On Friday when I got home, I opened the kid’s backpack to find a little package with a cup, a tiny bottle, and some kind of blue round stickers on them, with the whole package to be returned to the school on Monday morning. Now what the f— is THIS? I asked myself, for about the millionth time since moving here.
Ah yes… the adventures of raising a kid in Japan when you can’t read that much Japanese.
Every year, apparently Japanese schools send this little package home to test for parasites amongst kindergarten-aged kids. And I am writing this post SPECIFICALLY for parents in Japan who may one day find themselves like me, bewildered as to what to do, and looking frantically for instructions online and feeling totally frustrated. A quick search on Google showed me there are pretty much NO instructions in English, so, here it is. My gift to the gaijin parents in Japan, in detail, so that you don’t have to go and ask someone whether or not you need to poke your kid’s butt with a blue circle.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT PEE AND POO AND BUTT TESTS, THEN DON’T SCROLL DOWN. If you are a desperate gaijin parent, keep reading.
- The Pee Test. Pretty simple: catch the kid’s pee in a cup, and use the squirty bottle to suction up the pee, and put the bottle back in the bag.
- The Butt Test. I had no idea how this worked. I peered curiously at the package. Interesting pictures. And strange illustrations that did not help at all. What’s with the little angel squatting over the paper? My mind raced. What am I supposed to do? Do I have to……….. rub it on something? Stick a sticker on the butt? Wipe something on the blue sticker?
Thankfully, a Japanese mom from the school who had lived abroad and spoke English came to my rescue. This is how it works.
The butt test comes in two parts. The clear plastic sheet has two blue circles, for you to do two tests on two separate occasions. You should do the test before your kid does a Number Two. Early morning is apparently best, when parasites are most active. You take the plastic sheet, and poke the blue circle sort of onto/into the entrance of your kid’s butt hole. The squatting angel is supposed to show you a good position for your kid to get into in order to do the butt test.
After doing both tests — on two separate occasions, don’t forget, not both on the same day — you peel off the top layer of the clear plastic sheet, and stick the two halves together.
Once you’ve done the pee specimen and both butt tests and stuck the blue circles together, put it all back in the bag and give it back to the school.
This might just be the weirdest and most useless and most inappropriate post I’ve ever written. But if it helps even ONE parent in Japan get over a wave of anxiety and uncertainty at a moment when they feel totally alone and confused, then it’s worth it. Because there’s nothing I hate more than feeling like a moron because of the language barrier.
Those thinking of moving abroad, take heed. IT IS NOT EASY!!
But, as always, you get by with a little help from your friends. Even when it comes to what to do with butts.
Now, something to make you laugh.