Thursday, 1 July 2010

Mozzie Bitches

Thank you for your comments on the last post. I'm still keen to hear more about how kids have been brought up with two languages so please comment if you can and you haven't yet. I tried hard today to use English with the kids. Ryu gets it a lot but then we go out he gets more Japanese - like today when we went to the supermarket and got accosted by three pre-vestlings almost the second we walked in the door. Seriously, I hadn't even picked up a bloody basket yet. I knew all three women so it is OK that he got passed round between them, but quite often we'll get random strangers wanting a hold too. I quite often do the half laugh, I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about thing then though.

Shou wasn't too much of a monster around dinner time which means I don't lose my rag and am more in control of what bad parenting words come out my mouth. I tend to switch into Japanese when they are playing up and I'm about to have a mummy meltdown.

Tonight, being the 1st of the month, hub had to go to noddy town wannabe fire brigade. He took Shou with him which Shou loves cause it means he gets a ride in the fire engine - which they drive round the neighborhood with the loud speaker on saying shit like don't throw your cigarette butt into a pile of tissues and newspaper. Or if you do plan on doing this please do so under the window on the far side of the Aramaki house across the river from the community centre. Tonight Shou got to do the loud speaker - which is testament to how serious they go about it. It was very cute though and he took it very seriously. They stopped outside our house for a couple of minutes and we got to 'hear?' the whole speal -which was Shou saying what daddy was telling him to, but at the same time trying to see me out the window so we .. ly  g..  its of t... messa...

Had English this evening and got home to silence which is always nice. Shou got ATTACKED by some mozzies while he was at the fire brigade thing and has a total of 23 bites...
three in this pic, three more on the other cheek, five in total on his neck and the rest on his arms and ankles with a couple on his tummy from when he took his shorts down to go pee in the grass. He's one tasty boy. He should have been sprayed with mozzie repellant but wasn't. Daddy shouldn't have left him playing by himself for so long either. Wish he had copped on a bit sooner. They looked worse than this and then started getting better. I'm not sure if he is allergic or if it is the mozzies here but last year he had one that he scratched and it turned into a hard (but with liquid in ti kind of hard) welt the size of a marble - on his ankle. I hope he manages to last tonight without a big scratching session. Poor thing.

As I was looking up mozzie remedies - because I thought cooling them was a good idea and hub was telling me to piss off - I found out that only the female mozzies bite - to get whatever they need to lay eggs. Can tell you, the mozzie bitches that munched out on Shou will be spewing out eggs from now until bloody Christmas.  Anyway, found out that putting ice on them does relieve itching - but then he had too many and we don't have child-size ice pack towel on hand for such occasions. I read that toothpaste can work, as can baking soda and water paste!! Interesting. we just used the stuff from the chemist but it's good to know this stuff cause the baby stuff is really weak and not very effective and the adult stuff probably a bit strong for Ryu and even Shou and Marina really. Especially when you are putting it on the face. Would rather they get toothpaste in their mouth - although any of those in the eye would sting.

Speaking of mozzies - got a call from the town office today to check if I was taking Shou for his first Japanese encephalitis vaccination next Tuesday. This is a disease passed to humans by mozzies. The mozzies get it from pigs or birds. Very rare cases cause paralysis. Very rare but more common in rural areas when mozzies a plenty - and no doubt if there was a JE caring mozzie it would find Shou.  So yes, we will be getting the vaccination, followed 28 days later by another.

Went on a get out of the house for ten bloody minutes drive with Ryu this arvo - before the supermarket. Went past friends house for whom the electronic photo frame is for.
I'm not sure if all of the inside is down yet. There were some (quite buff) workers finishing off the garden. This is a 'sekisui' house I think. Looks very lego-land like but I bet the inside is lovely. Japan do very good kit-set houses. Not entirely kit-set I guess. Still went up with hammer and nails plank by plank but the outside is called 'siding' and comes in long pieces. I think a lot of Japanese people with these new houses have trouble with proper windows. Lots of thin ones around, and I'm presuming that low window on the bottom left is where the bathroom is. It isn't entirely box in shape it has a balcony upstairs with a place to hang washing.

