Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sumos At Large

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"Miracles do happen!" aka "Danny, this post's for you." (sometimes we just have to help those miracles along...and RECREATE them!)

The other night, child #2 and child #3 came home very excited and talking from the minute they walked in the door. They were talking at me, not to me, and thus I needed a translator to relay their message. Translator: my husband.

They'd gone to take a sample martial arts class...or so I thought. I figured they would "try their hand" at judo, karate, ju jitsu, tae kwon do, etc. What they were most excited about was sumo. Near the end of the class they paired up with other children approximately their age and height and had to knock them down...or do whatever it is that sumo wrestlers do. The children rattled on about how they got two points and four points each in their battles, and happily told me that they were invited to attend -- not quite sure as participants or as oglers -- a sumo tournament in a couple of weeks.

When they said "sumo," I immediately pictured gargantuan, primarily Asian, men who slick their hair back, wear their longish hair tied in a ponytail atop their head, and who wear their "sumo thongs". This did not describe my young children!

So I thought I'd better do research and checked out what sumo is all about.

The basic rules of sumo are simple: The wrestler who either first touches the floor with something else than his sole or leaves the ring before his opponent, loses. The fights themselves usually last only a few seconds and in rare cases up to one minute or more.

Most elite wrestlers are highly trained athletes and between about 20 to 35 years old. Besides working out, the wrestlers are eating large amounts of food and go to bed right after eating in order to gain mass. The wrestlers are living in special sumo stables where the rules are very strict, especially for beginners.

Okay, so my kids are interested in sumo. I guess that means that my daughter, who will be displaying her delicate feminine feet, will have to have a pedicure on a regular basis. And I don't mind if they're interested in eating large amounts of food, and it'll be good if they develop going to bed at a reasonable hour. But the sumo stables? I'm not too sure about that. Will our outdoor playhouse work equally well?

And then there's the hair thing. Okay, so daughter loves long hair and doesn't mind wearing it atop her head in a ponytail. But son? Guess we'll have to grow his hair long again, and he'll need to use lots of Dippety-Doo gel to grease it and then will have to borrow some hair scrunchies from big sister for that ponytail. I guess that when he retires from sumo, we can have a formal "upsherin" again -- okay, so he'll be 25 or 26. That's just a few years' difference from being age 3!

And I guess I have to go into our storage bins and dig out those cloth diapers from days gone by. Blue for son. Pink for daughter. (Who said sumo wrestlers can't be fashionable?)

I guess what I really fear now is that these children will apply what they learn. I imagine this scenario: child does not want to sleep/do homework/take a shower/finish chores; child decides a "face-off" is in order, gets into the sumo stance and confronts me... Is there any chance that this mother might still win. If so, can I be titled "SuMummy"?


tuesdaywishes said...

I'm not sure about sumo wrestlers as role models, but in general I approve of maritial atrs for kids. Especially frum kids. The six or seven years i trained in karate were a great experience in working the mind and body together. (I see our Jewish culture as focussing exclusively on the mind) Also, it gives girls lots of confidence and might even improve their posture. And I learned to count to 20 in Japanese.

AbbaGav said...

My 8 year old daughter had a chance to try Sumo once and was quite eager. Fortunately, the extra mass came from donning a padded suit that covered her from head to toe, and made her look vaguely Sumo-ish as well. Unfortunately, even in a padded suit, she got whacked hard enough to wound at least her pride and has lost a bit of that initial interest now. Well, actually, she's lost all of it. But it was fun for 3 seconds. Actually, the Japanese even start their Sumo little leaguers as infants.

cruisin-mom said...

Pearl, sounds like fun, although I've never heard of sumos at that age. And you thought you were out of the diaper stage!

Anonymous said...

Cloth diapers yes indeed, but keep it simple and leave the rubber pants in the storage bins.