Tuesday, September 30, 2008



I may have mentioned before that chibiguri is quite the ladies' man. Although he is just barely three, he already has a harem of sorts. this harem includes his favorite playmate who is a mere two months younger and a pair of his classmates at his Japanese school. The way this relationship usually p[lays out is that chibiguri chases said playmates- who seem to enjoy being chased.

However, at the birthday party, there was some competition from an older woman. Our next-door neighbors have a little five-year old, whom we invited to the party along with her younger brother. chibiguri was immediately fixated on this little one, and spent a fair amount of time at the party focused on her, much to the discontent of his usual playmates.

As my sister put it, "they are only three and already it's like a soap opera!" (or words to that effect- i canot recall the exact quote). I find it fascinating to observe, though I felt kind of sorry fo his usual playmate- I hope she does not hold it against chibiguri the next time they play together. But it is interesting to see the competition amongst the kids for their preferred playmates. One thing is for sure- this will not be a dull childhood!



I'm three!

chibiguri recently turned three years old, so of course, Amaguri and I threw a party for him. This year is the first that he is actually aware of the event and he took a serious interest in everything involved with his party, frequently reminding us that 'Saturday is my party', and 'I am three'.

Auntie was kind enough to get chibiguri a bicycle for his birthday, which was his number-one desire. In fact, to make sure that we did not forget this, chibiguri reminded us on a fairly constant basis that he needed a bicycle- and that he would get a bicycle for his birthday!

On the day of the party, chibiguri knew immediately that this was no ordinary day. He rose early and was excited as he encouraged us to arise. I spent the morning gathering the necessary sundries- balloons, water pistols, ice, and by the time that the party began, we were already slightly tired. For her part, Amaguri spent the previous evening marinading the meat, making various other foodstuffs and preparing all the utensils we would need for the party.

We had invited a fair number of kids (and their parents of course) and we eventually turned out to have approxomately 30 people, kids included. Many of chibiguri's schoolmates attended, and it was quite interesting to see chibiguri with other kids- I rarely am able to do that as I usually drop him off and then pick him up- I don't usually see him with other kids. However, chibiguri did well, even sharing his new bicycle (though he did need some encouragement on that end).

We also prepared a number of other diversions, including the 39-year-old roller coaster that I used when I was chibiguri's age, the sandbox, the swings and several balls. However, the highlight for the kids was probably the water pistols. At the last minute, we decided that due to the heat, getting some water pistols might be a good idea. Not the monster Super Soakers, but rather the little squeeze pistols. So we decided to go find some. However, the local toy store only had the big ones in stock and the dollar stores near us had nothing at all. So we eventually ended up at a Japanese store called Daiso, where we were able to find the necessary equipment! The kids loved it- there were quickly a number of battles going on in the backyard and I don't believe anyone entirely escaped being watered. Even the grill was slightly affected, being targeted by some of the kids until I managed to dissuade them on the grounds that wet food was not very edible- or delicious.

We got an ice-cream cake from Coldstone Creamery, and that was also very successful. We went with a Thomas the Tank Engine on the cake, and little chibiguri was very pleased. For the party decorations, we used a Go, Diego, Go! theme and this also met with chibiguri's approval. The cake was quite good, and because the filling was ice cream, even chibiguri was able to eat it, which was nice.

the presents were interesting. chibiguri received three new train sets (all different from each other) so that now he has a total of four different track systems. We are going to have to standardize, sooner or later, I suspect! It was also very interesting to compare the presents chibiguri received this year with those he got the previous years. This year's haul included two remote-control cars, a big Tonka truck with working lights and sound, and of course the afore-mentioned train sets. last year's were much less challenging- more along the lines of cdevelopmental, as opposed to pure playtime. And of course, Auntie's bicycle was the highlight.

Overall, it was a very successful party, and chibiguri was very happy that his friends came to his house, though he spent most of the party chasing the little five-year old girl from next door- much to the disapproval of his usual playmate, who would have preferred him to chase her! I can't wait to see what will happen when chibiguri turns four!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008



Readers may recall that we recently changed chibiguri from daycare to a preschool. However, he appears to have not yet fully accustomed himself to that change. When I take him to said preschool, he usually is despondent when I depart. Interestingly, this is NOT the case at the Japanese preschool he attends on alternate days.

yesterday, I took him as usual to his preschool, as it was a day where both Amaguri and I were required to work, necessitating chibiguri's presence at the preschool. As i woke him up, he asked me 'Daddy, where are we going?' I answered with the name of the preschool, and he looked me full in the eye and said 'No, I don't want to go!'

However, I informed chibiguri that unfortunately, I could not bring him with me to work, so he would need to go to the preschool. he was fine in the car, but once we arrived, he insisted on being carried into the building, as opposed to walking on his own. When we entered the classroom, i dropped of his special food with the director and handed him over to the teachers.

As he stood there in the middle of the room, various other children were playing and I assumed he would be alright as I prepared to take my leave. however, he did not join the other children there, but simply stood by himself, and as I watched, his chin began to tremble and he began to cry. it would appear that at least at this preschool, he has yet to make acquaintances or friends that would allow him to feel comfortable. I felt really bad about leaving him, but I do believe that he will eventually accustom himself to his surroundings. However, there is no question that he has an anxiety of being left on his own at times.

