Eleventh Monkey

Dear Babel – By Papa


Happy 2nd birthday our little big man! We had a great birthday party. First, we celebrated it in Japan with Oma, Opa, and Akiko on your birthday. We flew back to the UK the next day, and celebrated again with your friends on the 6th of May. On your birthday, we went to the Anpanman museum, and had a Shotani cake. In the Anpanman museum, although we all were tired from all the exciting days in Japan (everyday we did something very fun, and you screamed from joy), we managed to see a dance show on the ground floor, the public area, and saw another show in the museum.

In the museum, we took a photo with Anpanman! It is like me taking a picture with Ichiro! Though you were tired when we took the photo, soon you will recognize how great it was for you. After that, we did some more shopping (as it is hard to get Anpanman goods in the UK) and came home.

At home, we had great yakiniku and, of course, a Shotani cake. Akiko joined us, and we sang the happy birthday song for you. By this time, you were able to sing this song too (you sing something like ‘Ha pa de you!’). First time, Opa blew out candles; he thought you couldn’t do it. Mama knew you could, so we did it again. This time, you blew out by yourself, and we were so proud, and so were you! I am so happy that you spent your second birthday with Opa, Oma and Akiko in Japan. Next day, sadly we left Japan. But it was not so bad because we knew Opa and Oma are visiting us in Japan in summer. Still Mama was crying, of course. Do I still have to write it? Maybe when she is not crying, I should write that :)).

Your second birthday was at our place in the UK with your friends. Mama planned this for a long time, and prepared for it very hard. She arranged several fun plays to do, food including the cake, and decorated the room. As you know Mama is very creative; she has so many great ideas. On the 6th of May, the day of your birthday party, we were doing the final touch-up for the party in the morning, as everyone was coming in the early afternoon. We knew that uncle Djamo and aunt Yasmin were coming to take some pictures and help us prepare. The doorbell rang, and I welcomed the two. Djamo said he needed to get his phone, so I went upstairs to the living room with Yasmin. A couple of seconds later, I heard the click of the gate, and saw someone like Djamo, not exactly. I looked carefully, and it was uncle Gyano! I still couldn’t comprehend what was going on, so I looked at Mama who was doing a similar face to mine, of total confusion. A few seconds later, we confirmed it was Gyano, and noticed it was a surprise! Behind Gyano, oma Lia was there, looking mischievous. Mama and I were screaming for joy! What a great surprise! Of course, Mama was… you know it, right Babel? In the afternoon, Noah, Ezra, Roìsìn, Robin, Lea, Clara, and Viviana came to celebrate your birthday.

As I am writing this, Mama just came to the kitchen and told me 2 things that are very useful: 1. I got a cream puff and cream slice at Birds this morning, so they need to be eaten today; 2. This blog article should focus on the past 6 months. So from here on, I’m going to write about those 6 months.

In the past 6 months, what you can do expanded geometrically! In November, we were both sick badly. But we were well on the Halloween! A few days before, we went to the city to find our clothes. We went to the Disney shop and some other costume shops. We didn’t find what we liked at the costume shops, so we went back to the Disney shop, and put the Nemo on you. At that moment, we knew this was it! You looked super cute. People around you looked at you, and smiled big. You also liked it so much that we didn’t undress you for a while. When we paid for it, we lifted you on the cashier table, and the cashier scanned the barcode on your back.

Because we had not done the trick-or-treat walk in this area (I had not done it at all in my life), we had no idea where to go. Mama heard a little was going on in one area, so we went there. But we only saw a couple of houses decorating and putting candies outside. We were disappointed. We came back to your neighborhood, and found many houses were doing it. You were sleeping around that time, but we still had a good Halloween. On way home, you were awake and walking with Mama, of which I took a picture. That ‘s a very cute Halloween picture. Now we know even more active part of the town, so we will visit there for this year’s Halloween.

In December, we flew to the Netherlands and spent Christmas with oma Lia and New Year’s with oma Lia, uncle Djamo, and aunt Yasmin. You met uncle Hiromasa, and showed him how you copy his break dance. Hiromasa was very impressed, and happy that his video was seen by you. When Hiromasa was there, we FaceTimed with your Japanese opa and oma. We had a great time. You were stroking and hitting Hiromasa’s hair.

