Monday, March 15, 2010

Swapping Roles

It is very rare that I spend a whole day away from my family (well, my children). On Sunday, I had booked a hair appointment in Tokyo. This seems slightly ridiculous, until I think of past experiences. I have had pink/orange hair, barely-there highlights that ended up, er, washing out (!), and a very badly burned scalp. I had a great hairdresser when I lived in Tokyo, Mami chan. But she was bossy. I think I liked her because we got on well, lots to chat about. But in retrospect, she never really did what I wanted, even though she made my hair look great, and although she did a mean mahogany, she was also really crap at lightening.

So after some good reports, specifically re. blonde toners, I decided to give Sinden a try. I thought, and still think, that their prices are extortion, but I am willing to be a conscious victim at least once a year...

My MIL works at weekends, and my SIL is doing some temp. work at the museum at weekends too. So I knew that this time, instead of going to MILs, handing the children over, raiding the fridge and sleeping on their sofa, that Y was going to have to go it alone. Probably for the first time ever with the two children.

I woke up at 7a.m., dumped a code brown baby on Y while he was still half asleep, and then set off for the station. We are a half an hour drive from the train station, so I parked, and then went for the train. It's amazing what kind of things you can do when you are alone..things that I never really thought about when I was free and single, ha ha. Running up stairs, nipping into the shop for literally 10 seconds, using public toilets without claustrophobia, oh, and did I mention using the stairs?!?

So I took the rapid train to Shibuya, and of course got a seat the whole way. I had chance to read magazines, listen to music, and yeah, I fell asleep on some random man's shoulder. I kind of wish that he had jostled his shoulder to save my dire embarrassment, but ho-hum. So I arrived at just after 10a.m., my appointment at 11a.m. and I found a lovely roadside cafe with tables outside, so stopped for what I suppose was my lunch, as I envisaged being stuck in the salon for at least 3 hours. They didn't really have much, so I opted for a couple of little bread rolls with raspberry cream and chocolate cream (not so keen on the choccie one, but the raspberry one was to die for), and a cappuccino. O.M.G. Cappucino - 500 yen...ah yes, we are in Tokyo, not far from Aoyama-dori, what did I expect? Anyhow, managed to be a couple of minutes late by the time I arrived at the salon. Was very small, but really friendly staff, and a stylist who seemed to know what she was doing. So there I sat...for FOUR hours...Stupid me, thinking that once they cut my hair off, it wouldn't take as long to colour. Er, yeah, not if you are having highlights, right?! So my masses of hair took forever to do. Although she was not the fastest worker I have ever seen. But I took my time, read fashion mags., drank copious amounts of coffee, leading to gowned toilet going and a bit of buzzing.

And finally, at 3p.m., I was allowed to go home without a burned orange head I might add. I called Y and he seemed kind of distant. He had taken the children to the park, and was now having something to eat. Hmmmm, he has had it, I thought. So despite thinking I might have time to shop (or at least browse), I got back on the train. I mailed Y to ask if he wanted me to take the bullet if he was having a hard time back home, but there was no reply, so when Omiya came and went, I decided just to stay on the train I was on. I did have a seat, but I had given it up to some old grannies who took it in turns pushing each other on to the seat that all of them claimed to "not need" until the weakest one just got shoved in. Y mailed back and said sorry but they were at the park because the children were being "norty" and he hadn't seen my mails. At the park at 5p.m..weird, it's the childrens' dinner time. Ah yes, the hungry naughty hour. Why should he know about that?

When I got home, they were all in the bath. Y buzzed me and asked me to take L out and get him ready for bed. Urghhh, I was exhausted, but ok, will do. After they were all out of the bath, I heard Y mutter, "thank God"...

It turns out that they went to the park in the morning. Park had a yaki-soba stall, so Y had bought some for him and the children -yum, grease...then they had come home and they (probably only Y) were too full for lunch, so Y had decided that 3p.m. might be a good time to feed them the fish that I had left. This was the time that I had told him to give them a snack...lunch is usually around 11:30

Then, they were grizzly at around 4p.m. (dinner usually at 4:30-5), and L had a dirty nappy, but instead of changing nappy, Y forgot and they headed out to the park...again...They came home at 5:30 and Y changed L's nappy only to find the meanest nappy rash ever (erm, two hours sitting in poo?).

At one time, I would have been stressed out at this. Angry even. But I realised something a while ago, and that was that I only know what to do with the children because I have been through this trial and error. I have learned that they get grizzly when they are hungry. I have learned not to give them stuff from park stalls. I have learned to check nappies and change any dirty ones straight away. I have learned that the later dinner is, the later bath, bedtime is, and the grizzlier the children AND me. I have learned these things, but STILL I break some of them. I sometimes start chatting to my family on messenger at 6p.m., when I should be getting in the bath with the children. I know what will happen, but I do it anyway. So while I wrote everything down for Y re. the childrens' routine, I know that you don't think about the consequences until you have to deal with them. So I told Y to take it easy and I went about getting the children ready for bed.

I think this kind of day is really great for Y, but I also had the chance to put myself in his place. I travelled a lot further than he usually does, and I walked quite a bit, but I sat on my butt and didn't work or think about much for four hours, then came home. And I have to say, when I walked through the door, the last thing I felt like doing was helping with the children.

So was a tiring, but pretty nice day, and the weather is really picking up - Yay! Spring!


  1. Wow that must've felt great to be on your own for a bit =) They did an amaaaaaazing job on your hair too, so the trip to Tokyo must have been worth it.

    I know what you mean about the kiddy stuff. I've been trying to be more patient with Tetsu when he does things, because, same thing, I know he has less time for trial and error to lead to knowing how to do everything. I figure, in the end, as long as it doesn't kill them... getting to bed late and diaper rashes aren't all that bad haha.

    Can't wait to meet you all and see that bob work it's magic in person ;)

  2. Thanks! A good haircut always makes me feel more confident, so I figure it's worth it once in a while :)

    I think some things, children-wise, are common sense..but it seems that they are probably only common sense to women. I think Mums have some built-in chips where it comes to babies. Especially with safety, etc. But a lot of it is trial and error, eh? And I came to that conclusion too! Children are alive at the end of the day = good job, hee hee!

  3. I would make the worst mother EVER.. I have no patience at all.. I flip my top when my dog barks when I'm studying, or watching something... I have 0 patience.

    I love, love your CUT, it makes you look YOUNG, not that you looked like an obachan before, but definitely younger. I looks Fab darhling.. lol

  4. April Marie - I am the same, but have learned to hold at least a little bit in. Why do you think I work out so much ;) ?! Need an outlet.

    Thanks! I think long hair is great, but I just don't have the PATIENCE for it, hee hee. And I LOVE the way short hair feels on my neck, or not, as the case may be!