senaka switch

Living with a baby is learning to live in a new world, and beside all novelties such as sleep deprivation, diaper changing and experiencing new levels of previously unexplored worries and wonderous joy, there is also a whole new set of words that move in with the baby. Some of of them I think my wife makes up by herself, some of them it seems like are normal words that I did just not know about before. If they are Japanese or not – maybe you can tell me in the comments section!

It did not take many days since my wife and our baby came home from the hospital until her corner of the sofa became the milk station. That has such a cute ring to it I find, and can be used as both a location and an action – darling, let’s do milk station now. When wife and baby has done milk station at the milk station, what sometimes follows is the milk bomb, used when the aftermath of breast feeding is not just a little geppu, burp, but something more substantial. Darling, he has done milk bomb – then I know to come quickly with tissues and wipes.

It did not take many weeks until my wife started to hold our baby’s legs and with twinkling eyes call them bonresu hamu, boneless ham – that extra baby flesh that sort of outgrows the baby. That made me start to think of those metal cans with conserved meat that is popular for emergency use, and that image I was not so fond of, so now every time my wife says bonresu hamu I like to think of our little baby as a little sumo wrestler instead, and hope that he will be interested in the Japanese martial arts when he grows up, and maybe in a few years he wants to join me in the dojo for karate practice.

At the hospital, the midwife seems to have talked a lot about some babies having a senaka suitchi – a back switch. And what that means I have really come to understand if not always appreciate. Our baby can sleep the most peaceful deep sleep being dakko-ed, carried, around our little room just to wake up two minutes after we put him on the back in his bed. We pick him up and one minute later he is again sleeping soundly in our arms, just to wake up again as soon as we put him back in his bed. This we can sometimes repeat a whole evening. I have been wondering where the switch is located, if there is any way to circumvent it, but so far I have not made that break though discovery.

What about me, have I introduced any new words to our family? Not really come to think of it, even though I usually love to make up new words for most things, sometimes much to my wife’s frustration. However, having two languages is sometimes very useful when having a baby. That gives me the opportunity to call my wife and our son the same thing without confusing anyone by using the same word. My wife is da-ringu (Japanese for darling). Our baby is älsklingen (the Swedish equivalent). And me, I am the unko station – the poop place. Our baby really likes to lie on my knees with a clean diaper and do his pooping. Every time it feels precious and makes me so happy.

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