baby note

April 21, 2013

La Maison Verte 緑の家(フランスの子育て支援施設)

In our city, there are "Parenting Support Bases" in each ward and those who take care of young children can go there, play and communicate with others for free. Besides, there are "parenting advisors" who are sent to local community centers every week, or story time at libraries etc... we can find various events that we can enjoy with little ones. And I wondered how mothers in France do...

上記の子育て支援拠点のスタッフさんが、オランダとフランスの子育て支援に関するレポートを私に見せてくれました。そこにあったのが、La Maison Verte(緑の家)
A staff at one of the bases introduced me a report done by some Japanese researchers on the parenting aide in Holland and France. There I found "La Maison Verte (The Green House)" (the link is above).

So, we, Carl, Maman, our son and me, visited there which is situated in the 15th of Paris.

La maison was on the ground floor of a kind of an apartment building. The entrance doesn't face on the road so it was slightly complicated to find it.
The bases in our city are usually open from 9 AM to 4 PM, while la maison verte is from 2PM to 7PM. Short opening hours on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

When we opened the door, we were there in the photo above. There are hooks for overcoats, and a green house. Our son liked getting in and out of the house with other kids. On the left, there is a bathroom.

There are also tricycles. We don't see them in the bases in Japan (maybe because we take off shoes indoors?). The tricycles are allowed only in the entrance and there is a border line tape on the floor.

They have a backyard with some toys. Few children went out because it was in winter.

スタッフは3人ほどいて、Ovniというパリのフリーペーパーに載ってから、日本人の利用者が増えたと言っていました。また、つい先日、日本の学生が訪れたということで、折り鶴が飾ってありました。「Kurashiki Shiritu Junior College」と書いてあったのですが、collegeはフランス語で「中学校」なので、「え!?中学生がここに!?」と思ったけれど、よくよく考えたら「倉敷市立短期大学」だよね、きっと!

In the main room, there are also various toys and the space where kids can play with water (aprons available) but I didn't take photos because there were other visitors. Near the entrance to the main room, there is a white board where names of kids visiting are written down.
There were three staff when we visited there and they said there have been more Japanese visitors since they appeared on a free magazine for Japanese people in Paris "Ovni". They also said a group of Japanese students visited around Christmas holidays and brought origami cranes. It was written "Kurashiki Shiritu Junior Collège", but collège means "middle school" in French, so we wondered "middle schoolers came here!?", but I think it was "junior college" in English...

義母はその後、来日時に日本の子育て支援の集まりに参加して、「日本の方がいい」と言っていました。というのは、La Maison Verteでは子供を遊ばせる点ではよかったものの、お母さん同士の交流にはあまり力を入れていないという印象があったようです。まぁ、どちらも1時間程度の訪問なので、あくまで印象ですが。La maison Verteではおばあちゃんで孫を連れて来ているという人がいて、そういう方はおしゃべりに花を咲かせていたけれど、お母さんどうしはあんまり話している人は見ませんでした。私は明らかに外国人だったせいか、だ〜れも話しかけられませんでしたし、話しかけませんでしたcoldsweats01
My mother-in-law later came here and we went to one of my favorite playgroup provided by an NPO, and she said it was better than la Maison Verte. La maison was good in the respect that they let children play as freely as possible, but they didn't really try to encourage communication between mothers. Our visits to the both organizations were only an hour or so, so we can only say that it's our impression. In la Maison Verte, there was a grandma coming with her grandchild, and she was really talkative... but other young mothers didn't really talk much. It was clear that I didn't speak good French, so nobody talked to me, and I talked to nobody...

ちなみに、La Maison Verteは「心付け」でお金を払うシステムです。もちろん、1ユーロでも10ユーロでも、ご本人次第。どうやら、パリ市から援助は受けているようですが、完全無料ではないのね。
今度パリに行く時また行きたいか…?3歳までだから、次は無理だ〜〜!爆 二人目?笑

By the way, it was not completely free of charge. They don't set the price, but visitors pay as much as they want: maybe 1 euro or 10 euro, it's all up to us. It seems that they receive financial aid from the city of Paris, but not sure.
Do I want to visit there again next time? To my regret, it is for children under three years old, so Pierre can't! Maybe the next child;p

Plus, we played in the park near the Eiffel Tower after that, and I saw something interesting. White children playing and Asian ladies watched them. I heard one of them speaking in French with some accent. Baby-sitter is a job for foreigners, it seems.


