This past Saturday was my older daughter’s last day in her current class, ichi-kumi or class 1.
It was a proud moment to know she… no, we all survived a year of Saturdays that were committed to exposing, maintaining, and furthering her knowledge and experiences to Japanese culture.
Thank you Papa for watching the little one all those weekends! And thank you Jiji and Baba for your daily skype sessions, which continue to enhance both girls’ language skills.
I puffed up proudly as my teacher, in parting, told me she was proud to say that my daughter’s growth and improvement was truly impressive.
Oh, the sweat, tears and lack of sleep paid off!!
I had both girls with me – Papa was busy gallivanting in The Big Easy, so I somehow managed to hobble and cobble together bentos for both girls, snag a parking spot close to the entrance, and corral the girls into the gymnasium to wait for the morning greeting from the head master of the school.
Bento for both included (little one’s onigiri not shown, it traveled in a smaller tupperware):
Boiled egg – heart shape
Turkey meat-ballie – I have a stash of these in the refrigerator and freezer that are pre-cooked. I’ll often defrost one overnight, and include in a bento box
Boiled cocktail hotdog – the surface is scored, and when these boil up, the cuts spread open, showing the pattern
Multi-grain onigiri with okaka or katsuobushi (shaved, dried, bonito flakes) lightly moistened with soy sauce center
Blanched sugar snap peas and broccoli
Blueberries for my older daughter
The little one was very pleased to have her own bento box. She pulled up a stool in the kitchen to peek over the counter to see what was included. When she couldn’t see over the edge of the bento box, she decided to take matters into her own hands – and stood up in her booster seat (anchored securely to a kitchen chair), and declared, “Mama. do NOT want booberries.”
The little one’s palate seems to take after mine – at the age of 3, she shares the same love of spicy and salty things, and comes with her mouth open when I’m eating kimchi, or doesn’t balk when I add a tiny orange dot of sriracha sauce in her lentil soup. Not to mention, I myself am very picky with my fruit selections, and unless I am in the mood, I would rather eat my body weight in vegetables than fruit.
Meanwhile, my older one declares everything TOO spicy, but will scarf down HER body weight in fruit. Oh. Except she has an aversion to anything white – cheese, yogurt, butter, cream cheese… except for vanilla ice cream.
To my oldest daughter – Hurray for graduating from the first pre-K class in Japanese school! Good bye, ichi-kumi friends, thank you for the memories!