Both English classes went well today - it is satisfying when you have those classes where you really feel that they are making progress.

Early night.

SDGH&QL

14 comments:

Melanie said...

The bugs in Japan are horrible.

When I was at the ILs last year I kept getting bit by something, mosquitoes, spiders, dani, who knows. Only ever seemed to go after me (which made the ILs think I was crazy or something).

But seriously those bites lasted forever, took DH telling his parents "Hey, my wife is being eaten by bugs over there, do something" so them to do anything, not that anything helps.

I so feel Shou`s pain.

Gaijin Wife said...

and he has just gotten over a whole lot of flee bites from the kitten - who doesn't have flees any more but seriously, he got about fifteen of the bastards and they seemed reeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaly itchy. I heard type B blood type people get bitten more ????

Fifi Kida said...

Goddamn mozzies eh...

I think some people just react much worse to them than other (Japanese) people. I know when I get bitten by a mozzie 100% of the time they turn into the big welty ones which look like boils. My MIL had a fit the first time she saw them. Do they do that thing in Oita where Japanese people take their nail and dig it in and like make a cross on the bite? I found out recently its because "if its sore its not itchy" ... How bloody Japanese mentality is that eh?

Kiddo seems to be half and half - half of them are little spots and some of them are really bad. Hubby never gets bitten, and its not fair.

Poor Shou, I hope they dont give him too much trouble tonight :D

Adam W said...

Wasn't going to comment on the language thing, but since you asked... A lot of my friends are bilingual. Pretty much all of them only got/get their "mother" tongue at home, and then learned English when they went to school. All of them are fluent in their mother tongue and English. My best friend actually reads your blog now, so hopefully she'll be able to give you some insight on how she learned her native language and then another.

Fifi Kida - we do that cross thing here in the States, too.

illahee said...

it's really difficult to find the right balance for your kids. even each kid may learn language differently so what do you do? as i said yesterday, we do the minority language at home, but i also speak to my kids in english in public. they have seen me speak japanese, though, and recently hiro speaks to me in japanese.

i was going to blog about this, but never got around to it, but hiro's japanese is now better than mine. only took a year and a half at yochien. i had said something to yoshi and hiro then said the same thing, in better, proper japanese! oops. *sigh* i'm still better at kanji than he is!! (but really, i should knock off the japanese at home!!)

there isn't only one way to achieve bilingualism and in the end, you have to find the way that works best for your family.

Gaijin Wife said...

Fifi - sorry, do that in NZ too :) Our hub's probably get bitten less cause mozzie bitches are so full from feasting on foreign blood before they get to them.

Adam - thanks. Before coming to Japan I had a very boring existence and everyone I knew only spoke English. This is all a big insight.

Illahee - sometimes Shou will say a word and I will say what? and he will explain it for me. He is getting good at explaining!! Scary shit. I've been learning this language for half my bloody life and think I'm good enough to get people to pay me to use it and then SHou will come home with some bloody new vesting hickory dick slang and throw me off. Scary. very scary. I'm going to have to keep my kanji up to par too so I can help them with their homework!

L. said...

I don't know if you read my blog, but my 8-year old son is having trouble with his second-grade teacher now (he has done some abominable things, so he's not exactly blameless himself). His teacher is saying that one of the reasons he is acting out is that I only speak English to him, never Japanese, and this is giving him stress, and that if English is my priority, I should switch him to an international school. Yeah, bite me.

I only spoke English to my two older ones, now teenagers. If they spoke to me in Japanese, I refused to answer until they repeated it in English, with exceptions made only if they truly didn't know the word (and I suppose I would have allowed exceptions for things like, "The carpet is on fire," etc.) They knew perfectly well that I spoke Japanese, too. This worked for our family, but maybe because I'm just meaner than other moms? I took perverse pleasure in insisting that they speak to me in my native tongue! (But I still don't think Matthew's teacher is right and that English to blame for his troubles.)

Heather said...