August 11, 2012

子どものアトリエ Children's Atelier

One of my friend told me about the Children's Atelier at the Yokohama Museum of Art which is held almost every Sunday morning. It wasn't that beautiful day, but when we arrived there about half an hour after the opening, the atelier was full of families... It's free of charge for kids, and 100 yen for adult.

The coloring patio. It seemed so much fun but our son didn't even want to stand on the wet floor.

The least crowded place, indoor painting area. The floor and walls were covered with paper and we can enjoy painting. Of course we must bring clothes to change! Here, again, Pierre didn't like to step on the painting and demanded his dad to hold him all the time.

ママ作「カメ」 "A turtle" by mom

In the blue paint, Right: a face and something like a Shinkansen, Left: Anpanman!?!? by Carl.
I thought that the face he drew was very much European to my eyes.

We moved out to the next room, a clay area. There is also a room for crafting upstairs, but I found no space for three of us. We somehow got the seats in the clay area and it seemed that Pierre like it. But the clay wasn't that soft as the flour clay we use at home, so it might have been a bit difficult for him.

奈良美智さんのメッセージが。A message from a famous Japanese artist, Yoshitomo Nara.

It was fun, but there were too many people to enjoy each activity, so I think we will do something instead at home.


July 12, 2012

息子の言語観察② Linguistic Observation on My Son -2-


☆形容詞 Adjectives
The first adjective (-like) word was "hot".
It was about some food in his plate which was still hot. I said "a chichi" (atsui = hot), and he repeated "chichi". "A" sound is almost silent.

"Chichi" is an ambiguous word because it may also mean "pee pee", "cheese", "sausage" for him.

Then at about 27 months, he started to say "big (okki)" and later he learned "small (chi-sai)".


It is interesting that he started to say "old (furui)" before "small". Because, when we read (well, I'd rather call it "look at") books on trains, I say "this is Odakyu line. So is that one, but it's an older car", and he started to say "furui" pointing at the old car of Odakyu line. Then I consciously talk to him "an old diaper", "a new diaper" then he started to say "old" and "new" to diapers. So I think he acquired them.

例えば、「青い本」はun livre bleuとなります。まだまだ先のことと思いますが。
I will pay a lot of attention on how he will acquire adjectives because they put most of the adjectives after a noun in French while we put them in before a noun in Japanese or in English.

ちなみに、フランス語で「大きい」は"grand(e)"、「小さい」は"petit(e)"です。この二つの発音自体は出来、「おじいちゃん」「おばあちゃん」の意味の"grand-papa" "grand-maman"は(フランスの祖父母に対して)言えるようになっています。
By the way, "big" is "grand(e)" and "small" is "petit(e)" in French. He can pronounce these words now and he can also call his grandpa "grand-papa" and his grandma "grand-maman".

☆人名 Names
He can now call most of the close family members (pronunciation is not always perfect). I wonder if he knows Carl's and my names. But I think he will understand soon because we call each other in names, not papa or mama.

And he quickly learns the names of Thomas the Steam Engine and his friends. Thomas, Percy, Ed(ward), Gordon, Ja(mes), Toby, Mavis, Cranky....

But he can't correctly pronounce "Anpanman" but "Anmanman", though he can say "pan". Maybe the "np" connection is difficult for him.


July 08, 2012

息子の言語観察① Linguistic Observation on My Son -1-

I thought that the linguistic development of my son was a little slow because he didn't produce two-word sentence at around the age of two. I thought it might be because of the bilingual environment, but I unconsciously opened the child-care guidebook and read "For those who stay home with his mother most of the time and have less opportunity to see other kids tend to start speaking late" and I thought it might be true. So we hurried to the Center of Parenting... Since then I try to visit the places where other kids gather (the center of parenting, family club activities, exchange events etc...) about once a week.

I thought that I didn't really have to visit those places because my son is not the stage to play with others, but once we started to visit there, he showed interest to other kids and even runs around with them, so I should have taken him out much earlier and more frequently.

Now, he's 28 months, and his vocabulary has been growing since about two months ago. And he also speaks two, three-word sentences with verbs or adjectives. So I will keep a note about his development here.

