…so I signed the boys up for Tae Kwon Do. Then I was corrected by my 8 yr old in front of their new instructor,  “No, Mommy…paint the fence was from the Karate Kid!” “Eh, hem…just a joke, Nate – just a joke.”

There are lots of real reasons I wanted the boys to try this. The first being self-defense. When your child is in the 4 percentile for height…you have to plan ahead. Cut the bullies off at the pass. Another reason is self-control. I’ve got one of those throw-yourself-on-the-ground-and-curl up-into-a-hedgehog-ball when I try to get him dressed, put on lotion or squirt medicine into his eyes kind of kid. (OK, eye meds. one is justifiable) So learning how to listen and respond to an adult, is worth whatever money they’re charging.

We did a free trial class to see if Nate liked it and if Zeke would roll up into a ball.  I was pleasantly surprised. The Instructor had Nate speaking Tae Kwon Do (what language IS that?) by the end of the class and somehow had Zeke blocking punches and yelling, “YES SIR!” I wrote the check 15 minutes into the class. Twice a week for an hour I get to watch someone else teach my boys life lessons while I write witty banter on Facebook? I haven’t been this happy since I hired a service to clean my toilets.

Friday was our first paid class and it went even better than the free one. EXCEPT Nate’s uniform came in and Zeke’s didn’t. That required the quick-thinking Mommy spin doctor. “Wow, you’re so lucky Zeke! You get to do one more class in your sweat pants and King Kong shirt! No one else…just YOU!”

Worked like a charm. Besides, somehow my little “rebel black sheep” seems better suited in black:

Zeke

 

Technically, he WAS doing it “just like the instructor”. Everyone else was facing the wrong way.

At the risk of sounding like an “old” parent:  When I was a kid, I got on my bike, met my friends and we played outside ALL DAY LONG! So when our boys were born, Mark and I decided to leave the blackened skies of Los Angeles and move to FL so our kids could grow up playing in the sunshine without developing the need for an iron lung.

So here we are in Celebration, FL which was designed specifically for people to enjoy the outdoors. And here’s a typical conversation between me and my boys:

Me: Hey, Nate – Zeke, it’s a beautiful day…why don’t you boys go outside and play?

Nate & Zeke: I don’t want to go outside. JINX! JINX! I said it first, so you can’t talk. No, I said it first so YOU can’t talk. Moooom…I said Jinx first and Zeke won’t stop talking.

Me: (banging my head on the table) GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!

Zeke: (ear-stabbing whining) I don’t wanna go outside! I wanna stay inside and play with my guys. (Legos)

Nate: (making his best doe-eyed, dilated pupil face) I wanna stay inside and be with you Mommy ’cause I love you so much I would miss you out there.

Me: When I was a little girl…

Nate: Ugh, how many times are you going to say that story? You say it all the time and I still don’t wanna go outside.

Me: I’m going to keep telling that story until you go outside. If you stay in here, you will be listening to the story, go outside and you hear birds,dogs and yourself laughing.

Nate: FINE! I’ll go outside but I won’t hear myself laughing, I’ll hear myself saying this isn’t fair!

Me:  Zeke, you too.

Zeke: I’m staying inside to hear the story again.

I grab Zeke’s hand and lead him kicking and screaming outside into the back yard. The backyard that has a huge playset, bikes, balls, chalk, big wheels and many other things purchased to lure them out of the house.

 

Nate: Mommy, I went down the slide, I drew with chalk and I threw the ball. Can I come back inside now?

Me: Nate, you’ve been outside for 3 minutes. Make up a game. When I was a little girl…

Nate: (covering his ears and lalalalaling) How many minutes do we have to stay out here?

Me: 30. I’ll be back to check on you in 10.

Me: Nate…what are you doing?

Nate: Waiting for 30 minutes to be done.

Me: Where’s Zeke?

Nate: He’s in the house hiding from you.

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