Thursday, May 29, 2008


Video Star

chibiguri has discovered the joys of being a video star. Last night, he was squirming around on the floor as Amaguri was cooking dinner. So I hauled out the camera and recorded a short video of his antics. Naturally, he insisted on seeing it and was so pleased with it that he insisted that I take more video of him.

I don't know where this new fascination is going, but I wouldn't be surprised if chibiguri ends up in some area that requires public performance- he certainly is a ham....

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Getting chibiguri into bed in the evenings is becoming a difficult undertaking. He has his own idea of when he ought to go to bed, and it rarely coincides with ours. But we are beginning to manage the pattern. The usual course of events is as follows:

chibiguri gets out of the bath and we relax on the couch, usually sampling fruits or other light snacks. When we announce that it is bedtime, chibiguri wil put up a fuss. This usually is centered around his desire to watch Little Einsteins, or some other video/DVD on the television (which he still calls 'beebee'). We finally tell him that he can watch it once, but that then he needs to go to bed. he always promises that he will be amenable to sleep once he gets his wish. we then watch the video.

Upon the DVD's conclusion, chibiguri is once again informed that it is time to go to sleep. He invariably forgets that he promised to go to bed, and once again puts up a fuss. Finally, we simply go to bed, leaving him in the living room. Since he gets lonely in short order, he will usually come to bed crying, and wanting to be in the middle. Once there, it is not long before he drops off to sleep at last.

The rare occasions when this does not happen are when we are actually watching something on TV and he is with us. he will quite often drop off to sleep in the middle of watching, which allows us to carry him to his own bed, and lets us actually sleep without a little squirmer in the middle. Regrettably, this is rare- it is more common to go through the argumentative stage before he finally goes to sleep.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The Piano

Yesterday, I had my mother's Steinway baby grand piano delivered to our house, after spending over four years in storage following her death in 2004. As chibiguri has previously evidenced an interest in musical instruments, I was curious to see how he would respond to the arrival of our very own keyboard instrument.

At first, he was not interested, as he did not appear to understand exactly what this new piece of furniture was. However, once I showed him the keyboard, memory kicked in and he immediately wanted to push down on the keys. I had to remind him that banging was not permitted- one should press gently but firmly on the keys so as to prevent damage from occurring. Once he understood this idea, chibiguri was fascinated.

he spent quite some time at the piano, pushing various keys. Which he is not yet able to create melodies, he was not untuneful either. In fact, I was quite impressed by his technique at such a young age. I believe that once he is old enough to take lessons, he will develop some skill on the keys. At least I hope so. Piano is an instrument that can bring a great deal of pleasure, whether one plays professionally or merely for personal enjoyment.

However, simply pressing the keys was not all that fascinated chibiguri. He quickly realized the there were various parts of the piano that opened and closed- specifically the music rack. I ensured that chibiguri does not yet know that the keyboard lid and the main lid open, but he did observe me opening the music rack, and instantly wanted to open and close it. As we were tinkling the ivories, he continuously demanded that I open and shut the music rack- he was deeply interested in watching me fold it open and closed. I dread the day he realizes that there are many more places on the piano that can also be opened and closed. I shall have to do my utmost to make sure he does not discover said areas until he is old enough to understand their purpose.

However, now that we have the piano, both Amaguri and I are planning to take some piano lessons- we both would like to be able to play piano better than we do at present. Since my sister was a former professional pianist, I am hoping that she can display her formidable skills for chibiguri's education and enjoyment. And I find myself looking forward to the day when all of us will be able to participate in playing music together. A musical family is one that shares an interest and this can be a wonderful way to bring disparate people together.

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Monday, May 19, 2008


Parades & Pianos

chibiguri has long evidenced an interest in music. SO this past weekend, as I had to play in the Los Altos Pet Parade with a group from the South Bay Traditional Jazz Society, I decided to take him along. I knew that since there would be a large number of animals, this would be a good opportunity to try him out and see how he behaved in such a situation.

To my pleasure, he was very well-behaved. As usual, he was shy, since he didn't remember the rest of the band, but he sat on my lap throughout the parade, and enjoyed the sights and sounds. There were a number of animals, ranging from horses, to dogs to other pets, and he was quite pleased. I think he enjoyed being the center of attention as well.

