Tuesday, November 30, 2010
16th May 2008 - The good and bad thing about babies (or toddlers) is that you never know what's going to happen... even in the relative safety of the company of family and friends. L-kun was having a great time in Japan, and all was going well.... I think you know where this is going...
Anyhow on the 16th May, we visited Auntie-S who has a nice place in Sapporo... but also, has unexpected NEW things (like furniture, walls, electrical devices). As a new(ish) parent, you always approach every new environment with a slight degree of trepidation, and there's usually a 10 second inspection+review of what could (possibly) go wrong after stepping through the doorway of any new home or building.
After establishing that the ceilings were more-or-less safe, we decided to relax a little. We were, after all, visiting relatives. However, as is often the way with parenting... it's when you think you're safe that accidents happen. Whether it's your own home, or 1000's of km away... and whilst most parents are sub-consciously aware of this principle, there's nothing that can be done. Nothing. Let's just say babies+gravity+coffee table are not a good combination... and generally this equation ends up equalling tears. There is however an almost inevitable attraction between these three things.
That night L-kun discovered another great thing about Japan... home remedies. Apparently prune juice (and by juice I reallly mean thick, inedible concoction that most probably doubles as paint-stripper... it's known as MIKI Prune Extract) is considered at least by Okaasan+S-Auntie as being pretty well good for everything that childhood can dish up. Including contusions and general wear and tear. It also has an added benefit of looking worse than it actually is...
As a naive Aussie husband, I could only look on with wonder. By that, I mean I really wonder at the science of what my wife was doing. Hold on... prune juice. And that's supposed to do what now?
Hmmm... you quickly learn that cultural differences do not stop with language, but extend to just about every facet of our daily life experience. You can either struggle against it, or shrug your shoulders and pose the age-old-question... what's the harm in trying?
Did it work?... well it certainly helped out the parents (especially T-chan), and if that increased relaxation is picked up by your child, then I guess it's not a bad thing.
In hindsight, I wonder why I never once had any compunction to taste L-kun's head to see if he tasted like prune... perhaps because T-chan's family always kept me well fed.