☆バイリンガル環境 Bilingual Environment
He seems to understand both French and Japanese. Carl speaks to him almost 100% in French, while I worry about the less input of French and I use some easy French to him. He watches Japanese children's TV programs everyday and also French cartoons (Thomas le Petit Train, Les Moomins etc.) almost everyday. Still as his grandparents live next-door, Japanese input is far more than French. We chat with our family in France on weekends over Skype.

☆主言語はもちろん日本語 Dominant language is, of course, Japanese
こちらが話しかけたことに対して、返事は日本語で返って来る。面白いのは、私がフランス語の練習で"la maison"と言っていたら、「おうちー」と息子が言ったこと。他にも試してみたら、"la peche"「ももー」、"un poisson"「あじー※」など。
He responds in Japanese. It's interesting that when I repeated "la mason" for my French practice, he replied "ouchi" (Japanese). I tried other words like "la peche" and he said "momo", "un poisson" "aji*".

* He can't say "fish" in Japanese and he also loves "aji" Japanese jack mackerel, so he means all the fish by aji. Overextention.

☆頭の中で「和訳」している? He's translating inside his head?
例えば、"le camion poubelle"(ゴミ収集車)と言うと、「あおー」。これは、横浜市の収集車の多くが青いから。"le camion pompier"(消防車)と言うと、「パンポンパンポン」と言う。これも面白くて、日本式に「ピーポーピーポー」と言うときもあれば、フランス式に「パンポン」の時もあるけれど、何か状況によって使い分けているわけではない。まぁ、パトカー、救急車とかサイレンのなるものは若干混同している感がある。。。
For example, to "le camion poubelle" (garbage truck) he answers "ao (blue)" because most of the garbage trucks in Yokohama are blue. He says "ping-pong ping-pong" to "le camion pompier" (fire truck). It is also interesting that he sometimes says "pee-poh pee-poh" as in Japanese but it doesn't accord to the situation. And he doesn't really tell "police car", "ambulance" and "fire truck".

I thew him some more questions and then he started to request for "more". It's a game!

☆フランス語と日本語 French and Japanese
Most of his productive vocabulary are Japanese but when
1) Japanese pronunciation is more difficult, 2) he learned from his dad, 3) mom explicitly taught him the French word
he uses French.

For example, "encore", which he learned while Carl was tickling him and asked for more, was represented when I was tickling him. And gradually he uses that expression in other situations like when he found a mini-tomato on the floor after he finished his meal. Now I think he's perfectly acquired it.

また、「リンゴ」より「pomme」の方が発音しやすいので、「ぽん〜」と言っている。電車のことを「チューチュー tchoo tchoo」と言うのも、これと同じかもしれない。「ありがとう」より先に"merci"が言えるようになったのも然り(ただし、rの発音は難しい)。他に、「キュウリ」→「コンコン comcomble」も。これは1)と2)両方の要因。
Also, "ringo (apple)" is more difficult than "pomme" so he calls apples "pom". Similarly he calls "densha (train)" "tchoo tchoo", and he started to say "merci" before "arigato" (I must say the "r" in French is still difficult for him). "Kyuri (cucumber)" -> "con con (comcomble)" is by the reasons 1) and 2).


July 03, 2012

新江ノ島水族館 Enoshima Aquarium

For my son, who loves vehicles particularly trains,
we had a little day trip.

Shona monorail, from Ofuna to Shonan Enoshima. It was the first ride for me too!

江ノ電!かわいいなぁ。Enoshima Dentetsu (Enoden) Train. It's rather cute!

We can easily find Enoden Enoshima station from Shonan-Enoshima station (monorail). We crossed the Enoden rails and kept walking toward the sea. We saw Odakyu Enoshima Line Katase-Enoshima station on our right and arrived at the entrance to Enoshima. However, we didn't go there this time. (I wonder if I have ever visited Enoshima before...).

Our destination is this! Enoshima Aquarium. I don't remember but my parents took me (and my sister) there when we're little. This large glass tank was stunning!

As soon as we entered the exhibition room, we found a queue for a photo shooting spot. A cameraperson takes our photo, a fake moray eel in hands, with her camera and then with our camera. When we leave the staff called out "here's your photo" and it's written ¥1000. They said it's our choice to buy it or not, but it is difficult to say "No" looking at the photo already printed out... though we didn't buy it.

A lot of fish! Our Pierre said "aji" which is his favorite fish to eat (Japanese jack mackerel). He calls all the fish "aji". Academically saying, an overextention.

