I created new life - shit, I'm a parent now!

Kids toy packaging is so deceptive!

We were totally stumped for Christmas presents this year, so we let the kids (8, 4, 4) wander around a toy store and pick one thing each. The 8-year old couldn’t find anything they wanted, and the 4-year olds both got tricked repeatedly by deceptive boxes: Rika-chan the veterinarian with animals and props, only Rika-chan the veterinarian is not in the box; a giant fire engine and emergency vehicle station that each loads and unloads ambulances and fire engines and other emergency vehicles, only the vehicles are not in the box; etc., etc.


Also, we totally messed up bringing twins into the world on Dec 28th. Present overload.


One for Boxes full of air and other tragedies?


When you come to wash your Son’s PE kit and discover it’s been ripped for most of the term and no one thought to say anything.


Oh, and one slipped through, damnit! The “kamen rider” sword and twin buckle we bought doesn’t come with the belt!


So, uh, I guess we spend 8000 yen more?


It appears Japanese toy retailers are way trickier than American toy retailers. I feel like the packaging is usually fairly clear in what comes in the box.

Discussing the harsh realities of that with the children are, of course, not as straight-forward.


They all list the exact contents somewhere on the box. It’s just, vetting the choices based on what is shown on the main box image is exhausting…


“K put a toy up his nose”

“Breath in through your mouth, not your nose, and snort out hard”

Check nose, can’t see anything.

“Keep going”

He’s crying, totally stressed, but follows the instructions (!) and after a dozen tries out flies the triangular prism Lego piece that looks way too big for his nostril.

Later, lots of blood.

Welp, at least no trip to the hospital at 21:00.


Our daughter’s best friend is currently a girl I’ll call M. M’s mum works late, and her dad even later, so just about every day after school, with our house right in front of the school gates, especially now it’s a lot colder, they want to spend some time playing on the Switch or whatever instead of M returning to an empty home.

Hozumi, my wife, hates M.

This has been causing some tension.


“90% of England is built on” according to my youngest’s school class/teacher.

So I’m living in MegaCity Two.

My 7 year old’s school feeding inaccurate facts. I’m very annoyed and wasn’t prepared for a pushback from him at 8.20 in the morning whilst doing homework.

  • By some measure it is, if you count ‘continuous urban fabric’ i.e. there’s a road/building/field used for a farm nearby.

  • It’s way more accurate to say 9% is developed, 63% is agricultural and most of the rest is undeveloped.


Just as a quick point of interest:

Part of my recent course in Indigenous Writing (in Canada) discusses the concept of “undeveloped.”

There is a very colonial idea that land which isn’t being used for a specific purpose is useless. There is no value in a forest or a plain or a river unless you mine, harvest, or dam it.

It makes it easier to take said land away from the people who live there because they’re “wasting” it by leaving it alone. Idiots, obviously, because the goal is 100% developed land. So we’ll develop it for them, since they weren’t using it anyway, etc… etc…

It’s baked into our perception. The idea that land is “undeveloped” alone implies that it is not developed yet.

Anyway. Just a viewpoint I never really thought about.


Okay, so I just got some numbers from the German office for Nature Protection. Those are some sad numbers. I was looking for how much of Germany is wilderness—aka land that humans have not remade in some way…

The current goal is to get back to have 2% wilderness. I don‘t know the current percentage, but it is obviously less than that. I saw something like 0.5% but this may be wrong. No matter what 2% is very little. This will mostly be in the few national parks that were created in the last few decades (the locals are often not happy about those—f.e. Nationalpark Nordschwarzwald had a lot of people up in arms about it)

There was a secondary goal to have 5% of all forests „develop naturally“—most forest here is in some form cultivated. Not all forests are Nutzwald but most are definitely controlled how they grow.

I think Germany is particularly „un-wild“ because it is a very densely populated country. Everything is tightly controlled. The coasts are protected, rivers are controlled—who wants floods?—forests are patrolled, controlled, changed… maybe this is the kind of stuff the teacher was referring to? Even parts of the country that look natural are often anything but „wild“ …


I’ve never posted in nor read this thread before as I’m not a parent. My husband and I have spent the last 6-months or so going through the process of signing up to be foster parents. After many hours of training, interviews, paperwork, etc., we got our final approval today. Once we actually have (a) kid(s) in our home, I’m sure I’ll be looking for advice from those more experienced. So excited and scared about this whole thing.


Congrats! Best of luck. I’m sure it will be a very weird experience to start, but hopefully you’ll get into the swing of things quickly.


Congratulations! I joke a lot about the effort that parenting takes, but there’s nothing in the world I would trade it for.


Wow - thats amazing. Well done.

The only advice I have (from a friend who is a foster carer) is, given the situation many foster kids will come from, just to love them and set them clear boundaries. The rest will come. (and they also added its effing hard work but the most awesome thing when you see that love and care help the kids)