In the last two weeks, LittleMK started to crawl around the flat giving me the arduous task of baby proofing. It seems, though, that I got an unexpected help: on a low shelf he has discovered his own Bogeyman, our Japanese Daruma Doll. The charm, which might look like a one-eyed monster in his baby perception, at first totally terrified him. Whenever he got too close to it, he started sobbing uncontrollably. He needed a couple of days and maybe a little bit of mummy’s intervention, to get more on talking terms with ‘Stric Lump’, as we started calling the guy (in a vague Slovenian translation it means Uncle Naughty). And actually this is exactly what has happened: now he gets closer and closer, and he baby babbles with the little fortune figure for minutes from a little distance. He’s still careful though, it seems to be still a kind of love-hate relationship between them for the time being. He doesn’t dare to touch it or crawl over an unvisible boundary. So it works like a charm (literally!) when I need to keep him away from something, like the pot of flower – I just place the doll on it, and it keeps an eye on him (again literally!).
I wonder how long our luck lasts, though, maybe not more than a couple of days. But I guess it’s a good symbol for his upcoming period, too, when he finally decides to start exploring standing up. The doll is designed to get back up when it falls, embodying the essence of the Japanese proverb ‘Nana korobi yaoki’ – fall down seven times and stand up eight. So it’s not just a good-luck charm, but also a constant reminder of our goals.
We got the Daruma for our wedding from our friends, who figured it quite well, that as a Japan enthusiast I will really treasure it. And now it warms my heart seeing the new family member also attracted to it. However, if I think about it, it’s no wonder either that our son is on talking terms with Japanese spirits. He was kind of gifted to us by them. Last spring with my husband we arrived home from Japan with him in our hearts. At the Golden Pavilion we found an ema (a wooden wishing plaque) on which there was a ship sailing two big and a small monkey. We asked for our own small monkey to join our adventures, and tied it to a tree as it’s a custom there. It happened on the 17th March last year, and almost exactly within a year time the smallest adventurer was with us. And needless to say, he’s a real charm himself!
If you’re interested in the cultural morsel of Daruma Dolls, check out my favourite page where I usually start armchair exploring the world.