I was planning to do some work this evening (just as I plan to do every day but never get around to because I squander all my time playing on the internets or thinking where to go in December) but have decided to post a bit more about the No. 2’s instead.
It’s such a different setup to the No. 1’s and I discover just how different on a daily basis. Misaki is six, the same age as Kentaro, but is so different it’s unreal. Hiroko works. A lot, it turns out. She frequently leaves Misaki on her own which has made her very independent. Scarily so, in fact. She’s like a little grown-up, even down to the way she demands to wear lipstick if she goes out with her mum and fusses over which coat to where. Kentaro (and Daijiro, although he’s much younger) are not nearly as mature and independent. Obviously this is going to be the case in a family where one parent is around 24/7 and the other one dotes on them when he’s there, but something that happened today really amazed me.
I got back from college and went straight to the supermarket to stock up on fruit for the next few days (a necessary evil here since the meals tend to be low in fruit and veg and you all know how obsessed I am with my 5-a-day). I got back with my Bunkado bag and Misaki was home, but not Hiroko. Misaki was saying to me “supermarket, pan and cornflakes” (“pan” is bread in Japanese, and French word). I thought she was trying to ask me what I had bought, and if it included any of those items. But no – she was in fact telling me that we were going to the supermarket right now to buy stuff for breakfast.
So she got a bag, some money, chose her finest cardigan to wear and we were off. Well, nearly off as there was another stop when she decided to put on her mum’s wooden flip-flop things. I tried to stop her, not really wanting a loud “clack clack clack” noise to follow the only blonde gaijin in the neighbourhood and a six year old Japanese girl around the shop, but failed. Luckily the supermarket is only round the corner, so in we went, got milk, cornflakes, bread and some cakes for Misaki and made our way home, via some random trees so she could pull leaves off.
An entirely surreal experience and one I would be more comfortable with if it was with a 13 year old!
Now it’s 7.15pm and in 15 minutes I will go to Shorinji, leaving Misaki home alone watching TV, whilst her mother is at English class.