We're pretty laid back with the girls. I do some English work with them and MIL buys them those kinder magazines with activities to do but this is the first time K has got all fired up and decided to do some lesson time with them. The catalyst was the kinder newsletter and notice of an upcoming event. K wanted to make sure the girls would do well.
So, what was it K was determined to practise?
Stilts, skipping rope or drumming?
It was something much closer to K's heart.
Not the catching of, but the eating of.
This month's kinder menu theme is "Autumn's bounty". Lots of sweet potato, chestnuts, pumpkin, pear, apple and Pacific Saury- sanma さんま 秋刀魚 The kanji for sanma even includes the character for Autumn. Sanma is K's favourite fish and he gets all reverent about it. The cooking, the presentation, and the eating are all carefully carried out with great attention to detail.
So when the October newsletter said that all the children were going to learn how to eat sanma K was all fired up. The 1-2 year old class will have theirs filleted, the 3 year olds (Amy's class) will have an army of senseis in there helping them fillet their fish while the 4 and 5 year old classes (Meg) will just go at it with their chopsticks.
I grew up on an island and my dad loves fishing so I ate a lot of fish as a kid but I certainly was never served a bone-riddled, guts intact, head and tail attached blue flesh fish at 3 years old. To me, the ability to remove the thin segments of flesh from the bony ribcage of a fish with two sticks is definitely an achievement but not something I'm so worried if my preschoolers can't do. But to watch K tonight you'd think this wass something the girls need to be able to do well for the honour of the family name.
And how did it go? Well....
That's Meg, Amy and my fish after we finished eating.
Amy kept spitting out anything with a bone in it despite K's constant reassurance that you can eat the little bones and Meg was on the unfortunate end of a misunderstanding about fish guts. When she asked "can you eat this bit?" and K said "yes, that's the best bit." she meant "Is this bit yummy fish flesh (and not that other revolting, bitter muck?) and K meant "yes, that's the revolting, bitter muck and that's the best bit!" Poor Meg.
K happily munched through his fish and the rest of the best bits we girls had left on our plates and went back to being a laid back dad but boy, for someone who doesn't think Meg needs to practise reading, writing or arithmetic before she starts school next year he sure got fired up over a bloody fish!