Monday, December 3, 2012

Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa ga machi ni yatte kuru The Pumpkin Prince and Princess trimming the tree
Lego Santas
November whizzed by with not so much as a single post.

Snail's Pace English School has finished all 26 letters of the alphabet! Now for vowel combinations (like "seal" and "coat").

I didn't say anything about this until now, but the Pumpkin Daddy is currently unemployed. His work announced they would cut jobs and people who raised their hands would get retirement benefits and full career counseling. We discussed what might happen if he stayed (potential transfer to Fukushima or, perhaps, China, and increased workload) and decided that for the Pumpkin Clan, taking what he could get and leaving was the best option. He's thrown himself into running (right now, he's at 10 km about four times a week) and doing stuff around the house (like re-organizing the closets and cleaning the kitchen sink) but not cooking (boo hoo). Seriously, the Pumpkin Clan could live like this forever (if the Pumpkin Daddy were o.k. with it). The Pumpkin Princess loves coming home to Daddy (as opposed to making the 15-minute walk to after-school child care), the house is clean, and I make enough money us to live comfortably (sans overnight trips to Disneyland or Guam, but um, I think we'll live). The career consultation companies have scored him several job interviews, and most have ended on a positive note, so we're still waiting, but I think things will be quite all right whatever happens as long as the Pumpkin Daddy is happy and healthy.


Annie Crow said...

Pumpkin Princess has gotten so big!

Sounds like a good choice for your family - glad that whatever happens will be okay.

Vicky said...

I want to say congratulations to Pumpkin Daddy on his unemployment! I hope that doesn't sound rude, I just mean that it sounds like he has worked intensely for years and now that he has time to be home and look after HIMISELF and his kids for a while, it has to be a good thing. If he gets another job that is more humane, hours and family-wise, so much the better, and if he's happy with this current lifestyle, that's good too.

I think there is a lot wrong with the status of women in Japan but I sure as heck wouldn't want to be a man, with such heavy expectations of work, and so many family hours just lost, and so little time to rest or do what they want to do for themselves. It's nice that your husband is getting some time to breathe.

pumpkinmommy said...

Anne, she's up to my shoulder now. However, as you know, that's not saying much.

Vicky, I think if a man and a woman got the same job (by job, I mean a paid position outside the home), it's easier to be a man. You usually get paid more simply because you've got additional gear between the legs, and you are allowed to expect your spouse to do the bulk of the housework/ child rearing. Most full time jobs in Japan are designed for no family time and no housework, and most full time jobs in Japan are held for men, so you are right in that most full time jobs have heavy expectations and many family hours lost. I think the Pumpkin Daddy wants to have stuff going on outside the home, and he has opted to look for something that lets him balance that with having a family, but I think he might have decided differently if I were a full-time homemaker.