Thursday, January 11, 2007

Winter Vacation

After an amazing trip home, it is nice to be ... uh, home.

{Good news} I came back to find the house was still standing and all my plants still alive.
{Bad News} The dog was dangerously skinny and a little unstable on his feet. I also noticed some enormous bird had decided to live on my veranda for a month and crap all over the place...speaking of, wait that comes later.

I'm wrestling with a gazillion ideas for blogs. Things like: the rash of people dying in our neighborhood (three in two days!) to the outlandish expense of attending a funeral (of someone you don't even know even), as well as my new love -- Audible -- or hey! how about the half dozen monkey-children (and their soundly sleeping parents) who sat behind and around and occasionally on us during our 13-hour long airplane ride?

But let's talk about crap for a minute here.

After any long vacation my son's school (and I would assume many schools here in Japan) hand out this chart to be filled out every day for one week by all the students. The idea is to get them to pay attention to their daily lives and settle back into correct habits. It's quite clever. We all know how easy it is over a drawn out vacation to crawl into the futon at progressively later times, and then to crawl out of it closer and closer to noon. Soon you discover you are only eating two meals a day because you missed breakfast entirely. I really think this is a good idea. This is stuff I didn't learn until I was like thirty or so. You know, to actually observe your actions and how they might be affecting your life and well-being.

But there is always one line on the the paper that makes me giggle or scratch my head, depending on my mood.

Basically, the chart reads like this:
The date and then what time you went to bed the night before and what time you woke up that day. Next, is breakfast. If you had breakfast you put a ○, if not an ×. I'll skip the next line for a sec because that is the curious one. After that though is a small space to describe how you are feeling; good, tired, stomachache, headache. And then finally the teacher stamps or signs it to let you know he's/she's seen it.

Now let's back up to the line in question. It asks, 'Have you taken a poop today?'. If the answer is, 'Yes, I did this morning after I woke up!', the child draws a ○ (best possible score). If the answer is, 'Yes, but sadly I did so in the afternoon or evening', he/she gets a △ (not as good as a circle). And lastly, those with bowels not quite so speedy, we're talking about a 'no', results in the child penciling in an ×.

The whole Poop idea makes me giggle. I remember when J was born they gave classes on poop. What it all meant, colors, textures...and yes, smells. Again, it began to make sense. Another way to judge the newborn's health; potential allergies, maybe a virus or something. I go along with almost anything, BTW.

You see, I might just be a poop expert. As a matter of fact, I think that bird that holed up on my veranda needs to cut down on the berries and go after some nice stool thickening earthworms.

Where was I?

Oh yea. You know this would never work in the States. Kids would be stealing other kids' charts and teasing them, 'You took a pooop, you took a pooop!'. Or the other end of the spectrum, 'You must be constipated, you know what that means, you're full of $#%*."

Kids can be so cruel. But I guess that doesn't happen here. Heck, my Mother-in-law talks about the state of her most recent trip to the bathroom over dinner. And she does it ALL THE TIME!!

I think the only thing I find off-putting is that a child gets a triangle (not as good as a circle) for relieving himself/herself any time after noon. I mean really, how fair is that? I can understand the X for nil-bowel-movement and a circle for positive-bowel-movement, but I can't grasp that morning is the best time. I mean is this something that can be ranked? We're people and we're different and why should morning poopers be better than late afternoon ones?

To date, though, I seem to be the only person in the entire city who worries about this. You think I should let it go already?


Bk30 said...

LOL, maybe I should take this course in poop? And I'm an evening person myself or is that TMI? I think the schedule thing is a great idea though.

Kappa no He said...

I use to study acupuncture and I remember that the large intestine is supposed to 'move' in the early morning, BUT...a full day of exercise and walking around does wonders.

jean said...

God, that's hilarious. Joanna also had that for N's kindy - must be a city thing (don't have that here in F...a).

Gotta say it again -- that's just too f:::ing hilarious!!

Kappa no He said...

Is this yet another Yaizu phenomenon? I still remember the bellows of laughter from my Shizuoka friends when they heard about the tape-on-the-butt test to check for worms.

I'm calling you soon so we can have lunch together and I can give you all this Marie Osmond stuff...he he he~!