I thought I'd finally de-lurk here and say hi- I've been sneakily reading your blog for a while now- its my morning coffee reading. I love it. I'm up in Hokkaido and a friend of Oyomesan.
As to the mozzie buggers- they're bloody evil here- I'm still recovering from last weekends feasting (I'm also B-type btw). Tiger Balm helps stop the itching for me (even though its smells stinky) and I carry wipes and bands with me in the vain hopes it stops them from snacking.. Or maybe I should start wearing those nets...

Sarah@mommyinjapan said...

For mosquito bites I use the Anpanman muhi patches. They are awesome because they cover the bite so they can't scratch it to bits while also making the bite not itchy. When my oldest was five she had a mosquito bite on her leg that she scratched until it bled and it ended up getting infected. When I took her to the doctor they put her on antibiotics and some fancy creams and the doctor told me it was a good thing I brought her in when I did. Since then I don't mind the cost for those patches!

Claire said...

Something I read when my kids were small and researching bilingualism is that kids need clear language boundaries to become bilingual. That can be in terms of people (Daddy speaks Japanese, Mummy speaks English), place (English at home, Japanese at school), time (English at weekends, Japanese in the week), or something else, but they need to have a clear way of separating the two or they end up lapsing into the stronger language all the time. We've done the one-parent, one-language thing with our kids, and like L I'm really strict about making my boys (now 9 and 6) repeat everything in English if they speak to me in Japanese, even if we're with their Japanese friends. So far it's working, though I have to work on vocabulary with DS2 a lot as he tends not to remember verbs in English (we get lots of sentences like "Mummy, I koboshita my milk").

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Japan, we used a dab of pickle juice on mosquito bites -- would never have gotten to sleep otherwise -- and it did stop the itching.

Bryn said...

Aw! Poor Shou! I've heard the same thing about B blood. Strange. Hope they've stopped itching!

Chrysanthemum Mum said...

I only speak English with my kids, but they hear me speaking Japanese with hub and outside the home with friends and at the doctors and whatnot. Hub speaks in Japanese to them though given the amount of time they spend with me and how little time is spent with daddy, their English has always had the edge. James didn't speak a word of Japanese until after his 3rd birthday. After a little over a year at hoikuen, James' Japanese has almost caught up to his English.Alexa seems to be learning both languages simultaneously as she started hoikuen at a much younger age and so was exposed to Japanese from an earlier age. Though she addresses me directly mostly in English.
James sometimes speaks to me in Japanese but I try to insist that he speaks to me in English.
We hardly ever go back the the UK (understatement - my family ahve yet to meet Alexa!) and so chances to speak English are limited which is why I insist that they use English with me. Aside from the fact that my Japanese is not fluent - it's not bad either - but I would feel weird talking directly to my kids in a foreign language. Hats off to anyone who can!

Somebody said that you have to make it clear when or where or with whom you use each language and I think this consistency in approach is key to raising bilingual children. A friend who grew up with a "foreign" parent also told me that if the other parent doesn't speak the minority language then chances to use the minority language dwindle further and the kids could end up refusing to speak that language. My hubs English is terrible and so like I said they only have me to speak to in English. Luckily there are lots of foreigners near where I live in Tokyo and quite a network has developed so my kids get to hang out with other bilingual kids on a regular basis.

With the reading and writing I have noticed that James has suddenly developed much better pencil control and a better ability to draw clearly defined shapes and stuff so I think now is a good time to dig out those phonics books I bought on Amazon. The other day he wrote his name with half the letters upside down and the remaining ones were back to front - Clever boy! I'm not gonna be too strict about this yet as it is early days, but I am aware that developing and maintaining good literacy skills in English is going to be problematic in the future especially as the kids will be going to regular Japanese school.

Waffle waffle..... The mossie bites too look awful. I get bitten all the time as does Alexa (A blood types) and they swell up a lot and are quite painful. Mosquito repellent doesn't seem to do what it says it should on the can either. Shou has my sympathies - mozzie bites are not nice at all. Watch he doesn't scratch them too much. Alexa got tobihi last summer from an infected mozzie bite she had scratched to death. O daiji ni.

oobip said...

Har har thought you were talking about the j mummy swarm at the shops!

Ouch to the actual bites thos!