- youi don! [🇯🇵 ready? go!]
- doko itta? [🇯🇵 where did it go?]
- schoonmaken [🇳🇱 clean], please
- whaddaya doing?
- wat is dat? [🇳🇱 what’s that?]
- where are you?
- who’s that?
- are you okay?
- ittemiyou [ 🇯🇵 let’s do it]
- let’s go
You often say what things are in multiple languages. For example, when you want to express that something is cold you will say it’s “🇳🇱 koud 🇯🇵 tsumetai”. I’ve learned new Japanese words from you. We were working a puzzle with giraffes and you kept talking about something called “🇯🇵 kubi”, I had no idea what you meant until you pointed at your own neck and repeated the word. That’s when I learned the Japanese word for neck from you, my two-year-old son. Thanks!
You will use another language if you’re not understood in the language you were trying to speak. One time when you were trying to tell me the owls in a book were sleeping, your said “🇳🇱 slapen” to me. Even though you were speaking Dutch to me, I didn’t get what you were saying. After you said it four times in Dutch, you switched to Japanese and told me “🇯🇵 onenne”. Then I got it! You’re so smart.
When you talk about multiples of anything you usually use “twee” [🇳🇱2]. For example, when you’ve blown a lot of bubbles and you want me to see all of them you will excitedly say “Mama, look twee bubble!” Or when you want to play with multiple trains, you will ask for “twee trein [🇳🇱train], please”, no matter if it’s two, three, four or more trains you want to play with. Any kind of multiple in your brain is “twee” for now.
You are starting to recognize numbers and letters. You will point at numbers and letters and if you know them you’ll say what they are. You’re good at recognizing 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 0. You also know 5 and 6, but sometimes confuse these two. So far you recognize just a few letters for sure: A, B, C, and O. It’s because of the BABEL banner and the big letters COSATTO on your buggy, you’e asked about those letters repeatedly and it’s starting to stick. Whenever you see letters and you don’t know what they are you’ll start singing the BINGO song. I think because when that plays on YouTube, there are always big letters on the screen during the spelling part of the song. So you kind of associate that song with letters.
With your new do and coincidentally a new hoarse voice (which later we learned was due to croup – more about that below) you seemed like a completely different child. Also when babysitting later that week, next to a tiny baby, without your long baby locks, and with your hoarse voice, you suddenly seemed so grownup and independent. It blew me away to realize how big and hardly a tot you are anymore.
I do miss your long hair. Of course, you’re also very handsome with your short hair. Still, I wish I had just waited for your hair to outgrow the awkward hair-in-eyes phase. Also, flowbee doesn’t cut the most stylish of dos, so when we’re in Japan next week, we’ll visit the Anpanman hair salon again and have them cut your hair properly. After that I intend to let your hair grow long until you tell me you want a hair cut.
They sent over an ambulance and the paramedic looked you over and told us to get to the hospital because you needed some kind of injection. So at 2:30 am we were on our way to the Children’s Emergency Room. It was quite the interesting adventure for you, until we got to the examination room. Doctor’s offices often make you panic, I’m not sure why, maybe you have memories of getting vaccinations in similar rooms? Luckily, instead of an injection, you received liquid Dexamethasone through a syringe. This medicine reduced the swelling in your voice box and helped you breathe more easily. We stayed a few hours in the hospital for observation, and then your exhausted parents got to take you home.
The first Emerygency Room doctor was a bit weird. He asked so many unrelated questions (like minute details about your birth) and took notes like he was writing a book about us. Then he told us your ears were too waxy. He told us to go to the GP, get drops and then make you lie on each side for 3 minutes with drops in your ears and then clean your ears out with cotton swabs. I found this really weird since we’ve always been told not to clean your ears as it’s dangerous and we’d just be interfering with your ears natural process. Also, I don’t know how he imagines a two-year-old to lie still for 6 minutes.
Just in case, I went to the GP and she agreed with me that it was all very weird and assured me not touch your ears. She did have a look in your ears, while you were boobing (since you were crying as you were in a scary doctor’s office). We expected that would make you cry more, instead you started giggling and told us it was ticklish. That amused the GP and she said it was the first time someone had reacted like that. You laughed again when she checked your other ear.
Thankfully, you’re still an avid boober, and there isn’t much boob won’t fix. For more than 2.5 years it’s been your comfort and your nourishment. I always felt lucky that you weren’t one of those nipple twiddlers I kept reading about on my breastfeeding FB groups. Unfortunately, something changed this last season and I am now part of the club of moms who have to endure nipple twiddling while their little one nurses. I know it’s totally normal, but I really wouldn’t mind if you gave up this new hobby.
