Monthly Archives: February 2017

Nina and Her Saga For THE Shoes Part 2/新菜とハイヒール 第二戦

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Chore Chart with her precious Piggy Bank

After we got home, once again, I forgot about the chore chart for few weeks.  Then Nina brought it up.  Asking again, for money.  After debating if it’s a bit too early, I said, “Why the hell not. It’s a good thing she’s asking to do it.  It may actually stick”

So I laid out some ground rules:

  1. The chores must be something where it alleviates someone else doing them. They cannot be your own basic needs. e.g. “eating dinner” or “brushing teeth” cannot be a chore as it’s the basic need.
  2. Whatever you earn goes into two buckets. Half is for the coin pig and half goes into your wallet for saving
  3. You can bring your wallet out on the weekends and spend as you like.
  4. If Mila helps you out with the chores, she gets to keep the change.  For example, if you earn 4.50 that week and Mila helped you out, she gets to keep the 50 cents.

And made a full chart with pictures.

And there it was.  The start of the chore chart.  At that point, I didn’t think this was going to last a month.

家に帰って私はお手伝いの事をすっかり忘れてた。数週間後、新菜が自分のお財布を持って、いつ始めるのか聞いてきた。ちょっと迷ったけど、本人が乗り気になってるし、続かないだろうとも思ってた私は、いーよ、じゃ、ルールを作ろうね、と言って、4条(最後のひとつは後付け)を新菜に説明した。

1.お手伝いは他の人の仕事をカバーすること。つまり、晩御飯を残さない、とか、歯を磨く、なんてのはお手伝いとは言いません。

2.貰ったお金は半分はお財布に入れる。半分は貯金箱に入れること。

3.お財布は週末にママとパパと出かける時だけ持ってきて、好きに使って良し。学校や、平日は持ち歩かない。

4.実良が新菜のお手伝いした場合は端数を実良に渡すこと。例えば4ドル50セントを貰うとして、実良がお手伝いした場合は50セント実良にあげる。これも貯金箱とお財布に分ける事。

そして写真付きのお手伝いシートを作って、張り出した。まさか、これがここまで続く事になろうとは。

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Nina and Her Saga For THE Shoes Part 1/新菜とハイヒール 第一戦

So, don’t judge.  I know the studies. I am fully aware of the social backlash and contempt concept of putting a young girl in high heels AND the possible physical effects of wearing them at a very young age.   I said NO.  I provided other options.  She didn’t budge.  This wasn’t just another, “I want.” It was more than that and I caved.  I respected her efforts, determination and I wanted her to know that I’ve got her back. So here’s the story.

A year ago, we passed by a terribly glitzy glittery store.  I usually walk right by them and don’t even look back.  Nina (four, at this time) stopped dead in her tracks and said,

 

“I want those shoes.”

I turned to see a pair of glittery wedges, around one inch high, with additional shiny jewels….in her size.

First reaction: “I want?”

Nina: “May I have those shoes please”(add lip quiver)

Me: “No, those aren’t really appropriate for you. ”

Nina: “But I really really want high shoes. You wear them all the time”

Me: “They’re not good for girls your age.  Your can hurt your ankles, (add whatever other reasons here).  You know, mommy didn’t really get to wear high heels until I could buy my own”

Nina: “How did you have your own money”

Me: “You work for your money”

Nina: “Can I do that?”

Me: “Sure, we can start a chore chart”

Nina: “OK, then I can put money in my Frozen wallet”

Me: “Yes, you will need to save a lot though ….those shoes are pretty expensive”

Seriously, they were 60 bucks.  Which I thought was a bit much for shoes that looked shiny but really, a child would not be able to walk around much in.

I thought our conversation ended there and we went home.  I was patting myself on the back about how a potential tantrum was avoided….Well….this was a beginning of a looong saga to her perfect shoes.

