Kindergarten: it's finally started!!

Little Guy has finally started kindergarten. Here he is on Monday morning visiting his class for the first time.

Yes, I know the uniform is a bit much. Wool beret, bolero jacket and tiny short shorts, with suspenders! He looks adorable and so much like his older brother at the same age.

There are twenty two kids in his class, an even mix of boys and girls. His teacher seems nice, young but not completely new. The environment is somewhat familiar to Little Guy as he accompanied me to all of Noodle's kindergarten events in his first two years of life.

Today is day three of actual sessions. So far Little Guy has happily gotten dressed and ready to go. He's excited about making friends, learning new songs and the upcoming field trip.

For me, I feel a little more relaxed today. I spent the first day skipping from activity to activity without much focus then felt disappointed that I had 'wasted' the morning. In actuality I was quite tired from all of the preparations and the school holidays. Yesterday I was able to get on with some sewing (did you check out the sale?) and get my head around my new status as work-at-home mum without kids with me.

I've been reflecting over the past five years. I found a lot of it very stressful. Five years ago we moved to a city about an hour out of the downtown Osaka area. All at once I had a husband who commuted (out of the house for fourteen hours a day), a kindergartener (Noodle) and a baby on the way (Little Guy). Being in a brand new house was lovely of course but there was a lot to do. I had to start driving on a daily basis where previously I had only driven a few times in this country. I had to find a new doctor and hospital to deliver the baby that was due in four months. Then I had to learn to juggle kindergarten pick-ups, grocery shopping, housework and a newborn with allergies. I cried a lot myself.

Five years on I'm happy to say things are not so overwhelming. I feel great relief that Little Guy will be out of my hair for a few hours each day. The timing seems perfect as he is at the stage where he's ready to make his own friends. He's ready to be challenged on the road to preparation for school. Since I have already conquered the kindergarten system once I will not be on such a steep learning curve. And I have no other distractions. It's going to be a great year!

Here is Japan there is an expression "otsukare sama desu" which is hard to translate into English but roughly it means 'thanks for your hard work'. It's said by colleagues as they pass each other in the halls at work, at home time as a farewell and in many other situations. I will say it to myself after ten years of full-time mothering a toddler/pre-schooler. With the exception of those four months between the time Noodle started kindergarten and Little Guy was born I have had one or the other at home with me almost 24/7 since 2001. Phew! I'm glad it's over.


  1. Well done Jacqui! Ten years is a long time. Little Guy looks adorable in his uniform - and it will be great for you both for him to have this new dimension to explore. Enjoy your free time xxx

  2. Dear Jacqui,

    This is a friendly follow-up to our first message to you (May 2010), to warmly invite you again to list your blog on our Expat Women Blog Directory ( Blogs like yours are excellent sources of information for relocating expats, so we would love to include it with our other 1,700+ self-listed blogs.

    We are also excited to let you know that we just re-launched our main website (, so please drop by and have a look if you are interested.

    Many, many thanks and wishing you success abroad!

    Jessica Perez for

  3. WOW! This is a milestone for you. I can't imagine that feeling. Life is such a series of seasons. Sometimes it feels as if the current season will never end and then whamo, you're onto the next. It's a bit unnerving at times, but look at how far you've come.

    I wonder how far you are from my aunt who lives in Osaka also.

  4. Good luck to little guy, he looks like a big boy in his uniform.

  5. otsukaresamadeshita! Onwards and upwards Jacqui. I have to say this post brought a tear to my eye when i imagined all you have been through. No easy feat I know. But how much stronger you must be for tackling all those challenges and now, at last, a little time back in the day to just be you! Little guy does look adorable in his uniform but the mother in me wants to add some material to those short shorts!!! here's to the next stage in your life. xo

  6. What a little cutie Jacqui! Have a Happy Weekend! xo


I love your comments!
Thanks, I read each and every one of them!

I try to reply to all your comments, if you want to know what I and others say check :Email follow-up comments to ...

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.