There were a couple of times we visited Eindhoven station, and you just loved to run there. It’s a relatively big station, but you kept running there from one gate to the other gate, and from the other gate to the original gate. There were a little slopes near the gate, and you seemed to like running up and down the slopes even more.

This is just one example of how much you enjoy expressing your endless and relentless energy through physical movement. Another example is you loved to play in the soft play field. You loved to climb up the structure, jump on trampolines, play with balls, and slide down. We went to a big soft play gymnasium twice in Eindhoven. That was great fun!

In January, I think it was around this time that you started to line things up. The first time we saw was your small cars in the living room. I put a few in a straight line, and you kept going. You added one car, then two cars, three cars… After all, you put all the cars in one line, that was impressive! Since that was very well done and I said so to you many times in Japanese “jouzu” (= well done), I started walk on both sides of the line saying ‘Jouzu! Jouzu!’. You liked it a lot, and started to follow me. We were both saying ‘Jouzu!’ repeatedly out loud, walking so proudly. Indeed we were so proud of this beautifully lined-up cars! ‘Jouzu’ is one of the many words you learned in the last 6 months.

February, our travel to Japan in April is around the corner. We celebrated your friends’ birthdays! We went to a pool for Robin’s birthday and went to a soft play for Noah and Ezra’s birthdays. You also have Lea in your close friends group. You really have a good circle of friends. Having good relationships with your friends is very important, and you do have one already. Good job!

What I want to bring up here is my new hobby for 2017; making a SweetStatistics video every week with you! In the beginning we were doing it when you were asleep, so that I could say what I wanted to say, and the video was organized. But, hey, who likes an organized video? Your first appearance on SweetStatistics was #04 at Patisserie Valerie, that was mid-January, but from #07 at Birds, your appearance became the standard.

You totally messed up our recording, which was good. You screamed randomly, threw sweets to the floor, pounded sweets flat, wiped your hands on my clothes and etc. We have to watch out what you are doing, but that’s now a big part of fun, as we don’t know what’s going to happen.

Oh, we also did Setsubun bean-throwing in the park. That was fun too :).

March, I went to see your dance class. It was a great class, and very fun to see you dancing with music. You love dancing. When there is music, you dance. Mama and I think it’s a good thing. We often dance to music, or dance by mimicking what’s on TV. You started to tell us to do the same movement as you do. I remember when oma Lia was here in this month, we were eating something in the kitchen, and you started to tell us to put our hands on our head. If anyone didn’t do that, you pointed to them and asked to do the posture. It was cute and funny, we were laughing so hard. You clearly recognized what we were or were not doing.

April, we went to Japan to see your Japanese family! I have a lot of fun memories with you from this trip, and it is a very great pleasure to see how Opa, Oma, and other family members enjoy spending time with you. You make the family happy, and unite us more strongly. One of the things you enjoyed a lot was rolling balls on the golf putting field in Opa’s room. You were laughing and screaming out loud, watching golf balls hitting the spray cans and collapsing them. Again you made us dance the same way as you did, and if any of us wasn’t doing it, you pointed your finger to them, and made them do it. You were such a stern dance director!

Everywhere you went, your family paid all their attention to you, and had a great time. Aki, great oma Kiyoko, Hide, Kumi, Eimi, Yumi, Megumi-san, Dai-chan, Masaki-kun, the other great oma Shizuko, Akihiro, Mayumi, and Minoru. They all had a great time holding and talking with you. You make people happy. It was funny that when we visited Kiyoko’s house for the first time, you kissed all of them except for Yumi. Eventually you kissed her, but we laughed hard.

We already got a lot of souvenirs for others and ourselves, but still your Japanese family gave me a lot of stuff to take home, mainly Anpanman stuff!

In this trip, we did something super fun every day!! What a rich trip! Anpanman museum, Awaji, USJ, Kids Plaza, Toy Toy Park, baseball game, aquarium, zoo, farm, national park etc. Mama and I feel the greatest happiness when we see you happy. At every place, you looked very curious, and played hard, and looked happy. What a great trip.

You are now 2 years old. 2 years, time flies indeed. Every day you become more loving to us. You make the entire family happy but Mama and I get the happiest :).

Big love from a published author Papa :).