When Should Children Be Left Alone?

This is a blog post I wrote for my main blog, and I thought I’d link to it here, too. This is for all you parents who have read this blog in the past. What do you think? I’d like your opinions.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

My wife asked me a question today that I wasn’t sure about.  She asked what age children are allowed to stay at home alone, go out to play alone, or walk to school alone in Canada.  A quick search revealed that there is no law about this.

When I was a kid, I was able to walk to school alone when I was about 7 years old.  I also went out to play with my friend around that age by myself.  I’d walk or ride my bike to his house or to a park, and there was no problem.

Here in Japan, children are often seen walking alone or riding the train alone to go to school when they’re as young as 6.  And you know what?  No one cares.  In fact, the kids seem quite intent on going to their destination.  It is very common for children to be…

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Merry Christmas!

Here’s a bit about Tomoe’s Christmas. Sorry about the lack of updates. I just want to remind you that I’m keeping most of our family life private now that she’s getting older.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

In a few hours, it’ll be Christmas Day here in Japan, and despite it being a major holiday in my home country of Canada, it’s just another regular day here.  I’ll be working.  However, it is my second last day working this year (my last being this Saturday), and then I’m on holidays.

My Christmas is like this.  I came home from work tonight and got to see my daughter Tomoe open her presents (the ones that have arrived so far).  She got some purple pants and shirt, a book, and a toy rabbit from my aunt.  She loved the rabbit and jumped around holding it.  She also got an Anpanman book from my wife and I.  There’s a pen that will speak when it touches any of the pictures in Japanese and English.  There are a lot of pages, so she can learn a lot of words with it. …

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Happy baby, moody baby

Tomoe is having good days and bad days.  Yesterday was a good day.  She was happy.  She was silly.  She was joking around.  I’m pretty sure she was joking around.

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Happy Tomoe!

She’s been doing a lot of walking lately, though she still only takes about 5 or 6 steps on her own before sitting down.  She has been walking outside a lot while holding our hands, though.  She is getting better all the time.    She’s even started walking backwards!  When I got home last night, she walked up to me in her bed and smiled, then walked backwards making a growling sound.  Then she walked up to me again and smiled.  Then she backed up again, growling.  She was playing around with me.  It reminded me of this:

But here are some real pictures of Tomoe standing in the park, taken by my wife while I was on my way to work.

Standing at a park bench.

Standing at a park bench.

 

Happy Tomoe at the bench.

Happy Tomoe at the bench.

And one more standing Tomoe.

And one more standing Tomoe.

One more happy thing.  She’s been repeating a lot of things we say.  She’s been mimicking so much.  She’ll repeat sounds when we copy her.  But she’s also been kissing a lot.  We kiss her, she kisses back.  She’s learned to wave, too.

On the moody side of things, she has been terrible today.  Crying about everything.  She cries when we feed her, cries when we play with her, and she’s been throwing food down on the floor.  She gets quite upset when we’re not happy.  If we scold her a bit, she cries.  It takes just a look sometimes.  She knows we’re unhappy just by looking at our faces.  But in general, she’s just been in a bad mood today.  Hard to feed, hard to play with, hard to please.

Thankfully, she’s playing on her own right now and not crying.

 

Out for a walk

Today was amazing.  Really gave me a good feeling all day.  More milestones in such a short time!  I can’t believe how quickly Tomoe is learning new things.  She’s really growing up fast.

First of all, she’s started pointing at things that she wants.  She doesn’t use her finger, just points with her whole hand.  We’re able to understand what she wants a lot more now.

Second, she’s finally learned to clap.  However, she doesn’t always get it right.  After clapping, she holds her hands together and pumps them up and down.  It’s quite funny to watch.

And then yesterday, she showed that she can get up from the floor and stand up without holding onto anything.  That’s a really big step!

But this is nothing compared to what she did today.  As I was going to work, we took Tomoe outside to say goodbye to me.  My wife and I each took one of her hands and let her walk between us.  And boy did she ever walk well!  I couldn’t believe it!  She walked for about 15-20 metres before my wife picked her up.  And as we got to the corner, she wanted to see her walk again.  So, here are a couple of pictures.

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Looking at her mom’s feet? Or the shadow? I don’t know.

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Great pose. I love this picture!

So, when will she walk on her own?  I think it’ll be before the end of the year.  Maybe she’ll be walking in time for our New Year’s Day at my in-laws’ house.

What’s new at 5 months? Plenty!

Tomorrow, Tomoe will be 5 months old.  Just one month to go until she’s half a year old!

This has been a busy week for her.  She should be getting to the stage where she can sit up on her own.  We’ve been trying to get her to do it, but she’s not completely successful.  She leans forward too much, as her back and legs aren’t strong enough yet.  But she should be able to do it soon.

Trying to sit up.

Oh, you’re taking my picture!

This is hard!

She’s also been continuing her exploration with her hands.  She grabs everything now.  This past week, she’s finally started grabbing her feet.  She does it a lot now!

See? These are my feet!

She continues to enjoy rolling over onto her stomach.  However, it’s pretty boring just laying there on her stomach, so she needs something to play with.  So, we got her a play mat.  She seems to enjoy the butterfly a lot.

Hey, what’s that tiger doing there?

Tomoe’s often trying to hold her bottle while she’s being fed, but she’s not very good at it.  The larger glass bottles are too heavy for her.  But she has a bottle with handles, and we’ve given it a try.  It seems to be a success!

Look! I can use my hands!

I’m a master!

Tomoe really enjoys being talked to, and she’s been laughing so much.  Just saying “hi” to her makes her smile.  She may actually be recognising her own name now, as she does respond by looking at us when we say her name…sometimes.

I wonder what this month will hold for us.

Tomoe’s first vaccination

Today, Tomoe had her very first vaccination.  What she got is the BCG vaccine (or Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine).  This vaccine is for tuberculosis, and it leaves a rather distinct scar on the arm.

Here’s her arm and the 18 spots.

Tomoe did very well when she got the vaccine.  She made very little sound.  Not even a cry.  She can’t have a bath until tomorrow, though.

This was only round 1 of several rounds of vaccinations.  DPT is next!

Tomoe, 7 weeks old

I wanted to post this 2 days ago on her 7 week “birthday,” but we had internet problems.  There’s a lot to update about her.  Where do I start?

Her sleeping habits have been getting more regular.  By that, I mean that she sleeps at night and is often wide awake a lot of the day.  Unfortunately for my wife, this sometimes involves crying.  She only stops when she holds her.  A little separation anxiety?  She’s been sleeping 6 or 7 hours at night without waking up for feeding.  That’s giving us a much better sleep at night!

She’s also been having drinks other than milk and formula.  She tried water and didn’t dislike it.  She’s also had some barley tea, which she seems to like.  So far, she doesn’t seem very picky about flavours.

Tomoe loves going outside these days.  She often watches everything going by with a lot of interest.  She’s very calm outside.  So calm that she often falls asleep due to the walking motion.  She had her first bus ride last night.  She seems to enjoy traveling by car or bus.

Her facial expressions have become very expressive lately.  She’s showing her emotions quite a bit more now, and the best faces are when she’s interested in something or happy.  Yes, she’s started smiling!  I’ve found it quite difficult to get her smiling pictures, though.  The morning she started smiling, just 2 days ago, I couldn’t catch her on camera, but I got a partial smile.  This morning, she gave a huge smile, but again, I wasn’t ready to take a picture.  I got a smaller smile, though.  So, enjoy her smile!

This picture was taken two days ago. Almost a smile!

This morning, I managed to finally get her smile. But she's had bigger smiles.