Papa recently dubbed my boobs Toby and Hiro (after two of your trains) to direct your attention away from something else while we were trying to get you to nurse and nap. I’m afraid those nicknames stuck and you’re now referring to my left boob as Toby and the right as Hiro. It used to be “melkie [🇳🇱 milky]” and “andere kant [🇳🇱 other side]”, I hope you’ll go back to that soon.
Like last year, we went trick or treating in the Intu mall with your friends. That was fun, except for the stores running out of candy very quickly. We also went trick or treating on Halloween night, a few streets over from where we live. In that neighborhood people go all out decorating and trying to frighten trick or treaters. It was really crowded and quite amazing, but it was a bit too overwhelming for you. You tightly clung to me with your eyes closed, crying loudly, until we went back home.
Interestingly, ever since then, you seem to have become obsessed with Halloween, though. You love watching Halloween clips and songs on YouTube and are forever talking about pumpkins, ghosts, zombies, monsters, vampires, spiders and witches. You will tell people “Halloween is scary”, you will say “trick or treat”, and sing “Spooky, spooky, very spooky. Oh no, it’s a vampire!” You chase us with your arms in the air. You like to pull your bottom eyelids down and scare us with what you call your zombie face. You cover yourself in blankets and pretend to be a ghost.
I introduced you to some things this year already. We watched Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten arrive in the Netherlands on his boat. We put out your shoe with a carrot and sang songs, the next day you discovered goodies in and around your shoe. We decorated the Christmas tree together. That got you really excited and you loved helping. That day you kept calling the tree “Chris” short for “Christmas”, but after a few weeks you now know to say “Christmas”. You seem to recognize Christmas music, when you hear it on the radio you will point and yell “Christmas”. Oh and you love singing “Jingle Bells.”
Last year, we had our photo taken with Santa and it was horrible for you. So we weren’t planning on doing that again this year. Yet, we happened upon a Santa in the park this year and you were very interested. You went over to say hi and ended up sitting on his lap quite happily and we even took a few selfies and had someone take our photo.
I was also afraid you would ask for Papa while he was away. So to avoid that we made sure you saw him leave in a taxi and later saw him on FaceTime. This is what happens with all your family members after they’ve visited us. You always seem to understand that them driving off and us waving them goodbye means they’re gone. You are always perfectly happy talking to them on FaceTime afterwards. Luckily, this worked really well with Papa as well.
I am glad everything went well when Papa was away, and I feel more confident if we have to do it again in the future. Still, I am so happy I am not a single mom, and that normally Papa is around to help. Also, we both love having Papa around, life is much better when we get to share it with him.
We’ve been also been painting a lot, mostly rocks. All over Derby, people are painting rocks and hiding them in parks and playgrounds for others to find. Found rocks are posted on the Derbyshire Rocks FB group. We got into this a few months ago and have since painted and hid more than 100 rocks together. We’ve seen a lot reappear on FB, but even more seem to have gone to never be seen again. It’s really fun when someone posts a photo of one of our rocks though, especially when it has traveled to another part of Derby.
I really enjoy the painting and you’ve become fond of rock hunting and especially hiding them. I used to be the one hiding them, but now you usually have very strong opinions on where a certain rock is to be hidden. Our first batch of rocks was a large bunch of ladybugs, and they led to your ladybug song. You came up with the melody and the lyrics are just ladybug on repeat. We spend a lot of time in the park walking around looking for rocks, walking through bushy and woody areas we’d normally never go.
Another favorite spot in the park is the Jumping Clay workshop. We go there at least once a week, usually twice or more. There you get to play with and make something out of clay that air dries, it’s amazing stuff. You call it play doh, but it’s much better and cleaner than actual play doh. You’re really good at it too! We bought you a really big box of jumping clay for the holidays and ever since we’ve opened it you’re constantly making magnets. Your whiteboard is covered in mini-makes of your favorite trains, Halloween icons, holiday icons, Anpanman, animals and more.
It’s actually the same nursery I tried to sign you up for when we just moved to Derby. It was connected to the children’s center I used to go to weigh you as a baby. But the nursery didn’t accept kids under two, and you would have only been allowed to start this past September. I wanted to you to go to nursery to make friends. Instead, we went to playgroups at that children’s center and made friends there. So it all worked out.
The day after Papa’s birthday we woke up to a white Derby. I had plans to clean the house and start packing for our trip to Japan, but that all got canceled because there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to play with you in the snow! We put on our winter gear and headed to the white park. You loved the snow! We loved seeing you in the snow, experiencing walking through it, throwing it, hearing it crack under your boots. The only thing we didn’t do was built a snowman, we kind of forgot, we saw a couple of snowmen though. Hopefully, next time. We stillhave Winter ahead of us, so there’s always a chance of more snow!