Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What You Need in Your Earthquake Bag According to the Mule

The Drill

"How was school today?" I ask as we sit down for an after school snack. "We went under our desks two times," replies the Mule. "Two times? Were you practicing for an earthquake?" I ask. "There were two earthquakes today!" she says. I guess I missed the excitement since I was at the base in Yokosuka paying the Japanese road tax along with a hundred other Americans.

The Mule went on to tell me that she, "need(s) to watch TV." I replied, "We don't have TV." She points to the cabinet where our TV sits and says, "We do too have a TV- over there." I try to explain, "Yes, it is a TV, but it is not connected like a TV; you can't watch TV with it. Why do you need to watch TV?" The gist of it is that her teacher told the class to watch TV about the earthquake. "You can read the paper or look on the internet for news," I respond. She is not impressed.


The Assignment

The Moose playing with his Egyptian Playmobil clan strewn across the dining room table, says, "We're not like other people with a TV Mule, we can't watch TV!" The Mule ignores him and continues, "My teacher says we need to make a bag, like a backpack, for an earthquake." I nod thinking this is a good idea- gives the kids some control and something to do.

She continues, "In my backpack I need Square Pig, my DS, my DS games, my baby Aunt Cyndi made me, ... Moose do you want to go kobito hunting?" Off they went.

When my husband came home, the kids were in bed, my son fast asleep, but my daughter? She was still working on that earthquake list. She told him at days's end of her essentials for her backpack: "my soft blanky, my Totoro blanket, Square Pig, baby, a 500¥en coin, my baby book, my first baby tooth, my DS, and my DS games." He said she was still going when he said goodnight. This reminded him of the movie  The Jerk. Steve Martin's character says, "I don't need anything... just this ashtray...and this paddle square...."


The Kobito Hunt


The kobito hunt? The best I can do is to describe a kobito as a kind of garden fairy. There are many different kinds, and armed with a book on how to trap them, the kids have spent an inordinate amount of time in search of them. There were at least five neighborhood kids on the prowl today.

The Mule was also happy to report she was able to put a bandaid on her injured friend. "You had a bandaid?" I asked. "I took the travel kit," she replied. "What happened?" I asked. "Tomadachi cut her finger looking for a kobito."

I think a couple of kobito will be in someone's Easter baskets this year or maybe in one of those traps strewn about my front garden. It makes me wonder though, why is she so practical in packing for a kobito hunt but not in preparing for an earthquake?

I found this picture of the momo kobito peach fairy from the Japanese website where they sell the wares (http://shop.kobito-dukan.com/shop/image_view.html?image=001001000003.jpg). This is the most attractive one!