2009年9月4日金曜日

return of the koala baby


Amy spent most of her life until the ripe old age of 2 1/2 on my back. Meg was 2 when Amy was born and a very active 2. I needed to be chasing the toddler around and I needed to keep the baby safe from an onslaught of love. We set up the baby bed especially for this but monkey Meg managed to shimmy up the vertical bars on the first day and was found in the baby bed giving her sister big smacking slobbery kisses. So it was the backpack carrier for Amy.

I remember when I first saw women carrying their babies on their backs I was horrified- it looked like a school bag and I couldn't imagine how they could turn around and get around without backing the poor baby into something. And I mean they couldn't even see the baby- how would they know if it suddenly got gravely ill?? Two babies later and I was much less concerned about babies developing sudden onset grave illnesses and was a convert to the baby backpack. (Incidentally I remember reading somewhere that (maybe in Nigeria?) when women first saw strollers they were horrified at the idea of pushing the baby out their in front of you unprotected. I guess it's all about what you're used to, hey?)

More than a convert, I was an addict. It got to the stage that when she was tired or out of sorts Amy would toddle over to me dragging the baby backpack behind her and plop it on my lap. We used to call her koala baby.

I'd forgotten about it (we had to give it up at 2 1/2 as she weighed 13 kilos and the seat part of the carrier was too narrow and gave her painful looking wedgies) until last night.

Friday nights I teach a women's English class in my living room. This is not a situation I'm 100% happy about and certainly not a class I intended. Rather a matter of a group of strong willed obatarians who seemed sure that having me in the neighbourhood and not doing anything on a Friday night at 8pm meant they would have their class then. Simple, really. Oh well, it's been going on for a few years now and I've gotten used to it. The five women include the head of the JA women's league, the wife of a local politician, a district welfare officer and a woman whose family are one of the biggest producers in the district so there are more weeks when they can't come than when they can but they have low expectations so I'm not fussed.

The biggest angst the class causes me is having the living room presentable and the girls asleep before they arrive. K is rarely home by 8:00 on Fridays so it's teach with two kids showing off for their captive audience or get them to bed and asleep before 8:00. Bit of a toss up which is more stress inducing actually...

So yesterday they weren't even in their pjs by 7:30 and I gave up on the sleep idea and got out the textas (oohhhh, textas! We usually stick to crayons and pencils here) and some big pieces of paper and set them up in another room. This lasted about 30 minutes and then Meg came in to take the class with them. She is always bemused at all these big people conscientiously practising English she considers easy. With 20 minutes to go until the end of class Amy wandered in. An hour past bedtime and she was exhausted. She wanted a cuddle and I was trying to explain the difference between waist and stomach so I piggy backed her. And she got heavier, and heavier and... ohh.... I remember this deadweight feeling.... ohhhh how sweet.... my almost 4 year old had snuggled up into the back of my neck and gone to sleep just like she used to do. Near melted my heart. Almost enough to make me forget that she weighs 18 kilos and her legs now dangle down and thwack me in the back of the thighs. Still it was nice knowing that underneath the ball of determined energy that is Amy now the koala baby is still there.


I mean how could you say know to that?

11 件のコメント:

Girl Japan: April Marie Claire さんのコメント...

I love the view of the nice blooms behind you-- what a glorious scene!

Semsavblanc さんのコメント...

Near melted my heart too. These special things you share..

Lulu さんのコメント...

Oh so cute.

I want a koala baby :-( Hopefully goma-chan will like the Ergo.

Oh and great cake for the birthday- I was very impressed. Reminds me of those old women`s Day/Women`s weekly cakes that they used to have cookbooks for.

Don`t remember what cake I had for my sixth birthday (might of been a "6") but my 5th birthday cake was definitely a ghost that had egg shell eyes with jaffa`s in them.

Rachel さんのコメント...

Oh that's so sweet! Lena still likes to come for a hug in the night. You just wake up, and there she is.

I find teaching at home with kids awake AND/OR getting them to bed in time a strain, and harder than you ever thought it was going to be. But I have none right now so I want some again! I like obatarian classes, I've learned so much from them.

medea さんのコメント...

I'm addicted to the carrier too. When Little Fish is fussy too I can put him on my back in the meitai and Cupcake on the front in my sling. It makes for quite the workout though!

Sara さんのコメント...

cant wait til sakura can be in the back carry

i like the front one but its so hard to ben down!!!

seeing pictures of baby amy is sooooooo cute!!!

Midori さんのコメント...

I never really carried Joey, largely because he got so big so fast and I just never got the hang of it. I would totally get myself a proper carrier if I have another baby though. I am definitely a baby-wearing type mummy, I just never had a baby who wanted to be worn! LOL! Joey has been a real snuggle bunny lately though, which is kind of nice!

jojoebi さんのコメント...

I was a carrier addict too, we never had a stroller, personally I can't see why you would want to put your child at the same level as car fumes for them to breath in! I think I would probably collapse if ebi-kun tried to get on my back these days.

Kim さんのコメント...

Ahhhhh! We did the sling. Jun is pretty much too big for it, but...it hangs in the hall, and will for some time to come. Jun, on the other hand, has me tie a huge furoshiki type piece of cloth around her LIKE a sling and carries her baby dolls or bears around. I had to wipe away some tears. So glad it was a good memory for her too!

thefukases さんのコメント...

GJ- thanks. Not my garden unfortunately but nice none the less, right?

Lulu- ohh I'd forgotten those books- I have the microwave cookery one on bookmooch if you're interested... I have to warn you it was published at a time when people still thought they were going to plan entire dinner parties around their microwaves... and that ghost cake sounds pretty wow...

Rachel- Meg is the same as Lena. My dad asked why I don't just put her back in her bed and was amazed when I said I don't notice she's there. And I actually quite like the challenge of getting everything just right for Friday night (most of the time anyway!) it helps that bedtime is 7:30 though...

medea- you are superwoman! I remember seeing a woman at the station with a baby on her back, a baby on her front and holding a toddler's hand. I had just Meg then and was still feeling overworked, I couldn't stop staring at her in disbelief!

Sara- it makes such a difference and moving around is so much easier, too (oh and you can use a pocket mirror over your shoulder to check for sudden onset grave illnesses) ;P

Midori- that's the main reason to have second children- try out all the stuff you didn't get to the first time! I have my eye on a bumbo... ;P

jo- Do they still have those bits on the news in Saitama about how hot the air is at stroller level? It was pretty shocking- definite incentive to carry in summer!

Kim- isn't it sweet? Amy saddles up her babies in the carrier, stands at the play kitchen and rocks back and forth as she cooks. A little eery really!

Coffeegrl さんのコメント...

How sweet! It's good to know that even though they age, they still have those precious moments.

You're story of the bullying ladies just had me in stitches. Sounds so probably! At least you're used to it now ;)