Toufuu II: The first 6 months.


Despise occasional theatrics, Toufuu's feelings seem to get injured much easier than his body. During a recent immunization at the doctor's office Toufuu proved himself more of man that either of his parents who had been agonizing over their own upcoming flu shots. Toufuu looked over curiously at the needle in his arm and then back at his mom: We came all the way here just for this?



After weeks of sorting through expensive toys to find something that fit his 21st century baby status, Toufuu finally settled on the subtle complexities of the common towel. Grappling with the folds in his developing fingers Toufuu works and re-works the towel like a nerd with a Rubicks Cube, always just on the verge of unlocking its elusive secret.



Toufuu loves books. He loves to read them, he loves to play with them, and he loves to eat them. His favorite book is the well worn, "Little Big Book." I won't go into too much detail, but the books basic theme, the juxtaposition of the small vs large and the implications of that in a modern society, really seems to resonate well with the young reader, as does its waxy card board finish.


Like the Angler Fish that lures its prey to its mouth with a luminescent ball of light, Toufuu likes to flaps his soft tongue and waves it around unsuspecting parents in the hopes that someone will put their finger in his mouth. Once a finger (or a nose!) has been secured Toufuu uses uses his fledgeling two lower teeth to clamp firmly into the victims flesh and deliver his poison drool into the wound. We haven't yet been able to explain to him that he is a human and not a deadly viper, though we are planning to have his venom sacs removed before he enters grade school.


  Toufuu loves visiting his grandma. Grandma cuddles him to the point that he is largely immobile most of the time she is around. She brings him vegetables grown organically (no chemicals) behind her house! Seth likes to eat them too! Recently we were given a huge Japanese radish the size (though not the shape) of a large salmon. We had to eat in before it spoiled so it was radish for dinner every day that week! Yeah!  


Man does Toufuu love milk. Here he is thinking: Milk milk milk.. milk milk milk...... milk milk.... milk milk............ milk milk milk milk milk........ milk milk milk milk milk..... milk...... milk.... milk milk.

Anyway, He thinks of other stuff beside milk sometimes. He thinks his shit doesn't stink. He also thinks that his fathers nose is a piece of food. And he recently tore apart a Japanese fan looking for the secret blowing mechanism hidden inside.



Hisako and Toufuu are almost like Siamese twins they are so inseparable. Hisako wears Toufuu on her back when she fixes dinner. Toufuu will peer around from the back to see what she is fixing. He looks like inchworm trying to transition from one branch to the next.


Unlike many babies his age Toufuu seems to like just about everyone he meets with one notable exception: he cries at the sight of thick dark bearded men. Maybe he thinks they are pirates. Babies are hard to figure sometimes.


Its a Japanese tradition that on the 100 day of life a baby has his solid food ceremony. Food was lavishly prepared by Hisako's mother for the whole family and we all sat down to enjoy Toufuu's first meal. Unfortunately for Toufuu, this ceremony only involves pretending to eat food. Each of the family members took turns waving spoonfuls of food in front of Toufuu's open mouth and then eating it themselves. Being a baby is confusing.


Toufuu's favorite song:

Way up in the sky
The little birds fly
While down in the nest
The little birds rest

The bright sun comes up
The dew goes away
Good morning, good morning the little birds say
Shhh...we're sleeping.


This photo is a simulation of the first thing we see every morning at around 6:00am. Toufuu is always the first up and after a good sleep he is simply unstoppable. He will wake me up by talking or singing all while slapping me on the head as if it was the button on the snooze alarm. Then he will crawl over me like a I'm a bootie camp obstacle course and circle the room for a few minutes before coming back to make sure I haven't fallen back asleep.



It was about the start of December that I (Seth) filled out the application papers for Toufuu's first American Passport. The US allows dual citizenship, while Japan currently requires Toufuu to choose between the Japanese and US nationality by the time he is 20 years of age. In the interest of making his name easy to understand we have adopted the spelling Tofu for his American Passport while the Japanese pronunciation will remain Toufuu. Confusing perhaps, but no less confusing than his Japanese passport reading Toufuu Sugiyama and his American Passport reading Tofu Go Fisher. I realize that many people will think Go Fisher is a play on the game Go Fish but in fact it makes reference to Tofu's astonishing birth on the fifth day of the fifth month ("Go" is five in Japanese.) The questions remains as why then I have spelled Tofu as Toufuu though out this whole document and for that I have no reasonable answer.


