Friday 7 October 2011

It's in the genes...

If I'm not mistaken, I posted about ash's sports day last year and it was basically the same deal. My son just marches along quite happily to his own little drum, in his own little world and doesn't give a flying fuck about the people around him.

I may have mentioned how much I despise sports days in Japan, but just in case I haven't, allow me to rant away for a moment...

Fucking robotic, useless, cunting dancing that is practiced for months in advance ensuring both child and parent alike are totally and utterly bled dry of any creativity, fun, or enjoyment that may have been involved with the whole fucking thing.

Right, glad that's out of my system!
So I hate the sports days, but being the good mummy that I am, I trudged along to the kindy to stand around for a few hours watching the kids go through the motions of the steps that they have been practicing since summer. It started off with all the kids doing some lame fucking dance and ash spied me. Most mums look down when their kid spies them, but I'm not most mums, so I gave him a thumbs up and a wave instead. He then proceeded to try and run over to me, but the watchful eye of his teacher ensured he was pulled back in to line pretty quickly. Now sneaky little bugger that he is, he learnt if he made a dash, that some Japanese lady was going to be on to him, so he weaved and ducked and blended in with every other little kid, until he'd managed to inch his way over to me and was hugging my leg. All the mums around me gave an "awwwwww" but underneath the sounds of endearment I knew there was some woman thinking " ooooooo that kid is unruly, he doesn't follow the rules..."
After a few minutes I gave his teacher a pleading look and she came and collected him, he wasn't crying or anything, he was actually giggling as he was led away.

So next was his class' turn to do their little bit and I shit you not he would not do a single thing the other kids did. And it wasn't in a crying and screaming way. He was quite happy with himself, but totally independent and very contented to do his own thing. He was in the 'pig group' yet when the 'rabbit' group had to go fake shopping, ash was right there with them. The teacher actually said over the loud speaker " oh, Ashton is here too, oh well, he's here now..." just so all the mums would look at me again with the knowing smiles, not like I can hide being the only foreign around with her almost as foreign, unruly son!

Finally, was the running race, and ash didn't disappoint, instead of lining up with all the other kids and them all running together, as soon as his name was called, he was off, running down the yard as the whole freaking kindy laughed at him bounding over the finish line while the rest of the kids were still waiting at the starting line.

And I got to thinking, does this make me:

A) a bad parent?
B) a good parent?
C) responsible for the genetic encoding that my son has inherited meaning he will never just fall in to line like a little j-lemming?

Anyway, after ash had finished and I had been standing in the sun for over 2 hours without any breakfast and intense pain in my throat, I proceeded to... faint! Luckily for me I made it inside and collapsed against a wall of towels and woke up in a tatami room wondering where my shoes had gone. Highly embarrassing but at least only the teachers witnessed my dramatics, if it had been outside I would have had all the kindy mums gasping in shock and revelling in the excitement while dialling ambulances on their mobiles.

All I can say is, fuck you sports day, I'm so boycotting next year!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. I always hated sports day as a child. No robotic stuff, but running laps and jumping ropes and games and I fucking hated all of it!
    Why do I have to run, when everybody's running? I don't wanna. Piss off.
    But just doing it like Ash would have been impossible. In the old days the teachers yelled us to pieces when we didn't blend in.

  2. Good on him. I think school events are purposely designed to be a trial to parents.

  3. Japanese sports day is probably the most boring thing I've ever heard of. I've asked a couple of my J-friends the point of having a sports day, and they have no idea. What's the point if no one knows what they're doing it for??
    My school's sports was awesome tho. It was like a mini Olympics, where each grade had to research the country they were representing before participating. We even had a potluck where students had to make the traditional foods. And this was from a public school~ Lol

  4. It sounds vaguely North Korean... o_o

  5. My son did pretty much the same thing today and I LOVED him for it!

  6. Living in a land where educational aims can seem laser focused on discipline, training, and indoctrinating...I have gone through a number of phases - denial... anger... depression... bargaining... acceptance... I'm at the, "Sports Day is okay as long as it is only one day a year." Last year, during lunch break, we collected bugs in empty pet bottles. You should have seen the size of some of those grasshoppers!

    Seriously, this year, we are taking the gypsy approach. We've got our 'tent', chairs, tables, flags, food, and plenty of beer. We've also got our video camera ready just in case any of the refs wants to try and be funny and make a bogus call like last year...we had to hold grandma back (we'll be sure to slip her the meds before the opening ceremony this time). Anyway, wifey is asking were we put the bullhorn. Have a strange feeling tomorrow is going to be a long day...

  7. I'm leaning towards answer c. Seriously though, I admire Ash for doing his own thing in a sea of conformity. Just because Ash does his own thing on an event that happens one day of the year totally doesn't mean you're a bad mother. And I bet you that at least a few of those kindy j-mummies are secretly applauding Ash's antics. :)

    I've been lurking as of late instead of commenting. Love reading your stuff!


  8. Good for you Ash. The first year I taught in Mexico, I was informed that I was required to teach a synchronized dance routine to which I responded, "Where on my resume does it state I am qualified to teach dance?" They ended up hiring a dance instructor because I don't know the difference between my big cloddy American left foot from my right.

  9. As long as he generally does what he's supposed to (like not hitting other kids all the time), having a bit of fun instead of being a robot is a good thing. Though I guess you are reinforcing the whole "gaijin are feral" stereotype - though really that could mean that gaijin like to do strange/unJapanese things like think for themselves.

    The whole thing sounds like a shocker, maybe bring a big umbrella? Sitting around getting roasted for several hours in the hot sun, yeah, fun for all.

  10. Agree with Jennifer 100%.

    They've always reminded me of nothing less than those mass games in Pyongyang, commemorating the anniversary of the Dear Leader's last bowel movement, or whatever.

  11. i don't think it makes you a good or a bad parent.

    i do however think that Ash is an attention-whore in the making.... beware!

  12. I hate fcking sports day, too.
    I came on with Avian Influenza around noon at sports day this year.

  13. Sounds cute :)
    I can remember doing marching practice in Japan O.o