Two: in case I haven't mentioned it already (hey, if I can't remember, then you probably can't either. Right?!), I'm in a group called "Long Creative Project" right now. It consists of people who are working on books, screenplays, documentaries, and other Creative Projects that are, well, Long. You know, instead of the short ones like coloring and sand castles. OK, those can be long too, never mind. Anyway, I would like to thank the group for some encouragement it gave me the other week. I wish I had written it down. One point stuck: they called me a writer. Someone even said I have a novel in me! Wow! I wonder if I will ever get it out.
Three: a complete change of topic, but then again, I have specified "ten things" so anything goes, I say. As of Saturday, March 10th, my 2 year old daughter Misaki is potty trained. This is worth mentioning primarily due to the angst I felt about it before it happened. I would talk it up and try to make using the toilet sound like the most fun she'd ever had and she was utterly disinclined to agree or engage.
Four: so the way I trained her was as follows (OK, I know this doesn't seem like it should be a separate point, but it is, trust me)-- on the aforementioned date, as we were out to the market in the morning, against all the anti-sweets/candy/food dye convictions I've formed lately, I said to her, "Misaki, if Mama buys you some m&ms, will you go oshikko (yes, that's the Japanese word for "pee," and yes, I mix languages when I don't want to be perceived as talking about pee in public) in the potty?" And she said yes. We came home, and put her underwear on. She had one accident. Following which, she had a perfect record all day, and pretty much since then, doing her business in the toilet. Hallelujah!
Five: which means that in two weeks, right after she turns three, my "baby" can go to preschool with Izumi for two months until school is out.
Six: and that will allow me time to work and perhaps break even on their school fees, which I don't want to think about too much, because how does that actually make sense? My tentative plan for working is to teach some private English conversation lessons to Japanese ladies, and perhaps kids. I don't mean to be elitist or snobbish by only accepting Japanese clients. But it makes sense for me since I'm able to explain elusive points (which are many, have you ever stopped to think how difficult English is? Try explaining it and you'll see) in their native language.
Seven: not only will I make the school fees I need help with, I will also make my clients smarter. If I succeed at moving them closer to bilingualism. The project will probably work out better if I lower the bar to "I will help my clients make an articulate order at the deli counter in their local market".
Eight: this could be two points if I insisted on splitting it, but I'm started to run out so I'll do a twofer. Aogu and Koji are in Tokyo right now, having a grand time. I'm truly glad they are making lots of memories. However, Aogu has another engagement there the week after he comes back here. The other day I made the mistake of noting to myself the following: "Between March 19th and April 15th, Aogu will be home for six days". In other words, nearly a month of parenting on my own. Dear Single Moms, I must publicly acknowledge this: you are amazing, and I admire you and pray you get support and help from your community! Seriously, because this can be rough and I'm only on Day Eight. and I only have two of the three kids here...
Nine: Nevertheless, I'm trying to enjoy the Matsuoka Girl Time I've been given. But the downside of point #2 is, I must wake up in the night to take M to the potty. Which causes me to take hours to get back to sleep. Which increases my cortisol and makes me want to eat exceeding amounts of dark chocolate. So I should be slimmer in no time.
Ten: yesterday I returned this family heirloom rocking chair to its rightful owner after using it pretty constantly and faithfully for nine years or so--two years longer than this blog's been around. Believe it or not, I am extremely sentimental and I can literally make myself cry at any moment if I think the right "gooey" thoughts, particularly about my kids. So though I'm not crying now, I could, would and might if I indulged in any memory lane walking around the hours and hours and hours I spent in this chair with them when they were babies. Thanks for the memories, sweet rocking chair!