on wednesday, hiro wandered away from my mom and me when we were in the AEON in kitakyushu. we were in a big store (actually, two stores, a fabric store and a house knick-knack store) and hiro was following me while i pushed sasha through the house store. my mom was buying some fabric and pushing tomo. after a few minutes, though, i noticed hiro wasn't following me any more. i went through the store looking for him. then i went to my mom and asked if he was with her. he wasn't. so, i went through the fabric store looking and calling for him. but he wasn't there. while my mom bought me a picture frame for tomo, i went out into the mall looking for hiro. it was kind of weird, because i wasn't freaking out. in the US, i probably would have lost it by then even though he hadn't been gone for more than a few minutes. but, i felt like, 'this is japan. he's here somewhere.' and started walking towards the bookstore (which was at one end of the mall.) we had received red balloons at toys r us and i was carrying sasha's. a lady approached me and asked if i was looking for my son. why yes, i was. well, it appeared that he was at the bookstore, holding his balloon. when i found him, he was with a store employee and another customer, clutching his balloon and eating some hard candy someone had given him. *sigh*

hiro is really starting to speak english. that is, speaking in sentences and trying out new words all the time. just normal development. he does not speak japanese at all, besides the occasional word or phrase (his new one is 'sugoi ne!' which he repeats over and over until we acknowledge that whatever has impressed him is indeed sugoi). people are always asking him how old he is, or what his name is, but he doesn't even know the answers to these questions in english. i suppose i should be teaching him but it seems silly to ask him what his name is. i already know it. and the how old he is thing seems strange to me, too. i don't know why, it just does.

this month he has his three year check with the city. they sent us a packet of information which includes some flash cards--cards of things that the children should recognize. some things are easy, like a chair. but one thing is an elephant. hiro doesn't know the word elephant. am i a neglectful mother for never having taught him elephant? and should i teach him now so he'll know it for the exam? i mean, why else did they send the cards except for me to 'prep' him so he can pass? oh, what to do (i personally don't like elephants so have never seen the need to teach him a random animal. i guess we need to start reading a bigger variety of books....)