Dear Babel, By Papa

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Happy early 4th birthday, Babel! Now, you talk a lot. I mean a loooot!!! Mainly in English. Thanks to Mama’s hard work, you are now able to go to toilet by yourself when you need to pee or poo. Let’s review what you have done since my last post.

In November, we went to see the fireworks for the Guy Fawkes Night with your friends! You enjoyed a couple of rides, and dancing (while eating a cotton candy) at the end too. You like dancing, and you are good at it too. Now you go to a dance class every week. You also enjoyed the fireworks, looking at the sky with fascination. I hope someday you will see Japanese fireworks!

Soon after this, Mama and Papa went on a nursery trip with you to Elvaston Castle. You roasted a marshmallow on a campfire, and enjoyed the taste. The weather was not super nice, but you had fun jumping in the puddles and rolling down the hills. It was a really nice park (it was more of a park than a castle), and Papa had a great time playing with you in nature.

We also went to the Netherlands this month. We went to the DAF museum, and met relatives including Rik. Mama and Papa stayed at a hotel for two nights so that Oma could have you to herself. Of course, we missed you so much. We also went to see the Zwarte Piet show, and you finally got to meet Party Piet Pablo!

In December, you started to like wearing Papa’s childhood jacket. You look really nice in it. I took a picture of you in this jacket at table, noting ‘I own a yacht in Miami’. Around this time, you started liking to wear a bit formal clothes; jackets, collar shirts, ties and bowties! You look very cool in these cloths, and have gone to nursery or dance class wearing them. You are already a fashionable Dutch boy.

On my birthday, you and Mama made a gigantic tower cake for me! It was a simple strawberry shortcake that Papa loves. You helped Mama make this very well. It was delicious, thank you Mama and Babel!

On 21st December, which is Papa and Mama’s anniversary, we had an even more special gift this year. Mama went to the hospital to get her belly scanned, as she was pregnant and we were worried it was an ectopic again. I was home this day, working from home. I got a text from Mama saying that the pregnancy was uterine, but she did not tell me the full story. Maybe she was busy at the hospital, I thought. Mama came home, and I asked her “It was good, right?” She nodded, and then she said (which I still remember clearly) “Yasu, it’s TRIPLETS.” Papa froze. I could not comprehend the word for a couple of seconds. Then I looked at Mama, and she was laughing, so part of my mind thought “She must be joking… Wait, she is still laughing… This doesn’t look like she is joking. Really? We are really having triplets! Triplets, seriously, three new babies, really?” Something like that went on in my mind. I could not say anything nor move. I literally froze. After a few minutes of being frozen, we collapsed to the floor, just laughing. People laugh when they are scared off the chart. That was this moment. That was the last working day of the year at Papa’s work, and my colleague brought you a Christmas gift, so we went to my work and told some of my colleagues who were very very very excited to hear this! I said to Mama that our life is always interesting.

What followed this was, of course Christmas! We went to Lea’s house to celebrate. They cooked so many good dishes, we had a great time. I loved their christmas cake very much. You played well with Lea, and also with her guidance, you successfully pooped in a toilet again (you also did a week earlier at Robin’s house with Lea for company)! Great job Babel! We also went to see the Spider-man movie. Now you can sit through an entire movie. You are a big boy now!

January, welcoming Papa’s Zodiac year. Because the Christmas party at Lea’s house was so much fun, we had the Oshougatsu party at our place. Papa, wearing the muscle man apron that I got from Viviana and Guido, made a lot of sushi. You ran around the apartment with your friends and had a great time. You also enjoyed the sushi I made. I am happy to see you eat what I have cooked for you, especially rice food such as onigiri and sushi.

You also started to go to a swimming class but you didn’t like going into the water without Mama or Papa. Papa once came to class, hoping that would help you going into the water, but it did not. After a few attempts, we decided to cancel the class (as every time, you simply refused to go into the pool). But this led you and Papa to go to the pool together on Sundays! I enjoy this time of the week with you. Now you can do so many things in the pool: swim with a floating gear, put your face under water, a big jump into the pool, climb onto a big floating board by yourself etc.

We got Japanese snacks, and made a video of it for SweetStatistics. There were so many different kinds of snacks, we had a great time eating them. You especially liked Dondon Yaki and Umai Bo, both of which are my favorites too. Umai Bo has so many kinds of flavors, so I’m hoping to explore more with you!

We also went to the New Year’s Party organized by the East Midlands Japanese Association. You had nice Japanese food including Oden, did some calligraphy, and saw a Taiko performance. Towards the end, you were tired and wanted to go home but still you experienced something Japanese for Oshougatsu, which is the biggest event of the year in Japan.

