Big “B”, little “b”, what begins with “B”?
This is not a post about the little “b”. It’s about the BIG “B”: THE BUNNY!
When we came to Japan a little over a year ago, the Bunny was just 20 months. She was our sweet baby girl, but babies don’t stay babies for long. Our baby girl has turned into a fun loving, curious, and affectionate big girl. The Bunny celebrated her third birthday in December while we visiting with family in Canada. According to her most recent health check, she is now 99.4cm tall and weighs 16.5kg!
When we left Canada our little girl was barely speaking, but now she talks constantly in both English and Japanese! The Bunny spends her mornings at a Japanese hoikuen (daycare). There is no English. Her teachers and friends speak to her in Japanese, and she understands them. Often when we pick her up she continues to chat away in Japanese for a short while before switching to English. Sometimes when we don’t respond to a request of hers right away, she will say it again in both languages. We aren’t always sure what she is saying when she speaks Japanese, but I’m confident it won’t be long before she starts teaching us. The bunny is also learning to use chopsticks. She takes her own pair of chopsticks to hoikuen every day. The first few days she had her own pair of chopsticks she wanted to take them everywhere. She even wanted to sleep with them.
So, what does a 3 year old girl living in Japan like? Our bunny loves “My Little Pony”. We made a conscious choice a while ago to not have her watch Japanese shows at home. She spends her morning in Japanese, so when she’s at home we want her to be surrounded by English. She received an ample supply of ponies to play with over the holidays and she knows them all by name. Yesterday she had a birthday party for them, but it was nothing new because she does that most days.
The bunny loves trains. Whenever we are driving and pass over train tracks, she says “train/train is coming/choo-choo/電車”. On a recent trip to Nagoya, we took the bunny to a big train museum. She loved it! She plays with her trains at home and enjoys going for train rides, too.
She loves to sing and dance. She has begun to sing the theme song for My Little Pony when she wants to watch the show. She also attempts to sing the theme song for Veggie Tales. She sings, “…talk to tomatoes…”. I have taught her a few songs, too. Her current favorite is “Jesus loves me”. When we were in Nagoya, she had fun singing it very loudly as we walked through the subway stations. She could get a nice echo going off the walls. She also loves to sing her ABCs.
When she plays, she loves to give directions and tell other people what to do: “Sit here/Come/Mommy THIS way/let’s go!/colour…COLOUR! I NEED TO COLOUR!!!” Last year at our hoikuen parent-teacher interview we were told that Ainslie likes playing with the boys because she loves to run. She enjoys pushing her adult friends over and jumping on them. Sometimes she will tell Mike and me to talk. She says things like “daddy, talk Mommy” or “Mama hug daddy”.
When we pray at night, she makes long lists of things she is thankful for. I taught her a simple prayer: “Jesus, thank you for ~”. She usually thanks Jesus for her mommy, daddy, friends, toys, (sometimes she lists specific toys) and food.
The bunny refers to adults that she doesn’t know as “people” and young children as “friends”. Those who she knows get to be called by name. When she passes groups of children she usually wants to say “hello friends!” When she sees other kids in stores she stops us so that she can get a chance to greet “friends”. It’s even cuter when she talks to adults. When she wants to get their attention she yells “PEOPLE!!!”
Life is Japan is normal for our sweet girl. Whenever we go anywhere new, many people stop to stare at her. They all say the same thing: “かわいい!” (cute!). I don’t think our bunny sees the difference between Japanese people, foreigners, or Canadians. To her they are just people or friends. If there is only one thing she remembers from her experience living in Japan, I hope it is that it shouldn’t matter to anyone what others look like or where they come from. They are all people and many of them are friends.