rainy season

It seems to be here – this year’s rainy season. Looking at the weather app on the phone, all I see is rain and thunder ten days ahead. I am sure it will be some blue sky in between the thunder clouds, but the oppressing humid heat will not go away and time has come to stop hanging out clothes to dry – even if there has been no rain, my feeling is that they are more wet when I take them inside in the afternoon.

Outside, everything is green beyond green, the plants in our little vegetable garden seem to be growing in fast-forward mode, the pumpkin plant is now suddenly covering the whole length of the kitchen garden, and the bugs are bigger than I have ever seen. It is a season to like and adore, as well as to feel the pure physical weight of (it is quite heavy).

Someone who is not so impressed by it all is my son. He wants to go out and play with his tractor and run and kick his balls; even though I try to find as much outside time as possible for him, in his eyes it is too little (if he could choose we would be outside 24 hours a day). He has outplayed most of his toys and is a bit reluctant to do “boring” things, which puts me in a bit of a hot spot trying to juggle things at home, so I try to make us do as much of the household work as possible together. My son’s favorite household work concerns potatoes – unfortunately not to eat them but to peel and rinse them. We have come to spend a lot of time in front of the sink, rinsing and peeling potatoes, as well as the occasional carrot and onion. Rinsing in general has become a like-to-do-thing of his. He likes to rinse his toothbrush, and in the shower he rinses my hair as well as his little red LEGO toy car that he always brings with him.

Next we have the tidying up – a “past time” Japanese children learn from an early age and one that I now have come to focus on. Whether at home or in the playground or at the nursery or community center, when the playtime is over everybody helps to tidy up and put away the toys. My son has become quite good at putting things in boxes (though he is quick to take them out again as soon as he has put them there – we still have some way to go), and putting books into the bookshelf (behind the books he hides his toy cars).

Vacuuming is also possible to do together as well as putting clothes into the washing machine; there are however many things I have not yet been able to find a way to do in a practical manner. When I fold the dry clothes they tend to get unfolded as soon as they leave my hand, when I put the shoes on the shoe shelf they suddenly appear on the floor again, when I put away the groceries the refrigerator door seems to be like a revolving door and the pantry becomes the new play room, the floor filling up with cans and jars and cars. But I guess that is the work of a growing toddler – the explore everything and make life as difficult as possible for his dad.

But household work does not even come close – the best thing with the rainy season is to put the armchair in the middle of the room, and then run around and around and around and around and around until we both fall down on the floor panting, laughing. Before my son makes us stand up and run again. And again and again.

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