too am in my third apartment AFTER the Tokyo address! I had kind of given up on the account, but thought I could find a use for it somehow. And yes, 1,050 yen for the passbook 😦 Irony is, I had finished it, and think I just ended up throwing it away. Stupid banks is right.

    Great idea about the I’m sorry card(s)! I had thought I might do something like that. Even if it’s thought of as weird, I think it is a nice gesture. I think this new found aggression (she pounded Yusuke’s hand with a fork today..) has something to do with her getting used to her normal routine again. The trip to the U.K., the two month break from kindy. I think it is all a bit much for her. I’m hoping it will calm down soon. I’m trying to be calm but firm with her, and not shout too much.

  3. Hi. I found you through Sara’s blog. Not to be confusing but my name is Sarah, too!!

    I can totally relate to the biting and MIL stuff. Actually my oldest daughter didn’t bite, she hit a boy so hard his nose bled! I never knew which boy or who his mom was so I was never able to apologize but I did make Emi write an I’m sorry note (she was 5). Even then it took about three hours to convince her it was necessary.

    Why are MIL’s so difficult? I’ve lived here for 8 years and my oldest is 8 and my MIL has finally calmed down. Even though I couldn’t speak Japanese in the beginning I piped up right away when she did stuff I didn’t think was OK and whenever she tried to critize me I just ignored it! Maybe because I speak Japanese now I can see the crazy stuff coming and nip it in the bud but things have gone a lot better this year.

    Your kids are so cute!

  4. My son went through a bit of a biting phase right after his sister was born. It’s mortifying! I would be upset if he was biting at daycare and no one told me. I think it’s important to deal with it quickly. He hasn’t bitten since April though. Hope this is it for your Hannah.

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