Okay, so I screwed up….

Some days no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get things right. Japan comes up and bites me in the butt with her big, piercing fangs just when I least expect it.

We are in the process of winding down the semester and easing into summer vacation. Those of you with kids in the system here will know what that means: PTA meetings, open class, shortened classes, coming home early, parent-teacher interviews, a crazy mix and match of all of the above that, try as I might, I just cannot seem to keep on top of.

Last week, we did meeting, interview, open class for Brother’s school. Starting this week, he comes home right after lunch. Next week, he’ll come home before lunch.

Sister’s school also had two out of three of those things ten days ago. I remembered to go to them. I remembered to make her lunch today. I even remembered today was Big Cleaning Day when a third of the moms have to come in and scrub toilets. I checked the list Friday.

Brother has to bring home his vegetable plant this week. I remembered that and went to pick him up at school and help him carry it home.

What I forgot was that Sister’s school had an end of semester meeting today at exactly the same time Brother came home from school. Great. Since I haven’t mastered the ability to be in two places at once, nor have I perfected the ease with which Japanese moms leave their kids home alone for long periods of time, I was in a pinch. I ended up dragging Brother to the last few minutes of Sister’s meeting. I explained the situation and apologized to the teacher.

So I’m feeling like shizit.

Then I notice a) Sister’s pool stuff is not wet, even though it should be, meanwhile b)Brother’s stuff is wet when it shouldn’t be.

This will not make any sense unless you understand the totality and power of the infamous Pool Card. Every school, preschool, and nursery across this fair country uses them. You write your child’s name at the top, along with their “average temperature.” Yes, teachers expect you will know that. The day before kids are to use the pool (kindy) this card appears in their backpack. In elementary school, kids are supposed to be able to keep the card at home and bring it out on the days they are scheduled to use the pool. (Are you laughing yet?) In the morning, you are supposed to take their temperature, write it down, and stamp your name seal on either the “may get in pool” or “may not get in pool” box. Then the teacher stamps in the “got in pool” box or “did not get in pool” box. At preschool, they collect the cards and distribute them next time. At school, the children bring the card home and don’t lose it and remember where it is the next time they are supposed to use the pool. (Ha ha.)

So if kids don’t bring the card, Mom doesn’t stamp the card, teacher doesn’t receive the card, then the child must sit poolside. Got all of that?

Sister had her card. She still has her card. Because she didn’t manage to get it out of her bag into the pile. Apparently no one helped her look for it, or suggested she looked for it, or did anything in any way to help that little card make it from her backpack to the pile. She’s FOUR, people. Every once in a while she might need a little assistance.

Brother, on the other hand, has lost his card. I know that is horribly shocking to everyone. I wrote his teacher a note and expected him to sit poolside and miss out on the fun and therefore maybe perhaps he could possibly learn not to lose all of his stuff all of the time.

But Teacher B let Child B in the pool. Teacher A made Child A (who is four, dammit, and actually had her pool card) sit by the side of the pool.

Curses, people, curses.

I will call School A, even though they know I am a shitty parent who missed their shitty meeting, and tell them that they were pretty shitty not to check daughter’s shitty bag for her shitty pool card. Since she still has the damn card I don’t know if she is supposed to prepare for the damn pool tomorrow or not, dammit.

After all the shit and damnation I think I am too tired to think about School B today.

Perhaps tomorrow will be better. A girl can hope, right?


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gina Sawamura
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 17:31:05

    Pool cards???? Jeez, as if you don’t have enough to do. It’s not so bad at hoikuen at the minute, we just have to draw a circle next to their name in the log book when we write down their temp every mornin. Though I remember the first year James was at this nursery and on the first day of pool season, I spoke directly to the teacher asking where was best to put his pool bag and how excited he was about going in the pool. We have this banter and in the meantime I forget to write down his temp and draw the official circle next to his name. His teacher didn’t let him in the pool because I hadn’t indicated in the log book that he could go in the pool despite telling her how excited he was about the whole thing! Some rules are just plain ridiculous here and then you hear stories about two teachers per 30 kids in a Tokyo hoikuen pool and toddlers nearly drowning. Priorities are warped slightly.


  2. gaijinwife
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 21:41:41

    Last summer the teachers put their foot down and would ring me if I had forgotten to put a circle. You haven’t put a circle so child A,B, or C will not be going in the pool and they are upset. Fuckin great. I have three children at your establishment. You expect me to remember who needs how many t-shirts, undies, and shorts WITHOUT writing it in the renrakucho and yet I get damned if I forget a bloody shitty circle? Grrrrr. Today when I went to pick them up Shou’s teacher said they had both worn their rash shirts – and then went on to repeatedly say (four times) that Marina didn’t know she had to put it over her togs and oh dear, perhaps she should have tried putting it on at home a few times first. Jeez. She had been told but I just forgot to hold a rash-trying-on-lesson before we left the house.
    End rant.
    Hope tomorrow is a better day for you.


    • Anna
      Jul 10, 2012 @ 21:44:13

      sorry to hijack hammako’s blog but have you stopped your blog, gaijinwife-san?
      I wasn’t really commenting that much but I read it for so long now that I miss it……yours and hammako-san was what i started my day with…..Anna


    • hamakkomommy
      Jul 11, 2012 @ 15:39:48

      I don’t know about you, but if the kids could do everything by themselves perfectly every time I’m sure I could find plenty for them to do around here. No need for school! I’ve been the subject of a “teacher crackdown” before, too, when Brother was in his last year of kindy. Just about sent me to the loony bin.


  3. Kym
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 23:10:56

    Sounds like these schools should just forget about the bloody pools if it’s all going to be done in such a ludicrous fashion. I didn’t have a school with a pool till I was so old I was pretending I had my period so that I didn’t have to get in it! (*^^*)


    • hamakkomommy
      Jul 11, 2012 @ 15:35:42

      We had a school with a hose. When it got crazy hot, sometimes the principal would let us play in it. Never in my wildest dreams would I have even imagined there were schools out there that had pools!


  4. Xana
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 10:59:36

    And isn’t a pain for the teachers, too? Stamping 35 cards, dealing with crying kids who thought they could go in but mom forgot to stamp or they dropped their card in a rice field or whatever. Wouldn’t it be easier to have the parents stamp a release form for the season, and after that those who bring their pool stuff swim, those who don’t (or do bring the bag, towels, and cap, but the bathing suit isn’t in it because mom put both in her sister’s bag by mistake, or whose bathing suit is too small because mom put them in the wrong bags, again) stay out? Wouldn’t the teachers’ time be better used, you know, teaching? Grrrr.


    • hamakkomommy
      Jul 11, 2012 @ 15:37:56

      Today the teacher forgot to distribute the pool cards until one of the buses had already left. Thought she was going to cry, poor thing. Your way sounds much better!


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