After Flu Fest Twenty-thirteen, things are starting to get back to normal in the Hamakko household. Me Too went back to preschool on Monday. I had wanted to keep her home an extra day, but HRH got wind of my sinister plan and insisted she go, even though she was still coughing a lot. I told the teacher she shouldn’t participate in PE or run around. When I went to pick her up she seemed happy enough, but as soon as we got home she started whining and carrying on, a sure sign that she was tired.

By Tuesday, the cough was much better so I told Teach she could go back to all the usual school activities. That afternoon, she was very tired again and her nose was running a lot, Brother had a weird dry cough thing going on, so I let both kids stay home from karate.

Low and behold, apparently that was a stupid decision, as HRH told me numerous times in a louder-than-necessary voice with lots of sighing and teeth-sucking for emphasis.

I figured he would react that way, and I hadn’t planned to to offer the information, but he asked me point blank, so I bit the bullet and chopped down the cherry tree. But I just gave him that annoying, overly-cheerful “Hai, hai” his mom taught me to say. “Then do whatever the fuck you want,” were her instructions. (I’m paraphrasing from the Japanese, of course.)

But, you know, I wipe the snot, I clean up the puke, I deal with the 104 degree fevers and doctor’s visits and all the rest of it, so I feel entitled to make the decisions about this kind of stuff.

I don’t think it’s (just) HRH being a jerk; it’s part of Japanese culture. Not the jerky bit, but the expectation that unless you are unconscious in the ICU then you WILL show up for work, you WILL go to school, you WILL do (fill in the blank with societal expectation here), your health, happiness, family, and eternal soul be damned.

Needless to say HamakkoMommy don’t think like that.

There’s been a lot in the news about “corporal punishment” in sports. It started with some high school in Osaka, where the captain of the baseball team killed himself after enduring numerous beatings from his coach. Today there was an article about the female Olympic judo team registering complaints against their coach for, get this, slapping them on the face and beating them with wooden swords.

This guy must have some cajones; those gals could wrestle an alligator with their bare hands and leave the gator crying for mercy.

I’m glad the complaints are coming forward. Let’s get rid of this “the group at all costs” mentality. Winning isn’t so important that you beat girls with sticks, or beat a kid until you complete break him mentally, or (let’s just let it all out) fly freaking planes into boats on suicide missions.

I’m being flippant, because that’s what I do, but it’s scary. My kids are gonna be in that world in a few years, where they have club sports at school and coaches and teachers that parents aren’t able to keep a close eye on. Would they be able to come to me if they were being abused like that? Would anyone stand up for them?

Maybe that’s part of what I’m trying to do: to teach them that they are important, and how they feel physically important, that nothing is worse sacrificing your body for.

Today was a half day for Sister, and a shortish day for Brother, too. Both kids seem much better than yesterday, so we went to swimming. I feel like I haven’t had a chance to sit down once since I woke up at 6, okay okay 6:15, this morning.

Normalcy. Or something like that.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gaijinwife
    Jan 31, 2013 @ 11:41:00

    Your mother in law’s advice (translated into English) is perfect. I really need to get a better handle on it. I tend to try and state my case, get defensive, tell hub to piss the fuck off or whatever. Must. Exert. More. Self. Control – and just do the ‘hai, hai’. I ‘think’ the flu fest in our house is over. Fingers crossed.


    • momonomnom
      Feb 02, 2013 @ 06:24:06

      *lady lurk emerges* After years I have recently discovered that arguments end in my favor once I take that kind of dismissive, positive attitude to my (Japanese) man’s rudeness. I can’t change the man, only the way I react to it.. and I am happier now. Fake it until you make it so to speak. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY YEARS IT TOOK TO FIGURE THAT OUT. Perhaps I was resisting trying to be too Japanese/submissive.. but it’s just another tactic to get what I want. (:

      This is why I read both of your blogs. Insights/reaffirmations.. my man is also into pachinko @gaijinwife I learned if I fake joy for him he is going (while masking gritting teeth) he doesn’t try to hide that from me anymore. Luckily, we don’t share all money and he usually breaks even (poker, slots, we live in the States). He says he’ll stop when we have kids. And smoking. Should I believe that? Haha ):

      I think if we had kids that needed the money I would need the nearest patriotic frying pan.


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