Hitomi went out on her own for a movie tonight.
I dropped Hitomi off at a place called Playdate, which is an indoor play area mostly designed around the premise of a hamster wheel. Although at his age, it requires parent involvement which means Hitomi (6 months pregnant) to spin that wheel too. So it was understandable she needed the evening off. (Myself, I spent the day at a M:TG pre-release, going 2-2. Ian’s luck was bad, mine was so-so.)
Leo was fully up around 5:30PM. Again, he took a three hour nap, which isn’t unusual I suppose but it sort of makes the evening fairly short. So snack time became dinner and a game of me trying to adjust. I was adding toast 「パン！」, a fried egg, to a bottle of milk, edamame, and fruit. Myself, I quickly came up with pasta and pesto (homemade).
Leo’s obsession with videos 「びお〜」makes its appearance at the end of dinner. We have an iPad loaded with NHK shows like Pachi Pachi Parade, which for all their charm, are fairly unsophisticated. I decided to take him down to our TV room and play something more for older kids.
Of course I have a ton of anime discs. With the appearance of Internet video streaming services, my collection has not really grown the past 5-6 years, but I still have a ton of things to watch. But what to show a toddler? Nothing too scary, violent, flashy or weird, which left me mostly with Ghibli films. I chose Kiki’s Delivery Service. Okay, I knew it was lengthy, but if we got through the first 30 minutes, I would have been satisfied.
I have seen it before, years ago. There were two themes that resonated with me this time around: One was realizing when Kiki was leaving town (at age 13) how her parents felt. Myself, being a parent this time, empathized a lot more. Secondly, was just how unsatisfactory life can be when people are unappreciative. I know the major theme of the movie is finding purpose, and how can one deal with feeling useless at times. Even when doing your job well, it seemingly matters more (for better or worse) how people treat you.
For Leo, I don’t know what he understood. I had fun calling out the various animals (cat, cows, birds, dogs) as well as things like the sea, trees, cars, etc. One thing I forgot about was the big dirigible that unexpectedly floats away and sets up the climax of the film. Leo somehow understood the scale 「おおきいよ！」and although was getting impatient near the end, stood up and watched intently the rescue scene.
Nearing 8PM, it was time for Leo’s bath. He bathes in a clear plastic storage container that resembles an aquarium. Before that, of course, I try to wash and rinse him off, in the manner the Japanese do. . He’s not too keen on warm water 「あっち〜よ」but it’s not really that hot and I try to tease him. I’m sitting on a wooden chair, naked, in the middle of the tub. Aside from his butt and penis「チンチン」, there’s not much really that needs cleaning on this boy and obviously we’re there to have fun.
His pile of toys are kept in a much, much smaller yellow bin that he used to bathe in. There’s a sprayer Hitomi used to irrigate herself post delivery, a kid sized watering can, weird hard plastic toys, and yellow duckies growing black mold in them. The splashing is why I stay naked. I make a half-hearted attempt to clean myself, too, but we use a repurposed Nancy’s yogurt container, that makes a good splash on somebody 30 pounds but not 170.
In good time, Leo climbs out of the plastic bin, and then out of the tub. With wet feet, he’s prone to slip and I try to stamp the water out on a towel on the floor. Then it’s a lot of running around in his bedroom, getting his diaper and pajama’s on. This time, he’s playing with his Lego train set, then after 20 minutes or so I see he’s tossing his collection of balls into the crib, and he soon is crawling in after: My job is done. It’s on with the ceiling slideshow and off to dreamland. (And eventually I need to head back to properly get his sleep sack on so he doesn’t freeze himself awake.)