Desk Work

So. Saturday after English school, we went to the Karimoku Showroom in Shin Yokohama to choose a desk for Me First. Most Japanese kids get one upon starting first grade. I figured, at the time, that it was a “right of passage” thing and that the kitchen table would do just fine. And it does, for the homework bit. And then it doesn’t. You really need the desk to contain all the shit your kids bring home from school. The books they don’t need that day, the jumprope they only use a few weeks a year, the paint set they use occasionally: all of it is kept at home.

Lucky me.

At the showroom (it isn’t a furniture store because you can’t actually purchase the stuff there; you have to order it from a department store. Gotta love Japan.) I quickly remembered why we hadn’t chosen anything the last time we were here. Brother immediately started whining that he wanted a swivel chair while Sister proceeded to safety test all of the desk lamps.


HRH quickly lost his temper. Instead of acknowledging the inherent fabulousness of a swivel chair and expressing how unfortunate it was that we couldn’t have one and then waiting for the storm to pass, which is what I would have done (and he calls spoiling,) Dad got angry, threw Me First’s bag at him, and said he had to make his way home on his own.


I’m sure you can imagine how that turned out.

HRH gets pissed when I don’t back him up on things like that, but… really? You gotta gimme something to work with.

We did manage to choose a desk in spite of ourselves, and hopefully we will even get around to buying it sometime soon.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gaijinwife
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 18:47:50

    gah, that would have pissed me off. So hard to follow through on making your 8 year old walk home 20km by himself in the snow (is it still snowing up there?)


  2. ds
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 19:16:57

    Are you serious that your husband actually threw a BAG at your son? In public, in a shop? That’s just not acceptable. Seriously, big big warning sign. I would expect a child to throw a bag, but a grown man? He needs a crash course in how to be an adult, and fast.


  3. Xana
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 21:31:30

    My husband always makes ridiculous threats and punishments and gets angry at me for not backing him up, too. His favorite is telling the kids they’ll have to sleep outside with the dog and/or chickens. I have tried discussing better parenting techniques with him to no avail. Sigh. You are not alone.


    • hamakkomommy
      Feb 14, 2013 @ 07:34:16

      My Japanese friends are also guilty of this. I guess part of it is cultural? There’s lots ofqq lecturing, crazy threats, and an eventual smack on the head.

      When I’ve tried to interest my husband in parenting books or whatever, his response is that I should naturally know what I’m doing and that using a method learned from a book or whatever is forced. That may have been true a hundred years ago when people were surrounded by loads of siblings and cousins and probably had a hand in helping raise them, but these days I think most parents (especially in Japan where no one babysits) have had NO experience with children besides their own.


      Your chickens seem to have a pretty cozy house. Might be comfortable in there?


      • Xana
        Feb 15, 2013 @ 16:20:30

        The chickens do have a nice house (a credit to my husband, I might add) but their personal hygiene habits are not the best, so I don’t think we’ll be locking the kids in there overnight. Dh, as well as getting irrationally angry and making irrational threats, then gets even angrier if the kids cry as a result. Bleah.

        They do have insane amounts of STUFF (to be stored at home) for school here, nothing like in the US. I just had to buy all of dd2’s stuff for first grade, so now she has the backpack, the minature piano mouth organ, the desk drawer, the math set (yet unlabelled), the endless bags in proper sizes, the two sets of indoor shoes, the hats, the crayons, the pencils, the pencil case, the clay, the clay board, etc etc all lying ready and waiting. Though there is plenty more I still have to buy. and store. The desk man comes at 5:00 and then we can put it all away, hurray! I can’t believe you lasted until the end of second grade. We caved after the summer of grade 1 with dd1, and with dd2 we’re buying the desk before she even starts. You should get MT’s now!

      • hamakkomommy
        Feb 15, 2013 @ 19:12:24

        I tried to convince HRH to just buy Me Too’s at the same time. But he needs to clean out his sh!t so we have a place to put it, either move his hat collection out of her bedroom or get rid of the huge computer desk and paraphernalia that holds a computer he no longer uses in the living room. I think we’re gonna get exactly the same desk in a different color. With a pink chair, of course.

        Good for you to be getting it done in a timely manner! Your daughter must be excited.

  4. Susie
    Feb 14, 2013 @ 00:37:57

    Growing up most of my friends used the kitchen table as desks. We grew up poor so my mom really lucked out when a school was closing down and they were selling off their old equipment.
    She was able to buy 3 desks for the 6 of us to share. They were the old 60’s style desk with the chair attached. And the top part opened up as the storage. They were hideous come to think of it but we were so happy we actually got desks. The sharing part was a bit harder but we had desks!


    • hamakkomommy
      Feb 14, 2013 @ 07:26:26

      We never had desks, either, and did just fine without them. But we were allowed to keep our books and stuff at school, and had lockers when we got older. Most of the stuff we used for school (paints, etc) were communal so taking them home and storing them was never a problem. The way they do it here seems kind of wasteful. Instead of the school having thirty jump ropes for everyone to use, every one of the three hundred students is required to purchase a jump rope. Maybe the kids are supposed to practice at home?

      Do kids here in older grades even have lockers? I can’t remember….


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