Just like last summer, Opa, Oma, and great-aunt Akiko visited us from Japan this summer. This was the third time they all got to see Babel in real life. Of course, we FaceTime a lot with Japan, but nothing beats real life contact. Our little Babel is super social so he loved all the extra people and all the extra attention.
In true Japanese-style the Japanesies brought us loads of omiyage. Lots of Japanese snacks and a lot of Anpanman items for Babel. I’m not into character themed merchandise, but I don’t mind the Japanese ones because they’re so unusual here. For some reason, all the Japanesies in our life keep buying Babel Anpanman stuff, so he’s got quite a collection now. Whenever other mommies ask me about him I call him a Japanese superhero. Babel loved unpacking all the gifts, he squealed a lot and really examined every new item.
In Derby, we took the Japanesies to the park, and showed them Babel’s favorite hang-out: the paddle pool. We did some kiting, some bubble blowing, and some picnicking with some of our baby friends. It’s great to go out with Yasu’s mom and aunt, they always bring an extensive lunch that always includes fresh onigiri. And these little onigiri have finally made Babel a fan of rice!
For the longest time he would not eat rice, and we were beginning to doubt his Japaneseness. But all we really needed was a visit from his fellow Japanesies to help him recognize his inborn love of rice. He tried one of the homemade onigiris in the park and loved it! Since then he’s had some onigiri every time the adults did, which was every day. And still now, at dinner time he eats rice like it’s the best invention since cheese. He loves cheese, that’s his inner Dutchie.
When we were in Japan earlier this year, Babel started eating for real instead of just playing, tasting and spitting out. In Japan he started actually swallowing amounts of food that could be considered a meal. I remember him consuming about 7 large strawberries in a row at a family party. During this visit of Japanesies it seems like Babel has taken his eating to yet another level again. His appetite seems to find his Japanese family inspiring.
The whole time the Japanesies were here, the cooking was done by Yasu’s mom and aunt. I’m not going to lie, that was a really nice break for me! It’s also nice to have some good Japanese food for a change. They brought loads of things from Japan to cook with and they improvised a lot with English products. I really wouldn’t mind it if they moved into the guest room and provided us with food all year round!
We also took the Japanesies to downtown Derby, where Babel enjoyed a lot of walking around the streets, mall and shops. He learned how to walk by himself, without any help from us, so he’s used to doing it all alone and he doesn’t like anyone holding his hands when he’s stepping around. We tried a few times in the past, but Babel is strong and immediately pulls his hand away.
But his Japanese Oma was very determined, and I guess she’s got some kind of death grip hidden in her small hands. She was able to keep a hold of Babel’s hand while he was walking. Opa managed it for a little while as well. It wasn’t easy, they had to work hard, but it sure looked cute!