After the parade finished, we stopped by the local Sherman Clay store for some accessories for the piano. while there, the salesman showed us the Steinway Room, wherein they had a piano from the Van Cliburn collection, as well as one from the Vladimir Horowitz collection.

chibiguri was fascinated by all the pianos, and began to play as many of them as he could. To my pleasure, instead of banging, he pressed the keys, and though his technique left something to be desired, he was not abusive, and he demonstrated some musicality in his choice of key combinations. I was pleased with this, and with the store's permission, allowed him to continue playing until he let me know that he was ready to leave.

I think that chibiguri will be a musician- it only remains to see what instrument he decides to take up. I would hope that he decides on brass, but if he chooses something else, I will be equally pleased. As long as he stays away from drums and guitar- those two are definitely not my first preference!

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Sunday, May 18, 2008


Fire Trucks & Horses

Today we took chibiguri to a local park, as they were advertising 'Frire Truck Day'. Since little chibiguri has evidenced an interest in said fire trucks, we thought he would be entertained. Well, we were right- he was entertained, just not in the manner we had expected.

The event was held at a local park that is also an operating farm. As such, they have a horse-drawn railway, a number opf farm animals, including cows, goats, horses, chickens, etc, and several other agriculturally-related exhibits. On this day, they also had fire engines from the surrounding fire departments. These engines included a monster hook-and-ladder rig from the Fremont Fire Department, several old-fashioned trucks from several departments, a police command trailer, paramedic trucks and other displays. There was also a play area, a band (which frightened chibiguri as they had one of their members dressed as a gigantic spider), food, and other displays.

We took chibiguri to all the fire trucks, but found that he was more interested in the farm animals! When we took him to an old 1931 truck operated by the Newark Fire Department, he was more interested in the baby goats immediately behind the truck.And he was frankly frightened by the big hook-and-ladder. He did enjoy the police command trailer though- he spent more time there than all the other fire apparatus combined! However, the firemen were all very kind to chibiguri, and he ended up with a hat and two separate badges- one from each of his local fire departments. One of the firemen, in fact, confided to chibiguri that he also preferred farm animals to fire equipment! He was also magnetized by the horses, of which there were quite a number, both ridden by the mounted patrol and working on the farm equipment. On the way out, in fact, he insisted on stopping and observing the horse-drawn railway, which was just being hitched up for a ride.

All in all, it was a successful day and I think that chibiguri had a good time. However, I think that his interests still lie more in the area of living creatures than they do in the line of mechanized equipment- no matter how large or impressive!

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Friday, May 16, 2008



chibiguri has figured out that drawers are for climbing! Previously, when he wanted milk, he would wait for me or for Amaguri to hoist him to the counter, where he could press the Start button on the microwave. However, last night, he determined that waiting was just too passe- much better to do on his own.

So he climbed up to the counter, using the closed drawers as steps. This surprised me, as I did not think he would be able to do that. Silly me- I should have been well aware that chibiguri is a climber who does not take kindly to either letting others do for him what he can do for himself. And I know that he can climb things and places I would have thought were beyond his capabilities.

Now that he has proven his ability to climb up to the counter, I suppose we will need to reconsider our home's child-proofing. Darn....


Thursday, May 15, 2008



Since returning from the Land of the Rising Sun, chibiguri has developed a distaste for being separated from his parents. This was evidenced in his clinginess the past few days, wherein he would not allow Amaguri to perform the necessary household tasks, as he did not want to be separated, even by a few feet. In fact, when I returned home yesterday, I was required to keep him company while Amaguri made our dinner- something that his clinginess had previously prevented her from doing!

This has also been evident when I take him to daycare. This morning, for example, I woke him and gort him all ready to go. He was not displeased, as he had managed to get a good amount of sleep the previous night (though his habits of kicking his parents were not conducive to our own sleep!). But when we arrived at daycare, and he realized that I intended to leave him, he began to cry- behavior that had not been evident for quite some time.

