The Giant Inflatable Sumo Wrestler Will Only Lead To More Questions

Near our house there’s a tire place that advertises with giant inflatables. Every week, there’s something different outside the store advertising that week’s deals. It used to be simple, large tires, rabbits or monkeys. But in the past few months, the place has had a steady rotation, mixing in a dinosaur, sumo wrestler and even a large inflatable Elvis to get attention.

Hope loves to talk and ask questions, and the inflatables have started a lot of conversations on our car rides.

The questions started out normal:

Hope: What’s that guy?

Me: That’s a sumo wrestler.

Hope: What’s a sumo wrestler?

Me: Sumo wrestling is a sport they play in Japan.


Hope: What’s that guy?.

Me: That’s Elvis. He’s the king of rock and roll.

Hope: Like Weezer?

Me: Yes, but older.

Hope can see anything and ask for a story about it. Or try and relate it to something else. But we’ve had to be careful, because her questions have gotten more involved. Last time we saw the sumo wrestler, the conversation went something like this:

Hope: What does that sumo guy do?

Me: Well, two of them are in a circle and have to push each other out.

Hope: Isn’t that mean?

Me: It’s part of the game. There’s a referee.

Hope: Is he naked?

Me: No, he’s wearing something.

One topic that we’ve had to start addressing with her is death. Earlier this summer, she had some pillbugs in a container that died overnight. So The Civee and I tried explaining the concept to her. And she won a goldfish at a church festival back in June that has miraculously survived (so far). We knew the topic would come up again, and eventually we would have to let her in on the fact that people die too. A few weeks ago on the radio, the DJ mentioned it was the anniversary of Elvis’ death. This led to another round, once the Elvis inflatable made a reappearance:

Hope: Did Elvis die?

Me: Yes.

Hope: Why did he die?

Me: Ummmm…because he took a bunch of medicine without his doctor or parents saying he could.

She’s asked these questions every time we’ve passed the Elvis inflatable. And we try and steer the conversation back to something positive about Elvis. But it’s better she’s learning about things like death. At the very least, we can use these conversations to have the [other] king teach her a lesson- don’t take medicine your doctor or mom or dad doesn’t tell you to take.

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