幻想的なクラゲコーナー。Fantasic jelly fish area.

While waiting for a dolphin show, we had a sardine burger, a whitebait burger and a turtle-shaped melon pan bread. They were cute and yummy.

アシカのマミちゃん。Mami the sea lion.

イルカさんたち登場。Here comes dolphins!

お兄さんも飛びました!The treater guy jumped, too!

We loved the show very much! Our son wanted to move around so it was hard to stay him there. And he also found popcorns, which Carl bought, are delicious. I don't want him to eat too much because they're usually too salty.

ペンギンさん Penguins.

And in the end, we went to the beach. Carl and Pierre soaked their feet in the sea, but Pierre seemed to be afraid of the waves. Carl said that he felt the seawater in Japan warmer. I wonder if the seawater in France is cold even in a mid-summer?

We used Enoden to go home. Pierre got some capsule PraRail of Enoden trains and looked so happy.

By the way, my favorite Japanese biscuit shop Komatsuya was closed and turned into a real estate office.. Although I found the biscuits at Kiosk in the Kamakura station, I feel so sad.


June 03, 2012

ASOBono! -Tokyo Dome City

We dropped by ASOBono after Moomin Cafe. Why? Because...

プラレール広場があるから。There's a Plarail park.

ASOBono is an indoor play yard for kids with tons of toys and equipments. We stayed there for an hour but Pierre almost never moved from Plarail area.

They charge 900 yen for an adult and 900 yen for an hour for a child, then 400 yen is charged every 30 minutes. There's a one-day pass but it is not available on crowded days like weekends. We take off our shoes and register ourselves at a counter, then we pay for hours we would like to stay.
They give us cards with a barcode and they check the time with it when we go out. If we become a member of Tokyo Dome City, we can have 100 yen discount for each.

Our son playing with the railway someone's father had made. Please don't wreck them.

Pierre is usually very shy among men and other kids, but we can tell that it doesn't matter for plarail.

We played in the central play yard in the last minutes. It looked fun. Pierre loves sliders.
And his mother wanted to play in the picnic and kitchen area...

It wasn't easy to get out of the park. I believe most of kids don't want to.


June 02, 2012

Moomin Bakery & Cafe in Tokyo ムーミンベーカリー&カフェ

ここはどこでしょう・・・?Where is this?

ムーミンベーカリー&カフェ@ラクーアです。Moomin Bakery & Cafe at LaQua, Tokyo Dome City.
We went there after the embassy: I wanted to come here with my son for long. And it'd been a while for myself, too. While I was too much occupied with my new-born, Moomin Aurora Cafe in Lalaport Yokohama was closed, which was the greatest disappointment for me. And it's not very easy for us to come to Tokyo like this.

It was a lunch time on Sunday. There were many people waiting in line. Not sure if it's usually like this but we didn't see any kids but all women. It was a chilly day so the cafe staff served us a cup of hot tea and lend my son a moomin puppet. It's very kind of them.

着席。We're finally at the table.

We can eat the bread as much as we want if we order a lunch menu(formule). It was a great joy for my son, too. He loves bread! We enjoyed various bread!

Kid's plate was so cute! As our son doesn't like sauce and fluid stuff, he didn't eat much so we parents finished them. However, Pierre made a stain with ketchup which I was afraid of.


やっぱりムーミン大好き♪I love moomins!
ところで、2012年6月現在、息子のピエ(仮称)は「ムーミン(むめ)」「ミィ(めー)」と、パパママを識別し、呼べるようになっています。フランス語版のLes Moominsもしばしば見せているのですが、キャラクターの名前が一部(いや、だいぶ?)異なります。ムーミンパパ&ママ→Papa/Maman Moominと逆になっているのは置いておいて…

等々…。ピポはひどくないかしら…スナフキンの原作の名前がタバコに関わる語だから、パイプ→ ピポ?なのかな?

By the way, my son Pierre now (June 2012) can understand and say "Moomin (moo me)", "My (mee)", Papa and Mama. We often watch French version but these names of the characters are a bit (lot?) different as above. Snufkin turned into Pipo was a big surprise but it might have come from the original name (in Swedish) that his name means something with smoking and the pipe -> Pipo.


April 06, 2012

アンパンマンこどもミュージアム&モール Anpanman Kids Museum and Mall

Carl took a day off on our son's second birthday and we visited Anpanman Kids Museum and Mall in Yokohama. For one reason, Pierre recognizes Anpanman and friends and he likes them a lot now! However, it was raining on the special day... and the museum was so crowded even on a rainy weekday!