I hope that this ceases as he re-acclimates to life in America, but it is interesting that he seems to be needier now than before visiting Japan. I am not sure whether this is because he became accustomed to our constant presence, or whether he simply was discombobulated by my early departure. In any case, I trust he will soon re-acclimate, for both his own well-being and for ours.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008



i think chibiguri is going to be a real musician. While we were in Japan, I met up with some of my musician friends. One of said friends is an excellent jazz guitarist who owns a little izakaya in southern japan, where he plays guitar for his clients. we naturally paid him a visit while we were in japan to say hello.

While we were there, he prevailed on me to sing a few tunes while he accompanied me on guitar. However, chibiguri was fascinated my the microphone. After observing how to use it, he decided to make it his own, and while my firend and I were taking a break, he treated the clientele to an impromptu concert of his 'singing'. While he was not enunciating real words, he also later 'sang' along with me, and showed an admirable pitch- he was not at all tone-deaf, which is quite amazing for a two-and-a-half year old.

In addition, while I was singing, he accompanied me with words of his own invention and once again was able to stay on key remarkably well. Even I was impressed- I did not expect him to perform that well. I can only hope that he continues to develop, as music is one of the most enjoyable (and lucrative) hobbies one can engage in. And maybe he will turn into another Jero. As long as he doesn't turn into Wentz-kun, I shall be happy...

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Talking & Bathing

whilst in japan, chibiguri was exposed entirely to Japanese, with the result that he is now becoming truly bilingual at last. Where he would previously answer our comments (whether uttered in Japanese or English) exclusively in the latter language, he is now much more likely to use the Japanese answer. He is also beginning to put words together in more complete sentences and he is very responsive when one addresses him directly. He is also a remarkably polite little guy, consistently using such phrases as 'Thank you', 'Good Morning', etc.

He has also discovered that he really like Japanese baths. While we were in Japan, we went to an onsen (hot spring) in the Oita region of Kyushu. Onsens involve bathing in a group tub (divided into male and female sections). He first bathed with his grandfather and me in the men's section, but he enjoyed it so much that he insisted on bathing with his mother as well. and after I returned from Japan, the family went to another onsen, where he also insisted on bathing in the pools at least twice. He also has developed a liking for the Japanese bathing technique where the bather washes him or herself prior to soaking in the hot tub. He likes soaking! And now that we have acquired a shampoo hat to keep the water out of his eyes, he likes bathing even more.

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Jet Lag

chibiguri returned from Japan with his mother last weekend. However, while he was delighted to see me (and vice-versa), the return did bring a few problems with it.

Firstly, chibiguri is still operating on Japan time. This means he tends to sleep at inconvenient hours, and to expect Mommy and Daddy to do the same. the day he came back, his mother desired a nap, so I took chibiguri out shopping (we needed milk for a very thirsty little guy). He was very active during this excursion, and remained in a state of high energy for some time after returning. However, he finally conked out around 3 PM that afternoon. One would think we were quite grateful for this. One would be wrong.

The problem with chibiguri sleeping at 3 PM was his re-awakening, once again in a state of high energy, at around 8 PM that evening. As I needed to return to work the following morning, I attempted to sleep, but chibiguri was having none of that idea, insistently doing his best to keep me (and his mother) awake to keep him company.

The second problem was chibiguri's toy collection. During his sojourn in japan, he acquired a collection of small plastic animals and die-cast metal cars, which he naturally insisted on bringing into the bed with him (shades of his father, I must confess!). However, trying to sleep with a die-cast car collection and a hard plastic animal collection is not exactly comfortable- especially when a very noisy little guy is also in the bed!

His sleeping habits are continuing to operate on Japan time as I write this, but I did break the schedule by forcing him to wake earlier than he would have liked this morning to go to daycare for the first time in over a month (he cried when he realized I was not going to remain with him this morning, unfortunately). So I have hopes that he will be sufficiently tired this evening to sleep at a time more convenient for amaguri and me!

Should this not occur, I think that the time to move chibiguri into his own sleeping quarters has finally arrived. Hopefully, chibiguri will agree with this assessment, but I fear that may not be the case. We shall see. In the menatime, it is delightful to have chibiguri and Amaguri back home- i spent a week in an empty house and that was not the most fun i have ever had. Despite the drawbacks of chibiguri's presence, I am happy to have him back home.

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