Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Over reacting

Yesterday I got a phone call from the school principal at about 1:30pm to tell me that my son had hit his head earlier in the day and that if I was free I should probably come to school to get him and take him to the hospital to get it checked out. So of course having nothing better to do I rushed to school and heard the full story... He had hit his head quite lightly on a locker when he was playing with a paper plane at about 10:30am. He continued on with classes, ate all his lunch, did the school cleaning, then complained that he had a headache - hence my emergency call out. When I arrived he had an icepack on it and was looking a bit glum, but not actually in any pain. There was no physical bump on his head and there was no bruising from the incident which had happened 3 hours ago..... I was sure that he was just tired, but was encouraged strongly to take him to the hospital just to be sure. The doctor looked at him, looked at me and we laughed together. My son smiled, we walked out having paid 800 yen (the bill has to be over 1,000 yen for the school insurance to cover it) and decided to fill in the time between then and when it was time to pick up my daughter by looking at the hina dolls that his class had made and that were on display at a local hall. I have no idea what happens at other schools or in other countries, but I do find that the school nurse at our school combined with the principal tend to overreact to injuries here where I would just tell them to suck it up! I guess if it had turned out to be an actual head injury I might feel differently, but... By the way - for anyone who doesn't know every school in Japan no matter how big or small seems to have a school nurse - even the tiny school closest to us with only 13 students!
On the overreacting theme I think I might have got some of my overreacting under control lately. In the past I have been very "independent" and got frustrated when my parents-in-law tried to do anything around the garden etc., but this last week I have just stood back and said "thank you". For some reason my father-in-law decided he would chop most of next year's wood supply - something I would have complained about in the past as I would think that he thought we weren't capable of doing it. I must be getting old because when I discovered him doing it the other day I just hid inside and thanked him later.... It has been raining a lot lately so my mother-in-law hasn't been able to get into her garden so has spent most of her days weeding our large lawn - a job I see as pointless and which drives me crazy. So when I discovered her doing it the other day I hid inside and said thank you later...... I may even let her loose on the vegetable garden sometime, but probably not this year - she would never realise that there are actually many edible things in amongst the knee-high weeds! I discovered a whole strawberry patch today that I had forgotten that I had planted!

For anyone not familiar with the Hina dolls above - March 3rd is the "Dolls Festival" in Japan and most families with girls will display their dolls for about a month prior to the festival and eat sushi etc. on this day. Our town has some amazing displays of very old dolls as well as some more modern ones. I think I need to put our dolls away tomorrow if I want my daughter to get married early. After her behaviour today I think I might actually put them away tonight in the hope that some prince swoops in and takes her away next month - nothing like living with a teenage 9 year old! If you want to read about the history etc. behind this festival the wikipedia site has a good explanation: Hinamatsuri


  1. Wow. I'm a big proponent of better to be safe than sorry but that seems quite extreme! We were encouraged to get a tetanus shot when another child bit Amy and drew blood. It made me wonder- the other child was particularly animal-like?

    You have reached a level of maturity I am yet to attain on the being helped field. Although I have deigned to allow the use of machinery and black plastic- previous no-nos!

    My DH always leaves the dolls out for an extra day in the hope his beloved daughters won't get married too young...

  2. I hear ya. Our schools tend to overreact a bit, over here as well. I'm glad your son was okay though.

    Good on you for letting your inlaws chop the wood and do some weeding. I know how hard that can be. I have had some similiar issues with my mil as well. Not with gardening but mostly in the kitchen. The last time she came here and stayed the night, I just let her do all the prepping for the BBQ. And then she dunked her finger in the sauce and raw chicken and asked me, "do you wanna try this sauces flavor?" My first thought, "salmonella poisoning!" I just politely declined. I keep telling myself breath in, breath out. Don't get too upset. Which is easier said then done in my case. ; ) Anyway, just wanted to say, well done Jo. And yay for finding strawberries in your vegetable garden. You do have great big amazing gardens!

  3. Try a huge great anonymous school like ours! You can't get past the door without a raging fever, the nurse has forced Amy back to study with an excruciatingly painful migraine several times.

    Regarding independence, yes I think it's just a part of getting older, you realize people aren't implying you can't do something! Same with all those parenting tips and Baachan's unstoppable 'she's cold' 'she's hot' comments. They just don't push my buttons like they used to.