Almost 2 1/2 Years Old

Here’s a little update with how things are going in Tomoe’s life.

She talks a lot.  Not just in English and Japanese, but also in gibberish.  But her gibberish sounds more like Japanese than English.  She’s learning new words at a very quick pace and understands how they connect with feelings, objects, and so on.

She also hasn’t been sick lately.  That’s a very good thing.  No secondary nursery since January.  She accidentally stole a toy that she forgot in her shirt (it was a toy thermometer) from that nursery, and we haven’t had the opportunity to return it yet.

Anyway, I’ve taken a lot of videos recently, and thought I’d share them with you.

Calling for mommy:

Singing:

She loves bread:

An interview with Tomoe:

Tomoe in the playground:

More playground with a slightly messed up video:

Part of my Japan vlog.  She appears in this video:

She loves to swing:

A future gymnast?

A future soccer player?

She loves airplanes:

Happy! Angry! Sad! Best video so far, I think:

This is how to play a piano without a piano:

Well, there you have it. Hope you enjoyed them all.  Please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was Tomoe’s second birthday.  She had a strawberry and blueberry tart for a birthday cake, and she loved it.

Photo was created by my wife.

Photo was created by my wife.

Now that she’s 2 years old, she’s entering the terrible twos.  She says “no” a lot.  She fights against going to bed a lot lately, too.  Communication is getting better.  She can ask for things by saying the word or pointing at it.  She speaks mostly Japanese and gibberish with some English words, but she understand English directions pretty well.

I’m making a bit of an announcement with this post, too.  This is the last post I will write about Tomoe.  At this age, she is an increasingly individual person, and deserves her privacy.  I’d like to thank all of you who have followed her from being a tiny bean to a 2 year old toddler.  However, that doesn’t mean this blog is finished.  While it’ll be going into a kind of hibernation, I’ll keep it online, and occasionally write posts about raising children in Japan.  But nothing specific about Tomoe.  If we have a second child here in Japan, this blog will be resurrected.  But since we plan to move to Canada by the end of 2016, we may have our second kid in Canada.  But we’ll see about the future of this blog.

Thanks!

Nothing Beats Being a Parent

Nothing can prepare you for parenthood.  Absolutely nothing.  When I became a parent, I felt something I’ve never felt before, something that is incredibly difficult to describe in words.  I can’t compare it with anything.

My daughter was born 1 year, 9 months, and 28 days ago.  On Monday, she’ll be 22 months old.  It’s been a roller coaster ride.  She’s been a newborn, a baby who couldn’t do anything on her own, a baby who could roll over, a baby who could crawl, a baby who could stand up, a baby who could walk, a toddler who could run, and now a toddler who can speak.  She hugs, she kisses, she holds hands.  When I come home from work, she smiles at me really big and runs to give me a hug while laughing.  When I get her out to the nursery driver, she waves and says “bye-bye.”  She loves the nursery.  She loves playing, dancing, and singing.  She loves talking, although most of what comes out of her mouth is still gibberish.  But she does communicate much better now.  If she wants me to come to her, she says, “Oide (come here).”  If she hurt herself, she says, “Itai (ouch)” or “Ow.”  She cries when she doesn’t get what she wants, she has temper tantrums, she has an incredible obsession with Anpanman and seems to really like Mickey Mouse, too.  She shouts, “Anmanman!” and “Mickey!”  She loves bananas.  “Nana.”  She loves mikan (mandarin oranges).  She calls anything red an apple. “Bappo.”  She points at trees all the time. “Chee.”

She loves drawing.  She chooses the yellow crayon and hands the rest to me.  She points to where she wants me to draw.  I go away for a bit and sit at my computer.  She comes over and takes my hand, saying “Oide.”  She wants me to draw some more.  I wonder if she’ll be an artist.  I wonder if she’ll be a dancer.  I wonder what she’ll do in her life.

My wife was watching a video about a 14 month premature baby, and we both had a big smile.  We remember Tomoe as a baby.  But we also said that we want another baby.  I said, “I want to hug Tommy right now.”  My wife said, “Me too.”  She had her diaper changed a few minutes ago, and she woke up.  It’s nearly 11 pm.  We told her, “Love you.”  She said, “No.”

Yesterday, I took Tomoe to the playground, and she went on the swing, then we went down a very long slide together.  As we were walking, she reached up and wanted me to carry her.  As I was carrying her, I had a very brief conversation with her.

I said, “Love you.”

Tomoe patted me on the head and said, “Lub you.”

It is so worth it.

Talking Bilingually and Pooping

It’s been a while since I posted about Tomoe.  It’s been a pretty busy month, and she’s been developing quite quickly, especially with talking.  We want her to speak both English and Japanese, though I’d have to say that Japanese is winning right now.

For example, she’s able to make simple requests and tell us if she hurts somewhere in Japanese.  Some of the things she says are:

  • Koko de – She’s asking me to come here.
  • Koko itai – It hurts here (very useful 2 days ago, but more on that later)
  • Kore? – She points at things just saying “this?”
  • Dame – She pronounces it “mame” but it means “no” or “don’t.”  She uses it after I tell her not to touch something.
  • Ii yo – It means “okay.”

In English, she mostly just uses words.  She likes to point out things and say the word, although it’s still quite limited.  Some examples are:

  • tree
  • dog (sometimes as “wanwan”)
  • cat
  • bus
  • car

She also understands directions in English.  I’ll tell her to stop at a busy road and she’ll stop.  I can also ask her to put something in the garbage or give it to mommy, and she does it.  I can ask her if she needs her diaper changed, if she’s hungry or wants a banana or milk, and she’ll respond with a “yeah” or “no.”

