All of our kids got sick last week. Yes, in the middle of everything else that was going on. Isn't their timing perfect? Emi started it off with a cold which she passed to Misaki who also got an ear infection who then passed that off in turn to Sakura and then Natsuki. Usually it's Emi who gets the ear infections so I was really surprised when Misaki came into our room in the middle of the night saying that her ear hurt. Misaki, Sakura and Natsuki all had one or two sleepless nights, which means that my husband and I had 5 sleepless nights altogether. They're all feeling much better now but we are starting to notice the curious side effects to all the extra love and attention they received while they were sick.
Most noticeably, they've all turned into whiners and forgotten how to speak.
Conversations with Misaki go like this:
Me: Get changed out of your uniform and then you can play.
(five minutes later)
Me: Misaki, you're not getting changed.
(five minutes later)
Me: Misaki, you need to start getting changed now.
Me: No, just start by taking off your jacket.
(five minutes later)
Me: Thanks for taking off your jacket, now take off your vest.
(we go on like this until she's gotten everything off but now she has to hang it on the hanger)
Me: Okay, sweetie, now put it on the hanger.
Misaki: (sniffling) but I can't!
Me: Yes, you can, start with the skirt.
Misaki: (starting to cry) ... but I can't do it fast!
Me: You don't have to do it fast, you just need to do it.
Misaki: (full wail) ... but I *want* to do it fast.
Me: Then do it fast.
Misaki: BUT I CAN'T DO IT FAST... (tears pouring down her face)
(I can tell she's tired so I go to Plan B)
Me: Here, I'm going to set the timer for 5 minutes. If you can't get changed before the time is up then I'll help you finish and you can take a nap.
Misaki: (crying) ... I'm not tired.
Me: Okay, I started the timer. You've got five minutes.
Misaki: I DON'T LIKE FIVE MINUTES (full wailing with tears streaming down her face)
(I ignore her and miraculously she manages to get all of her uniform on the hanger within the 5 minutes)
Me: Yeah, you did it, now you can play.
Misaki: (sniffling) ... but I want to play this game.
Me: Go ahead, that's a good game. (cheerily)
Misaki: (wailing) ... BUT NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY WITH ME.
That's how most of the conversations with Misaki have gone this week. Sakura is no better. If she needs to go to the potty she suddenly appears beside me, holding her crotch, and her eyebrows are raised as high as they can possibly go and then just looks at me. Obviously I know what she wants but I ask her to tell me what she wants in words. She says, "Potty", so I ask her to say it nicely, to which she says "I have to go potty", and then we go. We repeat this at least six times a day. And if you saw Natsuki at any given moment, you would think her life is going to end. Soon. There's a lot of crying and dramatic head throwing and putting her hands over her eyes, etc. It's all a lot of fun.
But even with all the extra drama, we managed to get everything accomplished last week that we needed to. I did my speech on Terry Fox at the junior high school. It went really well. I was mostly worried about forgetting my Japanese all of a sudden and/or losing the kid's attention but I sailed right through everything I wanted to say and the kids were watching me the whole time. Later, the teacher that had invited me in the first place said that they had never had a speaker use the telling of the story of one person to illustrate the culture of a country but that it was, in fact, very effective. I took this to mean that he was nervous before I started speaking that I was going to make a complete fool of myself and, by association, him but that he was very relieved that I didn't.
Also, I sang at with the gospel choir at their concert. I was nervous because on Monday and Wednesday, I lost my voice entirely and when I went to the rehearsal on Tuesday, I was probably at 50% of my normal voice. I was thinking that I had four whole days in which to get better but all four of those nights I was up with one of the kids so I wasn't getting any sleep at all. But in the end, all that worry was for nothing and everything went very well.
Now I'm trying to get ready for our trip to Miyazaki and finish up our Christmas shopping. Hopefully since everyone was sick last week, no one will get sick next week. Fingers crossed!