Watcha doin?... Toilet
Sean likes to follow me to the toilet. He no longer tries to get a close up look into the bowl (putting his head right in the flight path) or grab onto the glittering stream. Now he runs in and looks up and shouts "Whatcha doin? [short pause] Toilet". I think it must be something he picked up in the creche because the phrase just suddenly appeared, shouted confidently on a regular basis. Now he uses it in other contexts. A fart results in a laugh followed by "whatcha doin? Chin chin". "chin chin" is Japanese for "penis" but clearly Sean has a slightly broader meaning for it or a horrible medical condition that we haven't yet noticed. I'm not sure he's even asking a question, it seems to just mean that something interesting is happening or he's just saying hello.
"Daijoubu" is kind of Japanese for "don't worry, I'm OK", usually it's a response to someone asking you if you're OK. A few times a day, Sean will just suddenly say it without prompting. I turn around to find him upside down hanging off the couch or worse, half-way up the stairs and I can only wonder what awful tragedy he narrowly avoided.
Where's Riona for all this?
Why am I posting all this stuff about Sean and nothing about Riona? Riona has morphed from a cute and amusing, small animal into something much more like a small human being (yes I am in danger of anthropomorphising children). She isn't doing anywhere near as much funny stuff, stuff that betrays an almost complete lack of knowledge about the real world. She is, in fact growing up... but not too much.
For the 3.5 weeks I was in Japan, I think we pushed the kids too hard with trips out to this and that and a week in Okinawa. The result was frequent breakdowns from Riona and one total meltdown from Sean, who is usually the voice of calm and contentment in our family. Riona fought over ridiculous little things that were in hindsight, I think, protests at being dragged out here or there to meet some friends of ours. Sean's meltdown was on the way back from Kamakura, when he was just completely sick of being on trains and started screaming and screaming and screaming. I tried taking him for a walk in his buggy while still on the train. All that did was introduce a furious, screaming child to carriage after carriage of disapproving Japanese commuters. We had to change trains and Midori bought some sweets and just a single toffee square was all it took to return (poor) Sean to his usual happy, playful self. He spent the short ride home playing peepo with 2 slightly drunk business men.
The funniest incident with Riona was a fairly common case where she had a bath before bed and then didn't want to come out of the water. This time she was so tired and grumpy that she ended up falling asleep mid-protest. She was slumped in the corner of the bath (don't worry I was in the room with her). I took some photos of her but I'm pretty sure that posting them on the Internet will get me done for kiddie-porn. I'll just save them for my power-point presentation at her wedding.