Monday, November 12, 2012

Studying With Children


As noted before, I'm currently attempting to learn how to read Japanese, or rather, read one of the four writing systems used by the Japanese. The general idea is for me to complete about one lesson per day, say about 20 to 40 kanji or so. So far, weekdays have been generally pretty good. While I'm busy at school, I usually have some downtime that allows me to chew through most of them, although sometimes they follow me home.

Weekends however... Oh boy. Try 5 minute interruptions from the boys, usually alternating. The first one will almost always be Hikaru who comes tearing into my office in tears. Why, you may ask, is my youngest in tears? Because big brother did something, usually attempt to take a toy. So, comfort toddler, yell at 5 year-old, kick both out of office, go back to kanji.

5 minutes later and Makoto is coming through the door, this time to complain that Hikaru won't do what he, Makoto, told him to do and since last time I yelled at him for hitting Hikaru, he wants me to get the toy this time. Tell Makoto he needs to share, tell Hikaru to share with Makoto, kick both out of office, go back to kanji.

Again Hikaru shows up, this time because Makoto, trying to color, kicked him out of the room so he decides to bring the toy that makes noise into Daddy's office to play. Physically remove toddler from office, yell at small boy to let his brother play in the room, go back to office, close the door, go back to kanji.

Makoto opens the door to tell me Hikaru pushed him and now he hit his arm on something. Comfort 5-year-old, yell at two-year-old, kick both out of office, go back to kanji... what kanji was I on again? I don't know! Too bad it's not annoyance, because I'm sure I'd remember that!

Makoto and Hikaru this time demanding things to color. Growl at my beloved children, print out something, threaten to ship them both to Timbuktu in a cheese crate, go back to kanji.

Finally towards evening, having gotten through half of what I needed to do, Beloved calls me downstairs. It seems that Makoto is falling asleep so she wants me to play with him so he doesn't nap right before dinner (Once Makoto is asleep, it's impossible to wake him up without having a temper tantrum). "But," says she, "Only if you're done with your kanji, but I'd really like it if you could."

*sigh* "Of course."

"Are you done?" says Beloved.


"But, you had so much time!"

Resolved, remove the baby-gate from Beloved's hidy hole where she retreats to get away from her children and install it in my office, making sure to ducktape the latch so that Makoto can't open it.

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