Monday, 12 September 2016

Big decision as parents

Recently we had to make a big decision as parents. Probably it’s not a big thing for some people, but at least for me, it was really heartbreaking, hard decision.

About a week ago, I noticed Nico often touching his front tooth. I thought some food was stuck but when I saw it, I noticed that his front tooth had a crack. He used to like rice crackers or apples, but when I gave him those, he started crying after one bite. I told Paul about it and he said maybe Nico did that when he bumped his face on ground in front of our house when he was playing with a ball with Paul. Because Nico was crying so hard after eating something hard, we decided to take him to a dentist. She told me his front tooth was split and we have two choices.

1. Pull out the tooth and not worry about it anymore.

2. Fill the root with medicine and put crown over the remaining tooth, which leaves some possibility for infection and when it happens, it’s worse.

The dentist told me it’s totally our personal decision, but from her explanation I knew what’s best for Nico – pulling out the tooth. When I imagined Nico having no front tooth until 6 or 7 years old, that made me cry. He’s not even two yet!! The dentist said that it’s normal and I was a good mother. She said I cried because I care about Nico.

I told her that I’d talk to Paul and make a decision.

I wanted to keep his tooth. He looks cute with his tooth. I don’t want him to change - so I tried to think of a good excuse to keep it. “I feel sorry for him if he didn’t have his front tooth in all his childhood photos.” “He might be teased at kindy." "If he worries about it, he won't want to show his teeth, so he might not smile. ” I told a couple of people these things, but their reaction was “small kids don’t care about those things!” --- and then I realized I wanted to keep his tooth for myself, not for Nico.

I didn’t want to feel sorry for him when I saw him with no front tooth. People might think it’s strange that he has no front tooth. We might not get any more compliments about Nico’s looks.

Paul’s way of thinking was more simple. He didn’t care about Nico’s looks or those things. He only cared about Nico’s health, so he preferred pulling tooth out. I knew it.

Paul said to me that wanting to keep Nico’s tooth is not a selfish way of thinking. He said that some parents might choose pulling out the tooth only because they don’t want any trouble or it’s cheaper. But I knew what’s the right thing to do.

We don’t need to think about what other people would think about Nico’s looks. The most important thing is Nico’s health. Besides, to us he’s the cutest little kid even without his front tooth!

So we made a big decision. He has to go to hospital for the procedure and have general anesthetic. It’s going to be a big thing for his little body. I’m pretty sure that we made a good decision – but when I see him laughing with his mouth wide open, I probably can’t stop thinking about his cute little tooth.

I still remember when we saw this white thing in his gum for the first time. From teething, he (and I) had some sleepless nights. I was really annoyed when he bit me with his sharp teeth when I was feeding him. But now those things are very good memories. I love every part of Nico and I really love Nico’s little front tooth.

When I was looking at Nico’s old photos, I noticed that he looked super cute even when he had no teeth. It’s really heartbreaking for me, but I will be okay. At least I can be proud of myself making the right decision.

With love,


Friday, 2 September 2016

Let’s talk about Fathers

Father’s Day is coming up soon, so I will talk about my dad today… Well Japanese Father’s Day is in June and we celebrated it when we went there, so probably I won’t do anything for my dad this Sunday –instead I will do something for my father in law and my son’s father, but it’s nice to talk about it anyway.

When I was little, I was such a daddy’s girl. I was wearing a harness for my hip problem from 3 months to 10-months old, so my dad was carrying me all the time and my mum worried that my sister didn’t get much attention from him –of course he loved us equally though.

I really loved chatting with my dad in the bath. We made a story about a little girl called ‘sacchan’. It was often about her adventure in forests. From those days, I developed my creativity and love for writing stories.

However, my teenage phase pushed him away a little. When my dad and mum had arguments, my sister and I were always on mum’s side. My teenage phase lasted until late 20s (too long!) when I could really appreciate what he’s done for me. In those days, my mum was in so much pain from relationship with my dad – it’s not violence or anything, just my dad had his own way to do things and he was terribly stubborn. She sometimes cried over the phone. I wanted to blame my dad like I did before, but instead I tried to understand him. I was old enough to do so. Then I found that he was probably lonely in the family last 20 years. I wrote a letter to him thanking for everything he’s done for us. Gradually he changed and now my mum and dad are happy enough.

The last thirty something years, I didn’t do much for my dad. But I still remember how happy he looked when I introduced Paul to him. As soon as he found that Paul had Irish backgrounds, he stood up and shook Paul’s hand (My dad was an Irish literature professor). Now Paul is his favourite son. He loves drinking with Paul at dinner and chatting when we visit. The last 20 years, no one listened to his stories at home but Paul listens to him with all ears. My dad looks really happy.

And what's more, my dad really loves our son Nico. After our two week stay, my dad pretended like he had enough and was happy to have a quiet life back, but he wanted to come to the airport to see us off. When I have chat with my mum over Skype, he pretends like he’s not interested, but he constantly asks my mum to show Nico something they got for him.

I wasn’t a good daughter for him except for the first ten years, but now my husband and son are making him really happy and I can be proud of myself for bringing them to his life.

I hope he will live long so that I can make up for the lost twenty years.

Happy Father’s day!