In February, during half-term, we started potty training you and you started wearing underpants instead of diapers. Our boiler had stopped working since late-January, and on one day you pooped 3 times in your pants, so Mama had to wash your pooped pants 3 times in cold water. Needless to say, Mama was not happy at all (it was not about you, but it was about the broken boiler). But thanks to Mama’s hard work, now you can go to toilet when you need to pee or poo, getting ready for school in September.

At the end of February, because the weather was perfect, we went out to picnic. I gladly made a lot of onigiris and put them in bento boxes. We found a nice bench and table in Markeaton Park, and opened the bento boxes. You grabbed one big onigiri, wrapped with nori, and ate it with your dinosaur mouth! You ate a couple of big onigiris, which Papa was really happy to see. I will make more in the future. Later, of course, you found an ice cream bus, so you had a nice soft-serve ice cream. When you got one, a journalist from the Derby Telegraph asked us for a photo. Yes, you are in the Derby Telegraph! We had a great day picnicking this day. We will do this again.

In March, we found out the sexes of the triplets. This has been a hot topic in Papa’s office, so people bet on it. My bet was 2 girls and a boy. Mama hoped the same, but feared 3 girls. You, from December, have been saying 2 boys and 1 girl, so that you and Papa can have a boy each, and Mama can have a girl. Well, it turned out you were right. I have heard a lot of stories that an older sibling can tell something about their younger siblings in mother’s womb, and this is one of those stories now. You knew it! The day we found out, our doctor typed ‘Princess’ right next to the scan picture of the baby girl. Mama and Papa told this to our family members, and others (who became even more excited to see them in the future!).

We had a gender revealing party with Robin, Lea, Clara and Viviana! It was really difficult to keep it a secret from them, but we managed to hide it till this day. Especially, the morning of the party, Papa and Mama were talking with Clara and Viviana while waiting for your dance class, and they were making guesses about it so we tried to keep straight faces. Papa is not good at keeping secrets, so it was really hard. Anyway, at the revealing party, you popped three balloons which contained blue or pink confetti. Until this day, you mainly played with balloons by throwing, hitting, or kicking them, but now you’ve learned popping them.

Because Mama is often tired, we started to play more together. Now weekends are pretty much Papa-Babel playing time, so we’ve been doing a lot of fun things! We went on another picnic with some onigiris and played in the grass field and a playground. On weekdays, after dinner, we’ve walked down to the apartment’s parking garage to play soccer or to just run. I really enjoyed this after-dinner playtime, and think it is really important that we spend time together, running around.

Growing moyashi (bean sprouts) was really fun too. It took us just a week but during that week, every morning, the easiest way to get you up from bed was to tell you that moyashi has grown a lot! I would tell you in bed, that the moyashi was a lot bigger, then you would immediately get up, and run to the living room. Now, I am editing all the videos to make them into one episode of SweetStatistics, but I am so glad we did this together. Now you know how plants grow! This bunch of moyashi did not taste so well but every day we saw them grow. On day 2 or 3, you saw tiny stems from seeds, and said “chin-chin!” That was a really fun experience, we will do it again.

In April, because of Easter, we were allowed to see you perform at the end your dance class. You danced really well and did some funny movements to make people laugh. I often see you doing funny things (e.g. faces, movements, noises) like Papa did when he was little. Mama and Papa cried seeing you dance. You were so good!

To get used to my office atmosphere, you came to my office once to have lunch. Christine and Pauline suggested this, as they are happy to see you if/when both Mama and Papa are busy taking care of the triplets in the future. You met Christine in the office, and enjoyed talking to her. You had met her before at our place, when you played snap cards with her. You learned to say ‘Snap!’ so quickly. In Papa’s office, you played with toys that Papa kept under his desk, and ate the fried rice Papa cooked. You met other colleagues of mine, and had a great time.

Now Oma Lia is here with us, and you are having a really really nice time. This morning, you asked Mama if Oma Lia is still here, and you were very happy to hear that Oma Lia is still here. Now we are going to egg-hunt in Markeaton Park with Mama, Papa, Oma Lia and your friends!

You are soon to be 4 years old. I cannot believe how fast time flies. You grow so quickly. Often I see videos of you last year or before, and it is just stunning how fast you grow. Now you are a big boy, and a big brother, ready to help take care of triplets with Mama and Papa. Often at night after you’ve gone to sleep (that is the only time we can talk), Mama and Papa talk about how great you are. We are very fortunate to have you in our lives.

Happy birthday Babel, a big brother of triplets!

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