Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japanese Moms

From the news clips, videos and photos of the recent calamity in Japan, have you noticed how calm and composed the Japanese are? I have not seen one image of a person crying dramatically or in extreme distraught like some photos of natural disasters in other regions, those that always appear on the frontpage of newspapers. And they are so prepared and organized!

The day before the earthquake, I was having lunch at a restaurant, and there were two young Japanese moms and their toddlers, one each. Throughout my lunch, I kept glancing over to their table. I WANT TO BE A JAPANESE MOM! I tell you, if you were blindfolded, you wouldn't even know that there are people and kids at the next table.

Japanese stay-home-moms are awesome. And Japanese kids are awesome too. They are so soothing to watch! Imagine this. Fine dining Italian restaurant, OK. Two young ladies, with perfect light make-up, neat hairdo, garbed in pretty attire without any signs of food stains, vomit or drool, waltz in with their little ones in tow. They all settle their kids on the babychairs with minimal fussing and then they take their seats. Next, they go through their menus and make their orders. And then they take out cute lunchbags, and cute lunchboxes and juice cups. They even have a little case for their cute cutlery sets.

They open the lunchbox, and WORMS CAME OUT!! LOL, no lah. I wanted to eat their lunch. One had rice, looks like fried rice with seaweed or something with omelette on top. The other had rice and sauteed diced tomato and carrot. All in cute food containers. While waiting for their order to arrive, the moms feed their toddlers and chat. Very quietly. And the kids, did I mention they are awesome? One was a boy, the other was a girl. And they SAT DOWN AND STAYED THERE FOR MORE THAN 30 MINUTES. Do you know how amazing is that? I would have to administer chloroform to my kids to make them stay in their seats for that long! And noisy does not apply to Japanese kids. All I heard was a whimper or two, that's it.

SO. Spoonful by spoonful, the moms patiently feed their kids. There's no rushing whatsoever like what I see, you know the "C'MON, faster faster, quickly finish your food! EEEAAAAAAT!" Other than pretty clothes and cute lunchboxes, they seem to have all the time in the world. Motherhood and leisure do not come together but for Japanese, they do.

Their salad arrives. They dig in as well. The kids still have some food left, but the moms take their time to feed them. I also notice that they are able to place their lunchboxes IN FRONT of their kids while feeding them. Mine would end up in Kedah. The boy finishes his lunch first, and the mom puts back the little cute fork and spoon into the case, and puts back everything in the cute lunchbag. THE TABLE IS CLEAN. THE BOY'S SHIRT AND PANTS ARE CLEAN. HIS HAIR IS RICELESS. THE FLOOR UNDER HIM IS CLEAN. I wouldn't know what he ate if I didn't see him before this. If you see my kid, you'd know he just had wan tan mee (thank you black sauce). And you know what? He is still sitting on the same seat. Sure there's some fidgeting and movements like any other kid, but he is still at the same place. Do you know how amazing is that?

I will always remember this scene. So calm, so 'together'. And so inspiring. They are just amazing.

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