Toufuu has yet to enroll in Judo classes but he is already master of the nose grapple-hold. He has a very unique way of inserting the thumb completely into one of his fathers nostrils all the way up to the knuckle. Then he uses his other fingers to grasp onto the bulby flesh of the outer nose as hard as he can. Then with just a flick of the wrist he is able to bend your face to his will, pulling you back and forth as you scream for help. What's more since his nose is so small he himself is immune to this type of nasal attack.





In the morning after a good rest Toufuu is almost indestructible. He can careen over and land on his head with a loud THUD, then look up at us as if to ask "what was that noise?" When he's sleepy though he reacts to our every kindness as if we were the Spanish Inquisitors, squirming to get away from us like a grub on a hot sidewalk.





Toufuu can't yet eat a lot of solid foods (only two teeth), but he certainly does enjoy a good tangerine. We give him a little corner of a wedge and he bites into it and sucks out the juice like a vampire. Once he sucked so hard he vacuumed the entire wedge out of my hand and into the back of his throat. This surprised Toufuu at least as much as it did Hisako and me. I whipped him over my arm and smacked him on the back a couple times until the ravaged fruit got spewed back up. I ate the remnant and Toufuu has been a bit more careful since then.






Sticking his fingers in his mouth is one of Toufuu's favorite past times. I once watched him stick his finger so far down his throat he gagged, but he didn't seem to mind at all, and did it again with a smile. While most babies seem to like pacifiers quite a bit, Toufuu has never understood what the hubbub was about them. He will chew on one for a few seconds but then he gets bored and heads for the more challenging chew toy: a box of Kleenex.





Toufuu has quite a unique sense of humor. He rarely laughs at the same joke two sessions in a row so he keeps Hisako and me on our comic toes all the time. He thinks its pretty funny when you pretend to give him something that he wants, but really take your time about it, or take it away at the last second. Normally if someone did this to me I would probably punch them in the nose, but Toufuu just laughs and laughs. Sometimes he laughs so hard you hear it from the other room and you have to come in and hear the joke, but usually I don't really get humor is beyond me...its just trial and error. He really likes high pitched noises like "Wheeeep!" and "Baaaaiiikkii!", but sometimes I'll throw out a what really seems to me like a really funny noise and he'll just stare back at me like an Arab at a bar mitzvah.







Toufuu really enjoys having things stacked on top of him, pillows, futons, laundry...most anything will do. He lies on his back under a heaping mound and gets a really determined look in his eye before he wrestles it down to a few pairs of underpants.






We like to sing "Omutsu Time" (Omutsu = Diaper) to Toufuu when we to change his diaper. The song changes from day to day but a sample verse might go (to the tune of most John Denver love songs):

Omutsu time is the time for my omu-u-tsu.
Omutsu time means I know the way you feel.
Omutsu time is my way of say'n that I love you.
Omutsu. Stay with me. Lets be together for a while.
Omutsu, you are my best friend.
I always want to have you here with me.
Omutsu, lets get married.
Omutsu you're the one for me!

Hisako likes to sing an orchestral version that I'm not as familiar with. Toufuu likes all the versions equelly.


Toufuu the Dancer




From the first time I pulled Toufuu off the floor and stood him on his two legs he was addicted to walking. From that day on all he ever wanted to to do was walk, and every time anyone is around he will try to grab their hands and pull himself up to his feet. I think he watches Hisako and me walking around and thinks it looks like a cool thing to do. We read that babies need to learn to crawl properly so that they can develop all the muscles in their legs, but Toufuu doesn't seem to have read that article. In order to make crawling "cooler" I have started crawling around the house and making the high pitched noises that he likes. He does get excited, but usually still wants to walk once he gets to me. If he doesn't learn to crawl properly as a baby I figure I'll have him do it when he becomes a teenager.



Toufuu loves a good bath. Every night about 8:00 he takes a short bath usually with his Dad and then gets oiled down and hits the bed. As a newborn he was an amazing sleeper. He would sleep nine hours or more straight through, but recently he has taken to needing a midnight milk-snack to get him through the night. Occasionally in the middle of the night everything will be dead silent and one of us will look over and Toufuu will be looking a back at us eyes wide open. Maybe he doesn't know that it helps to close your eyes to sleep. The funniest thing is when he talks in his sleep in baby talk.




Thanks, Seth, Hisako & Toufuu


  milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk hug milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk yogurt milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk walk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk milk juice milk milk milk milk milk milk  


< Back to Toufuu Home