Your 46th week of life has not been your best. We’re still in Japan and we had big plans for this week, but you’ve been ill and unhappy for most of it so things went differently. Not just you have been ill, Mama and Papa as well. Just like your first trip to the Netherlands, when we all got ill and plans got canceled left and right. We’ve been taking it as easy as possible, you and I are finally doing better but we’re still hoping for Papa to make a recovery. We hope to have a bit more fun during our last few days in Japan.
We started your 46th week with a visit to your uncle Hiromasa’s place in Shizuoka. You were a happy camper and enjoyed all the quality time with your family, and they all enjoyed you!
After that, we went on another little road trip to Mount Fuji. We stayed at another ryokan, and had an impressive view from our rooms of Fujisan. We were lucky that we got to see so much of Fujisan on the first day, because he was invisible during day two.
We thought we booked a private bathing room at the ryokan, like last week, but this turned out to be a rooftop jacuzzi with a view of Fujisan. This was unexpected and unnecessary (since our room turned out to have its own bathroom) but since we’d paid for it we went for it anyways.
We wish we hadn’t because we think that’s where we made you sick. The temperature differences between the jacuzzi and the outside air were probably too much for your little body to handle, even though we tried to wrap you up warmly and back inside asap. That night is when you first woke up crying with a fever.
After that you had a couple of days of high fever, which we tried to treat with paracetamol suppositories from the Netherlands and cooling patches from Japan. You did somewhat better on those but you were not your usual happy energizer monkey self. Still, we continued our planned travels.
We visited Mama’s friend Maiko and her husband Tsuyoshi in Yokohama. She used to be one of my students in Inuyama, and we’ve stayed friends ever since. When I texted her “I’m pregnant!” in 2014, surprisingly she responded with “Me too!” We’ve been excited ever since to introduce our little ones to each other.
Before this trip, I was probably most excited about seeing you and little Yui play together. But you weren’t yourself and even though you seemed aware of her presence you hardly interacted with her. You were too busy with that pesky fever in your little body. Mama and Papa enjoyed talking baby stuff with another set of new parents though.
Still on the fever suppressing suppositories, you even got to go to Tokyo Disney Sea. Maiko and Yui joined us, and there was a clear difference between you and Yui. She was excited most of the time and you were asleep or staring out in front of you most of the time. It was fun to spend a day with Maiko and do mommy things together, like breastfeed our babies, but I wish you’d been feeling better.
At night, Papa’s friend Yochan, his wife Maya and daughter Ayame drove 2 hours (one-way), all the way to Tokyo, just to have a quick dinner and of course to meet you. It was way too short, but Papa really enjoyed catching up with a friend he made all the way back in elementary school.
We stayed at a Disney Partner Hotel because the next day we were going to visit Disneyland. It was our first stay at a hotel as a family of 3, it was quite fancy and very comfortable. These days you seem to enjoy sleeping in contortionist positions.
The suppositories kept you in the okay-range of wellness, but we were only allowed to use those pills for 2 days and on day 3 your fever was 39.7°C and you were absolutely miserable. So we canceled our Disneyland plans, took you back to Osaka on the Shinkansen, and visited the hospital.
Unfortunately, as usual, the doctor didn’t really know what was wrong with you. We got some medications and reassurances that your body seemed to be in proper working order, and likely the fever would spontaneously disappear in a few days. It did, but your worrisome unhappy mood, complete with crying and screaming bouts, has lingered quite a bit longer. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think we’re near the end of that now.
When we went to the Netherlands we went to the Zaanse Schans in Holland, just to get a nice family photo of us with Dutch windmills. Now in Japan, I wanted to take a similar family photo with Japanese torii at Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Taisha. I love that place with all its orange shrine tunnels and hoped you would really enjoy that too. But even though your fever was gone when we went, your happy self had not quite returned yet. The family photo I envisioned was taken somewhere in between the thousands of orange shrines, and we took the photo above with the large entrance shrine kind of as a practice run. Soon after we took this you started crying, fighting, and screaming. We tried our best to calm you down, and we even made it to the orange tunnels but it was useless. Luckily, the just-for-practice selfie turned out pretty good, so we now also have a Babel in Japan photo.
Your teeth on the bottom are coming through nicely, and I finally got a photo. A third tooth is coming out on top. Surprisingly, not a front tooth, but a corner tooth, you know one of your vampire teeth. I suspect this has played a part in your recent cranky mood as well.
Babel-Led Weaning is going well. Lots of Japanese people are surprised by this style of baby-eating, as spoon-feeding is the norm here. People think it’s pretty amazing when they see you hold a whole apple and start scraping off bits to eat. You seem to need to see what food is before you put it in your mouth. I bought you a sweet potato and put a bit of its flesh on your spoon, but you didn’t recognize it and weren’t interested. I serve you big pieces at home which you then get to destroy and devour in your own way, and you love it.
You’re definitely eating more and more. You even ate all of the English rice cracker snacks I brought for the Tokyo trip on day one, so we had to buy some Japanese baby snacks for you. You haven’t been able to eat much meat or fish here, because most of it is cooked with soy sauce or some other kind of salt. You don’t particularly like rice, but I’m sure that will change someday with a papa who loves rice. You do love Japanese fruit, and have eaten bananas, mikans (tangerines) and ichigo (strawberries) with gusto. You don’t like small pieces, you want the whole thing, the bigger the better. Then you put it all in your mouth, chomp it around and then swallow the crushed pieces.