Monday, December 19, 2005

A Closer Look at Our Kid

So far our kid is beginning to look like an American space alien . . . . We don’t know what to make of that because although I am a fully registered, card carrying alien here in Japan, I haven’t been to space and neither of us are American. How will we know how to raise it?

We chose Saturday for Yuko’s second visit to St. Cecilia Ladies’ Clinic so that we could go together. We chose St. Cecilia for its philosophy of approaching “childbirth in a manner not contrary to nature,” but it has the added bonus of being sparkly new and cute. This is the little pink Baby Book they gave to Yuko for keeping a maternity journal. I’m not sure which angel we’re meant to contact to supply us with memories, but I think that we will stick to our own. I was hoping that I would be able to get a good look at all the high tech gizmos, especially the equipment for taking the ultrasound, but a modesty curtain contained me and Yuko in a cosy little niche and I missed all the technological action. I guess I need to convince the doctor to break protocol and let me commute back and forth to his side of the curtain.

We are now in the tenth week of our parenthood. According to these graphics, two weeks ago our kid was a soybean, but now it is a strawberry. I anticipate that when we return in two weeks for the 12 week mark, it will have transmogrified into a mandarin orange.

In other news, the villagers are dying off, sometimes at a rate of seven or eight per a month. The board of education trustees were an especially vulnerable group since all four of them were rather old men, and we all know that men die faster than women. Indeed, some months ago these grandees lost one forth of their memberships. Subsequently, the mayor stopped by at our house for tea and asked Yuko to allow her name to stand as a new member of the board. To make a long story short, Yuko now outranks me since as an Assistant Language Teacher I am the lowliest employee of the board of education, whereas she is now a board member—she and the three remaining grandees of the old boys’ network.

In other, other news, I have been reappointed to the position of Hebiura Preschool’s Santa Claus. I generally shun Santa Claus and other manifestations of secular “Xmas,” but my execution of that office at Ikokuma Preschool last year did a lot for my approval ratings among six year olds this year. When I brought up the subject of Santa’s visit last year with my grade one students I couldn’t subdue the following bedlam. Among other startling memories shared, there was the stunning revelation that under Santa’s big white beard there was another, smaller, darker beard.