We did it again, another photo of the three of us holding last year’s photo. Always on April 25th, starting on the day you were born. This year it is a selfie.
You are three! You speak a lot, in three different languages. You eat a lot. You run a lot. You laugh a lot. You sing a lot. You dance a lot. You sleep a lot. You nurse everyday and night, but not a lot, not anymore. Milkies is still your source of comfort when you are tired, hurt or upset, but it’s no longer your main source of nutrition. You are growing up, you are a boy, no longer a baby. You are amazing and our constant source of awe and joy. We are so lucky to get to spend our lives with you.
Happy 3rd birthday our talkative boy! Everyday we witness your vocabulary exploding in all the three languages, and we just enjoy basic conversations with you. Since your second and a half birthday, we have done a lot of things. I remember we were all so excited to visit Japan during Christmas and Oshougatsu. We did go there, and had a great time again! You got your first-ever Otoshidama, and ate a bunch of Oshougatsu food including Ozouni and mochi (rice-cake). You loved shrimp mochi the most, which we later found out unsurprising; your love for shrimp is significant :)
Wow, another season of your life passed. This Winter we went to Japan to celebrate Oshougatsu [🇯🇵 New Year’s holidays] for the first time. It’s the biggest holiday in Japan and we celebrated for three days with lots of gorgeous food and lots of your family members. You spoke lots of Japanese, ate lots of Japanese food, had another haircut (and hated it again), and we bought you lots of Japanese Pla Rail and Thomas trains.
The theme of this trip to Japan almost felt like it was Thomas and Friends. We went to loads of toy stores to find more and more Thomas items and we even traveled to see Thomas and Friends. We took you to Thomas Land near Mt Fuji, to Thomas Station in Izumi, to a Thomas Pla Rail Expo in Osaka, and we even rode an actual Thomas and Friends train. You loved it all!
You talk a lot. You ask regular questions and say common things but often the speech rhythms you use crack us up. Unfortunately, they’re hard to explain here, so I hope you can find yourself saying these things in one of the many videos I’ve posted of you on YouTube. Current regulars are:
- 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!
Dear Babel, happy 2nd and a half birthday our short-haired smart boy!! It feels like it was just a moment ago that you turned 2 years old. What did we do after our Japan trip? Well, speaking of the Japan trip, we booked another Japan trip in less than 2 months. Mama found a really good deal for flights over Christmas and New Year’s, and came up with the idea that we spend Oshougatsu (New Year’s Day) in Japan with your Japanese Oma, Opa and other family members. Because this holiday overlaps with Papa’s university’s winter break, we will spend 3 full weeks in Japan!
Another season is over and like last season you got to hang with many of your family members. Your Dutch Oma was here at the beginning of Summer and she was here just this last week, she went back home on the last day of Summer. Uncle Djamo and aunt Yasmin have moved to Kuwait, but you did get to see them this Summer, uncle Djamo even twice. And of course, your Japanese Opa and Oma came over for a long visit in August.