Mona was practicing to help mom sell bread at other goodies at the market. After a few super-busy days like they had, nothing beats a lawn-chair in the living room.
In fact, she didn’t end up going to the market with Tomoe this time, as time was really pressing and just baking and packaging the bread, getting the sales booth ready, and driving an hour and a half to Nagano City was stressful enough for Tomeo, so no need to add Mona on top of that.
The organizers of the festival/market, however, wanted Mona to be there. Mona was there the first time Tomoe sold her goods. I was with customers, and Mona had refused to go to the pachinko child care service, so Tomoe was forced to take Mona along to the festival. Apparently, Mona was not just a complete angel, but also an asset, drawing many customers to the booth. It should have been no surprise after the Snow Festival Waffle Booth Experience.
Sometimes I really wonder at how non-child-like Mona is. I don’t know how we managed it, but aside from spilling some milk sometimes, and the occasional accidental pee on the floor (though she usually stops mid-way now and goes to the bathroom to finish), Mona must be the easiest child in the world. For the past two days I have taken her to the rice field with me while I weed, and she sits and plays happily on the side of the field for up to two hours – without even touching the toys we bring along.
Sill, we do need to get her into school sometimes, just to give us time to concentrate on work. Things have lightened up for me, without any large trips for a while to come, but Tomoe’s business is just getting into its busiest stage, with bi-weekly sales trips to the market in Nagano, baking and selling to neighbors, consulting for two large food companies – project manager for a web project for one, and general consultant for an medium sized organic producer in the nearby town.
Just as I write this, our neighbor knocked on the door with a big basket of fresh zucchini that she also has to start processing into jam and other products.
For Mona this means “Stay out of mommy’s way”. I have a more flexible schedule now, working on an (overdue) web project that is taking up my time so I can’t work on updating my own webiste, which is costing me bike tour business, which pays more and I could have customers as we speak, but given the entire family situation now, I think that is best that I have flexibility to watch Mona. In the mean time, I also may start picking up some simple day tours guiding customers to the famous Snow Monkeys and around the Nagano area. Not part of my main business goal, but again, its flexible and I really do enjoy talking about the area and sharing what I know. It also helps that another foreigner living nearby is the one handling all the bookings and office work, making things quite a bit easier for me. I have forgotten how nice it is to finish a days work and actually be done.
We have tried several times now to send Mona to day-school, but despite a system supposedly in place to allow for people to bring their child there on a moments notice, they keep telling us that they are busy and we have to reserve a week or more in advance, and even then only on specific days.
A while back my dilemma was finding play partners for Mona, now we just need time to concentrate on work. We no longer feel the need to send Mona for social interaction, she gets plenty of play time with the neighbor kids in the afternoon, and she has been begging to go to “Rii obachan’s” house more than she asks to go play with the kids her age next door. She loves to perform and dance for her, and I think Rii Obachan enjoys the company too, as she is usually sitting alone outside weeding or just watching the cars drive by.