Full Circle

This day started out just awful.

I know that isn’t good grammar, but dammit, it’s true!

Me Too woke up in a mood, followed by HRH with a headache and accompanying mood, rounded off by Me Too with a mood and a ‘tude.

The Clash of the Titans began shortly after we started breakfast. MIL had been visiting relatives in Kyushu (yes, those relatives for those in The Loop,) and brought us back a bunch of strawberry jam. The rels are strawberry farmers, and the jam is homemade. Me First loaded his bread with it, then promptly dropped the loaded bread, sticky side down, on the floor.

I won’t go into the laws of probability and how they don’t apply to children, for whom anything dropped on the floor will always, without fail, fall sticky side down. Laws of physics and mathematics be damned!


This sticky splat happened when Me First was kicking his sister under the table, and thus leaned over sideways instead of sitting rigidly with his chinny chin chin over his platey plate plate. He was doing this at a restaurant we went to yesterday, too, because there was a mirror right beside our table. I mean, what little kid can avoid looking themselves in a big mirror, especially if they have food in their mouths?

HRH just kind of lost it. He banged on the table, then banged twice more for good measure. He spanked Me First, told him to go back to bed, and then told me to throw his breakfast away.

Nothing like starting the day with a good helping of overreaction, is there?

Eventually, HRH left the house, and Me First emerged a blubbering mess from the bedroom, with only forty minutes to finish his breakfast (minus the toast), do his homework, and get ready for school.

As soon as he seemed on the right track, Lil Sis started freaking out. I never figured out why; I was already exhausted from dealing with the adult freak out. Me First and I counted up the bad things that had happened thus far on what had started out as a normal morning. He had it at five.


We need one more to round out the threes. I told the kids a story about how my mom had once broken a plate on purpose to stop the cycle. We don’t have lots of extra plates, but we do have a number of lonely chopsticks.

It was agreed. We would have to sacrifice one of them.

The kids found they whole thing pretty hilarious. I yelled “hiyah!!” and then broke that thing in two with a loud, splintering thwack! They broke into giggles, and I was relieved that, at last, no one was crying.

I was supposed to take Me Too to the doctor. If I push, and we get out the door the same time Brother goes to school, she can be at preschool before the gate closes. But by 8:30 this morning it was glaringly obvious that I was not gonna survive this morning without copious amounts of coffee. So Me Too went to school late, and I managed not to lose my mind. Fair trade, even Steven. You do what you have to.

Fast forward a few hours of frantic cleaning and baking later, and we all had a pleasant afternoon filled with cupcakes and friends coming over. They were surprisingly quiet, and I didn’t need to go through the whole house with a bulldozer later to clean up the toys.

Funny how that worked out. Given the start we had to this day of days I hardly imagined it would end with a clean (enough) house and happily tired children.

Nice when you can come full circle like that.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stardust
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 01:10:55

    Your husband hasn’t overreacted at all. He did the right thing reprimanding and spanking your son for his behavior. You do realize that what your son did to his sister was wrong.
    Of course your daughter freaked out. She was probably afraid that her brother might continue abusing her.


    • hamakkomommy
      Nov 20, 2012 @ 06:18:03

      He was punished for dropping the toast, not for playing footsie with his sister. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.


      • Stardust
        Nov 20, 2012 @ 07:33:02

        Maybe I overreacted a little with my message, if so, I apologize. I have been reading your blog and those of other foreign women with Japanese men and I enjoy them.
        When I read the part where your son was kicking your daughter, I remembered about what happened to a Japanese friend of mine and I just couldn’t resist not commenting. He used to abuse his younger sister since they were little kids and it didn’t seem like being serious at all to his parents at the beginning. It got worse later and the abuse has escalated and what’s worse, he didn’t even feel remorse for his actions. Then years later, after both of them have become adults, he kept abusing her and couple of months ago, his sister passed away. It was only after he lost his sister that he begun feeling remorseful for what he has done to her. He has never even apologized to her while she was alive and he said that he wished he could tell her “I’m sorry” for all the things he has done to her.
        Again, I’m sorry if I overreacted and I’m by no means judging you or anything of the sort.
        I really hope it’s just a phase your kids are going through.
        Have a nice day.

      • hamakkomommy
        Nov 20, 2012 @ 07:49:58

        Thanks for the sentiment. Sorry to hear about your friend!

  2. Skhylar
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 04:35:13

    Wow, just… wow. I’m sorry your day started off as such, but I’m happy it ended on a good note. To many more good notes a’happening! [;


  3. Rebekah
    Nov 20, 2012 @ 11:05:34

    Your husband totally overreacted. I know this because I am married to your husband. (Well OK not the exact same guy but sometimes the things you write about yours hit so close to home – the overreacting, the empty threat making, the sighing and grumbling during the rare times he helps with housework, etc.)

    Stardust, I grew up in a similar situation with my brother who tormented me, and parents who were too busy to see and didn’t take it seriously. And it was awful. But I also have two kids, and they fight. They just do. Of course kicking under the table isn’t to be encouraged or ignored, but it falls into the category of typical sibling squabbling, not abuse.


  4. ds
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 08:58:14

    Obvious solution to the kicking under the table is to have them sit separately, with adults in between (if the table is big enough). Or at least diagonally across from each other. Then it would be obvious who is the kicker and kickee.

    It seems to me like Japanese husbands try to pack all their parenting into small pills or bombs and then randomly set them off. Nothing resembling a parent for a week or two then BANG! Instant authority figure. I guess in a way they are trying to make up for being more or less absent from their childrens’ lives the rest of the time.

    I figure this is why the younger generation of Japanese men are so sissified (sp). They never had the constant influence or guiding hand of a man in their lives. Rather they were left in the care of a string of women from mom to grandma to their teachers in elementary school (80% women). It’s hard to learn how to be a real man in those circumstances. Even harder to learn how to be a father.


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