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.
You keep me busy, as you should, so you’re doing your job well. Still that means it has been hard to keep up writing about your developments and adventures on a monthly basis. So I’ve switched to doing this quarterly, by the season. This first one will overlap a bit with the last Babel Monthly, because after all that was part of our Spring with you.
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.
It’s not a party without some fun activities for you and your little friends. For weeks, I searched the internet for ideas for toddler activities that I could give a dinosaur twist. I knew you guys are still too young for anything that would involve patiently waiting turns or winners and losers. The obvious activities for a birthday party, eating cake and unwrapping presents, kept you all entertained for a long while, but you guys enjoyed a lot more dinosaur fun at the party.