I think the hard thing is getting a balance between the languages.  I speak to her in English all the time, though I understand what she says in her simple Japanese.  She speaks about 80% in Japanese and only 20% in English.  Although I always speak to her in English, she usually responds with Japanese, even though she understands what I’m saying.  But one situation a couple nights ago had me really glad that she can talk to us now.  She had a high fever all day at 39 degrees, and was very uncomfortable at night.  She kept touching her ears and said “koko itai.”  She was telling me that her ears hurt.  Yesterday, I took her to the clinic with a nursery, and the doctor confirmed she had a bit of an ear infection.

Not all of her communication is verbal.  She uses hand gestures for come here quite often.  She also herds me around.  She’ll grab my leg and push me to where she wants me to go.  When I put my computer away, she points to where I put it, trying to be helpful.

But one of the biggest developments is that she tells us when she’s pooping.  She crouches down, grunts, and strains.  So guess what?  She’s starting potty training!  We got her a toilet seat for the toilet, and we’ll be trying to get her to use it.  I hope she’s a fast learner with pooping.

And finally, a happy 21 month birthday to Tomoe tomorrow!

A Conversation with a Toddler

Tomoe’s been developing her speaking skills at a very fast pace.  She says more everyday it seems.  This was a recent conversation I had with her.

Me: Are you hungry?

Tomoe: Un (yes) *nod*

Me: Yes?

Tomoe: Es *nod*

Me: Do you want banana?

Tomoe: Un. *nod*  Banana.

Later on, after she was finished her banana…

Me: Do you want yoghurt?

Tomoe: Dodurt.

As you can see, it wasn’t a complex conversation, but it was two-way communication.  She’s been doing that quite a bit lately.  Other things she’s been saying:

  • No.
  • Dame (no in Japanese)

That’s right, she’s saying no.  Other questions and commands she’s understanding:

  • Can you put this in the garbage?
  • Can you put it back?
  • Do you need your diaper changed?
  • Can I have it?
  • It’s bedtime (and then she says “nigh-nigh” and waves)

Can more complex conversations be coming soon?

Eating and Talking

Here’s one of those few updates I’ll be giving.

Tomoe’s been eating on her own for close to a month now.  She keeps getting better, although she still drops food on the table and herself.  She usually refuses to be fed by us, but when she has trouble with something, she hands us her spoon so we can give her a hand.

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Eating rice and minestrone.

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In her mouth it goes.

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Closing her eyes because it tastes so good? No, just blinking.

In addition to eating, she’s been talking and understanding quite a bit more.  Although she still uses mostly baby talk, she has been using more words than before.  Her latest new words are:

  • banana (was nana, but she said the entire word today)
  • dog (dah!)
  • cat (daaah)
  • diaper (die-pah)
  • thank you (various pronunciations)
  • Anpanman (Anmanman)

She understands so much more, too.  She puts things in the garbage when asked, she sits and stands when asked. She understands when it’s time to go to the nursery, she needs to go to the door and wait for us to put her shoes on.  However, she thinks it’s acceptable behaviour to hit a glass table with her toys very hard, hit us in the face, and play with the electric fan.  Unfortunately, she now knows how to plug in the fan and turn it on.  She can also open doors now, knows how to use a computer mouse (I now have to close my computer if I leave my computer alone around her, as she’s managed to change display settings somehow), and is constantly choosing pants or shorts for herself to wear, even if she’s already wearing some.  But there’s one thing she’s always doing every day, and that’s dancing.  She loves dancing so much she’ll do it without music.  She usually dances the dance at the end of each Anpanman episode.  They do it at her nursery.

I’m looking forward to when we can have conversations with Tomoe.

Cuteness Overload

The skills this little girl has keep growing.  It’s amazing to watch her develop.  She can build a tower with her blocks.

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She’s getting really good with her hands.

But a couple days ago, she showed us just how cute she can be.  Tomoe was in an incredibly good mood for much of the day, and it started out with a shower.  I gave her a shower, which she loves.  She plays with the water, she washes her hands with the soap, and she behaves very well.  After the shower, she decided she wanted to wear my slippers.

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Her feet are a bit too small.

I later went out with her to pick up my wife from the bus stop near the local Ito Yokado, and we went out for some sushi.  Tomoe doesn’t yet eat raw fish, so she ate mainly just rice and French fries, as well as drank some apple juice.  She not only fed the fries to herself, but she also offered them to my wife and I.  She was feeding us!  She loved it.  We gave her some ketchup, but instead of eating the fries with the ketchup, she kept licking it off the potatoes.

After eating, we walked to the drug store to get a few things we needed.  On the way, she started singing and dancing.  She moved her arms kind of like the Go-go, but it was part of a dance that she learned at her nursery.  She did it for about 10 straight minutes.  It was an overload of cuteness!

After shopping, Tomoe wanted to carry some of the things we bought, so we gave her the tissues.

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She was so happy to help us!

Unfortunately, they weren’t that easy for her to carry all the way, and she kept dropping it.  But she really wanted to carry it.  In the end, we carried it, and she complained.

This morning, after getting her ready to go to the nursery, the driver picking her up finally arrived.  He was a bit later than usual.  Instead of carrying Tomoe out, I let her walk out to the car herself.  When she saw him and the car, she ran to him and he picked her up, putting her in the car.  She loves the nursery.  And I think she learns a lot there.

Today’s new words include:  mugicha (barley tea in Japanese) and eye (I was pointing out an eye, and she repeated me).