I've enlisted the children in the never ending war of attrition to conquer the Japanese language. For me, every tiny step forward can easily turn into a rout. But I'm full of awe at kids able to hold on to every new piece of territory gained without seeming to get their hands dirty.
These thoughts crossed my mind as I watched my youngest the other day doing the washing up.
"Dad, you know what this is?"
"It's a plate."
She put the clean plate in the sink next to the washing-up bowl and rubbed the tips of her little fingers up and down the middle of the plate.
"That's kyu kyu!"
"That's what we call squeaky clean."
"That's what I call worth ¥100."
"Ask your mother."