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.
Last year, you needed some help blowing out the candle on a cupcake version of your birthday cake. This year, I knew you would be able to blow out the candles. You even tried blowing out Robin’s birthday candles a few months ago. So on your second birthday in Japan, when you were first presented with a cake and candles I was very excited to see you blow out your candles. You were about to blow, but then Opa, wanting to help you, did it for you. I shrieked “no” and insisted the candles be lit again to let you have a go, and you did it! We all clapped and cheered, and so did you.
You turned two when we were in Japan, and we celebrated by going to the Anpanman Museum with Opa, Oma, and your great aunt Akiko. We even got to take a photo with Anpanman himself, so it was a pretty memorable second birthday with your Japanesies. Your first birthday we had a little party, slightly dinosaur themed, at home in the UK and we celebrated with your Dutchies and aunt Yasmin. This year, I also wanted to throw you a birthday party. This time a party for you and your little friends. Continue reading