When I returned to pick him up, I drove past the front of the preschool on my way to the parking lot. The children were all outside playing. Except for chibiguri. he was sitting by himself under a tree, immersed in a book. Hmmm- i wonder where he gets that from? i asked his teacher and she says that he usually plays with the other children, but sometimes he prefers to be by himself. he appears to have the ability to play by himself without needing external stimulus- a good thing, in my opinion.

When I entered the playground, the teachers had just called the children to get ready to go back into the classroom, but when chibiguri spotted me, he made a beeline for me, running across the grass. It is amazing how good it feels to know that there is a little person who is so happy to see you.

I hope that chibiguri accustoms himself to his preschool soon- it is no fun to see him cry every time I leave him, although Amaguri says that at the Japanese preschool he attends, he isn't like that at all- he just says 'bye-bye' he she delivers him. Maybe the children there are friends as opposed to this one? We'll have to keep an eye on that. in any event, i am assured that he does cheer up after a while, though he sometimes gets lonely for Mommy and Daddy. I suspect that as he grows, this anxiety will fade, but at present it is bit of an issue. better than being TOO friendly, though, so I do not object in the slightest.

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Toilet Training Report

chibiguri is getting ever closer to being successfully toilet trained! He has long since mastered the idea of he need to use to toilet when he pees, and he is getting closer to saying goodbye to diapers with every passing day.

Yesterday, I dropped him off at his pre-school, as Amaguri had to work and I also had the necessity of work to prevent me from spending time with chibiguri. When I returned to pick him up, I inquired of his teachers how he was doing on the toilet issue. To my surprise, I was informed that he had successfully used the bathroom for each and every need throughout the day. In fact, he was still wearing the diaper I had put on him that morning! This was excellent news, and I was extremely pleased with chibiguri's progress.

However, I discovered that he still has a few issues. To wit- he and I went across the street to listen to a friend's jazz ensemble. As i was confident in chibiguri's newfound abilities both to inform me prior to his need to use the restroom and his prowess in actually using said facilities, i neglected to bring extra diapers and changing materials with me. Big mistake.

Once at the establishment, chibiguri was his usual irrepressible self, wandering around the hall, exploring the perimeter and generally being consumed with curiosity (he has that in common with a certain small monkey named George). However, just as the band was beginning their third tune, he came over to me and informed me that he had pooped! I looked at chibiguri and inquired as to whether he NEEDED to poop or if he had already done so. With innocent eyes, he smiled and told me it had already happened.

Overall, chibiguri may have mastered the need for bathroom use, but as our experience last night proves, he is not quite there as of yet. However, I am encouraged that he is getting closer and closer to the ultimate goal. And he is only three (just)! Moral of the story is that parents should never forget diapers and the associated materials- at least until offspring has truly mastered the toilet!

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Monday, September 15, 2008


Diaper Days

chibiguri has for some time been quite responsible when it comes to using the toilet for urinating. However, he has not been as successful in managing to make it in time for his bowel movements. The last time I went to his favorite store with him, we purchased a little wooden train for him, and i told him that when he successfully went to the toilet for his bowel movemebnts, he would receive this as a present. He has been longing for this, but was not able to successfully perform up to this time.

During our Saturday, he had some issues and told me that he needed to go to the toilet. He was highly uncomfortable, and tried a number of times to go, even telling me that he needed to go, but was unable at first to succeed. After Amaguri got home, she helped and he eventually made a massive bowel movement- i swear it was a least a foot long! No wonder he was so uncomfortable.

However, this bowel movement had the added effect of opening his eyes as to the need of using the toilet when he does a bowel movement. I had to work on Sunday, but when i got home, Amaguri informed me that for the second time in a row, chibiguri had told her when he needed to go do a bowel movement- and when he got to the toilet, he did it. So he did receive his train as a present.

The upshot is that it appears that chibiguri has just about succeeded in becoming toilet-trained. he still occasionally has accidents, but he seems to have mastered the idea that when he needs to go, he needs to do it in the bathroom. As a result, I suspect that his diaper days are soon to end. We ought what I suspect will be his last box of diapers this past weekend over at Costco, and I for one, am looking forward to the end of the diaper days. Congratulations to chibiguri!

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Fence Building

Over the course of the summer, I have been working slowly at re-building the backyard fence at my house. Yesterday, i decided to continue this endeavor, and to this end I spent the better part of the afternoon on this project. Naturally, chibiguri was eager to help. Therefore, he put on his own toolbelt, gloves and got ready to help as much as possible. As he was putting on his tools (hammer, screwdriver and level), i was carrying boards into the backyard. But chibiguri told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to wait for him to assist. So he took one end of the board, I took the other and we carried it into the backyard. He informed me that it was 'heavy' (it was) but he persevered to the end.

Once we actually started building, he was equally interested in assisting. As I pounded nails, he took his own little hammer and did his best to emulate me. Although he sometimes ended up hitting the wrong part of the fence, he was interested and helpful. And when the saw kicked in, he took a pair of my headphones, and protected his own ears as well. he also was careful to listen to me and as a result stayed out of harm's way when the power tools were being utilized.

Overall, I was quite pleased with his effort, though he did eventually lose interest and begin riding his tricycle around the yard. Little helper indeed! And as we were going to sleep that night, chibiguri informed me that 'Daddy is my best friend'- an announcement that truly made me feel like the best person in the world. Thank you chibiguri!

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