Remember Y-kun? He is still coming to English. Still bringing me presents (two large green pumpkins yesterday!) Still causing great annoyance to the other boys in the class.
I almost never meet Y-kun's family. They drop him off and pick him up without ever getting out of the car. They send him with vegetables for me but unlike the other mothers and fathers, they don't wait in the driveway for him nor talk with the other parents. The one time I met his mother she seemed very frustrated by Y-kun and life in general. They must know when English starts and ends because they come to pick him up at the right time but often, like last night, Y-kun turns up at my front door more than an hour before class time. I sometimes wonder if he is such a handful that his family just wants him to be SOMEWHERE so that they can take a break from him.
I don't really mind. It is a little disturbing to think that he might get left on my doorstep when I'm not home but class starts at 6:15 so there's very little chance that I might still be out and about. And I don't want his family to think that I object to Y-kun in particular so when he comes in the door I figure out things for him to do before the other boys come. He actually wants me to play games with him but I don't feel that obligated so I usually say that I have to clean or cook and if he wants to help me by all means do so.
Y-kun is really a smart child and yesterday at the mention of cleaning, he raced to the laundry room to bring out the vacuum cleaner. I don't know why he knew where the vacuum cleaner was. I don't think I've ever shown him but he must have noticed it on his forages around the house (remember he gets into cupboards). So he happily vacuumed for me, scaring cats and knocking things off the tables in the process.
And then we started cooking...
Well, I directed, Y-kun cooked and I took pictures.
Last night's menu was Nira-tama. Nira are a type of green onion or chives and we live in the nira countryside.
First I cut up pork slices and cooked them in a little oil. Y-kun got out bowls and sieves (he knew exactly what to do himself) and washed beansprouts.
Next I cut up the nira into finger length widths but Y-kun felt I was too haphazard about the cutting and wanted to chop some up smaller. "Bang, bang, bang" with the knife. I was a bit alarmed and wondered if his family would sue me if he lost a finger while helping me cook. No injuries and he was very pleased with himself.
Y-kun added the beansprouts and nira to the pork and cooked them all down (with long chopsticks you notice!)
And then he broke three eggs into a bowl (no shells got in there either!) and whipped them up for me using chopsticks.
The eggs were added to the pork and vegetable mixture and left to set (and brown a bit) and then we added oyster sauce flavoring from a bottle (soy sauce works just as well).
And finally we transferred it all to a serving bowl and sampled our creation.
"GOOD!!" with two thumbs up from Y-kun.
I wish I could show you his expression but since I don't have his family's permission to post his picture I'm fuzzing this one out a bit. You get the idea though. He was one happy boy!
Y-kun does so much better on a one-on-one relationship. A few minutes later he was back to arguing and fighting with the other boys...
I can see a budding chef in these pictures, can't you?