The fee for both adult and child is ¥1000, but it comes with a toy for children. We first went up to third floor on an elevator and then we came down.

エレベータを降りると、キャラクターがお出迎え。Right before the elevator on the third floor, the characters of Anpanman welcomed us.

いろんなテーマのジオラマ。Vrious dioramas.

Experience Zone. I liked the uncle Jam's bread factory very much;-)
Many parents/caretakers, including myself, were too busy taking pictures of their child(ren) and we have to be careful not to bump on to the others.

Then downstairs, there were SL man and some fake food stands where children can get in and out to play.

Kids' playing space. As a result, my son took over the toy that the boy was playing... Sorry! There were also ladies who did picture story shows or sang songs. Lots of fun.

Finally on the first floor, there were slides and ball-playing area and a theater. Sorry Pierre, your favorite slide is from 3 years old and up. We were seated in the theater to wait for the next show, but Pierre couldn't wait. We forgot to give him some juice before entering the museum and eating and drinking is not allowed inside. So he kept asking "Juice!!"... So Carl took him out to get some fresh air and then a staff started to organize the vacant seats. She asked me when the two would return and I must have them there soon. I was really upset...

なんとか間に合い、食パンマンが登場し、更にお姉さんとアンパンマンが。Soon Carl and Pierre came back and then there came Shokupanman, a female friend of Anpanman and Anpanman!
喜んではいたけれど、アンパンマン<ジュース でしたね。Pierre liked it, but he liked juice more.

The show was about 15 minutes and then we took a quick look at the museum shop, and we got out.

This locker... we put 100 yen and it returns when we finished using it. I was too much in a hurry and forgot to take the 100 yen!!

We had lunch at Dokin's Cafe in the mall. This kid's menu was so pretty, but Pierre ate only the french fries.

I ordered French Toasts. So cute!

We had a great time:)

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August 27, 2011

北京の育児グッズ Baby Stuff in Beijing

We visited only Carrefour, but it's always fun to know the cultural difference in baby-care!


We use Moony in Japan, too! I was a kind of happy to find them in China. Of course, there're Panpers and we bought one.

Shampoos and creams for babies. Many Doraemon products! I guess he's more popular than in Japan?

Baby foods. Mostly by the global companies like Heinz and Nestle. There are four steps for baby food and each product has a mark with the number of the step.

Baby goods. Bottles, etc... There weren't many clothes, so we bought a pair of socks.

Baby strollers. We bought a cheaper and smaller stroller just before the trip so that it'd be fine to us if it broke. Maybe we could have bought it in China (it was made in China in any way).



By the way....

Just like ten years ago, I saw a little boy wearing a pants whose crotch is wide open. I thought, Still!?? Moreover, I found a boy wearing only a T-shirt in the campus (why???). All the babies we saw in Beijing had short hair and I wondered if Chinese babies had less hair... but it seems they're cut in short on purpose. My mother said it might be a tradition to cut the first hair so that beautiful hair will grow in the future. Really? That's true that it is easier to wash baby's hair if it's short. Parents in Beijing prefer reasonable way?

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August 20, 2011

夏 Summer

神奈川新聞社の花火大会。地元からこんなによく見えるなんて、知らなかった(数十年 笑)。ピエさんは、花火より信号機に夢中。
Firework festival in Yokohama. I didn't know that there's a good viewing spot near our house (even though I'd lived there for some decades...). Pierre preferred to see signals, though...

We bough a water pool for kids and tried to let Pierre play in find out he didn't like it. We put some toys, I was in the pool, and papa, too... but he said NO! I wonder if he gets used to it...

When it comes to rejecting... I took him to a community center for a baby playroom but he started to cry as soon as I shut the door. It's been about an year and he didn't like the closed place with a lot of unknown people. He never left me crying for about 20 minutes and then finally got off and started to walk and play with toys. He cried again when another kid approached to ask for a toy Pierre had, although the kid was very kind not to have grabbed it away from him.

We bought a bicycle with a child seat, too! The front seat is for 12 months and above, until 15kg. We can also set a back seat later and can ride with two kids at a time (if I can... it must be so heavy). He chose a pink helmet over blue, but he doesn't like to put it on. He is being a good boy while we're having a ride.

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