もう2年前の話になるのだけど。ある日、近所のモールで、ピッカピカのキッラキラの、デコ携帯の親玉バージョンみたいなお店の前を通った。新菜の足(当時4歳)の足がピタッと止まった。

あれ、欲しい。

彼女の指さした先にはやはりピッカピカの子供サイズのハイヒールが。

私:「欲しい?」

新菜「あの靴、買ってください」プルプル。

私 げ、暴れだす兆しありだ。「だめ、あれは新菜には早すぎるよ、色んな意味で(足首とか、子供にヒールはなんとか…理由をごにょごにょ)」

新菜「何で?ママいつもハイヒールでしょ。すごーく欲しいの」

私「まだ早いって、それにママだって、ハイヒール履くようになったのは、自分のお金で買えるようになってからよ。」

新菜「自分の、ってどうすればいいの?」

私「お仕事だね。」

新菜「新菜もやる」

私「お手伝い表でもつくるか。おうち帰ってからね。」

新菜「うん、新菜、Frozenのお財布持ってるから、そこに入れるね。」

私「いいんじゃない、でもあの靴結構お高いから大変かもね」

ちらっと見たら、60ドル、いや、あのちゃっちいコッテコテの靴、しかも絶対子供が歩けないような靴にしちゃ、お高いでしょ。まーいっか、どうにか大暴れの事態だけは避けられた~。良かった。と思いながら家に帰る。実は、私はこの会話の事を数日前まで忘れてたのだ。

Birthday Party: Nina’s 6! The Rainbow Book by Kate Ohrt 新菜、6歳のお誕生日会。学校版

Our little big girl Nina’s turned six in January.  She’s just changed school and we wanted to bring another book to the birthday party.  We picked the book that helped her get through that first few weeks of school.  See how here.

For the birthday book, we picked The Rainbow Book by Kate Ohrt.  The book has fun paper cutouts so we decided to have the kids pick their own two colors and make paper cutout page. Similar idea to The Missing Piece party, but this time, the art was for the kids to take home.

As usual, we started with Marc introducing and reading the book to the kids.  The kids were very excited to see Nina’s daddy and cheered when he came out with the book.

For this party, I had brought bunch of origami papers for the class.  First, we handed out the black solid construction paper.   The kids got to choose two origami papers.  One for the background and one to cut out shapes from.

Initially, I wanted to see if I can get the kids to associate colors to “emotion words” and to choose the colors they thought resembled their own personality but the scene quickly went into chaos mode with fifteen children, so I gave up on that.  Maybe I’ll do it with just my kids one of these days.

Marc and I split up and went to each table with about five kids to show them few examples on how to cut paper and they got to work.  All in all, we had some great art work from the kids.  Hope they had fun sharing the art with the parents when they got home.

Nina and Mila were very proud of what they did and has been mass producing these at home.

Thanks to our lovely helper for the rainbow cupcakes.  Nina has requested cupcakes every year from our helper and it’s sort of turned into a family tradition.  With the grandparents far away, we are very thankful to have extra loving adult around.

** The new school specifically requested that  pics from schools are not shared on the internet, so unfortunately, not many pics can be shared, but some posted for reference.

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新菜も一月で6歳。日本なら今年小学生。時の経つのは早いもんだ。本人が転園したいと言い出してから数か月、1月から新しい保育園に通い始めたのは、先日書いた通り。一番不安な時に助けてもらったこの本を6歳のお誕生日会のテーマにすることにしました。

子供の頃、紙を切って、遊ぶの好きだったな~、と自分の子供の頃を思い出しながら折り紙と黒い厚紙を用意して、いざ当日。

例年通り、マークがまず絵本の紹介。マークが本を持って出てくるとわっと喜ぶ子供達。この瞬間が好き。例年より元気なこのクラス、ちゃんと落ち着いて聞けたかな。

本の紹介が終わったところで5にんづつくらいの班に分かれてもらって、マークと手分けして、紙の切り方の基本を説明して、2枚づつ折り紙を配っていく。一回始めれば、子供の集中力はすごいもので、あっという間にアートがたくさん。

それぞれ作っては自慢気に見せてくれて、かわいかった。おうちに持って帰ってパパとママに見せてあげてね~、と言ったらにこにこ。

残念ながら、学校のポリシーで、写真は撮れるけど、ウェブには載せないでほしいとのことなので、あまりシェア出来る写真がないのだけれど、これはこれで楽しかった。それにしても、15人の6歳児はまだまだワイルドだなあ、と久々に思った。元気でよろしい!

今年もケーキはメイドさんの手作り。レインボーカップケーキをお願い、という無理も聞いて、かわいいカップケーキをたくさん作ってくれました。おじいちゃん、おばあちゃんが側にいられない海外生活のなかで、子供達を大事にしてくれる大人は多ければ、多いほど多分いい。パーティの間、ぐずる息子を連れて、あやしながらお散歩してくれたりしたおかげで私とマークは集中して子供達とたっぷりお話出来た。本当にありがたい。