Saturday, May 9, 2015

Belt Ceremony

The day had arrived.  It was time to find out if the kids had advanced to orange belt.  I got them up, got all of their clothes out, had breakfast waiting for them and even gave them warnings as to when we needed to leave.  Kate and Luke finally picked themselves up and got going.  I found Jake in the office floor, surrounded with all of my office supplies, working on something.  I decided I would be patient because I've been reading this parenting book and I thought I'd give their tactic a try.  I knelt down and said it a sweet voice, 
"Jake, I know you are working on something important and I can't wait to see what it is, but now isn't the time to work on it.  We need to be on time for the belt ceremony.  It isn't fair to Kate and Luke, who are already ready to make them late.  Do you understand?  You can finish this project after we get back." 
I got an "Ok, Mom."  And I rushed out of the room to finish getting ready myself.  I walked by the office 5 minutes later, only to find that he hadn't moved.  I tried again, nicely.  Then again,  and yet again, and this time it wasn't nicely.  I threw the book tactic out the window and I yelled and screamed, I was so frustrated.  I got in his face and grabbed his arms and told him he better get dressed that instant or there would be some MASSIVE repercussions.  

Here's the thing.  It did finally get him to move, but not quickly.  What?!!!!  I would have been running around like crazy at least looking like I was trying to get ready fast because I would have been scared to death of that voice that just yelled at me.  But Jake?  Nope.  He cried for a second and then slowly started to get ready.  This infuriated me even more.  Slowly?!!!!!!  But this is his pace.  And I know this.  And yet I couldn't take it this particular morning.  

I lectured him the entire drive to Taekwondo.  Here we were supposed to be going to something exciting and fun for the kids and all they heard me do was yell the entire way there about what respect and responsibility and obedience means.  Oh, man, I failed big time.  BIG TIME.  I even knew while I was lecturing that it wasn't doing any good but making everyone's mood fouler, but I couldn't stop.  I had lost it.  
So, this was how we started out.  When we arrived, we all walked in and found our spots and let's just say no one was very happy.  Lame.  I felt horrible.  And completely frustrated because I felt like I should know how to get through to him in a way so he understands!
(Taking any and all suggestions, by the way :) ) 

I took a couple of deep breaths and decided that I would focus on the hear and now.  It was Luke's turn first.  He stood up and went over to the "Maestro" and didn't want to do a thing.  He looked out at all of those people and just froze.  Not a smile, not a kick, nothing.  Apparently his little friend was feeling the same nerves, so they took Maestro's hands and did some move with him.  

Then it was Kate and Jake's turn.

And then it was our turn to sit together as families and have a little talk about what it means to have respect in Taekwondo and what it means to have respect at home.  Oh, how perfect!  You can see that some of us weren't very excited to have this chat.  Other's had a permagrin no matter what was said, and still others didn't seem to care.  He seemed to have forgotten everything that had happened previously and was now making funny faces at the camera.  nice.  

Good news is that they all passed!!!!

Way to go Luke, Jake and Kate!!!!
I think this will be the only time in my life when extracurricular activities will be so easy with all 3 kids.  Same days, same times, same place.  It doesn't get better than that!

And here they are!
Our friends Connie and Charles Hiten and their daughter Caileigh.   She really loves Luke.  

Maestro Arnaldo and the kids.

Arnaldo is an AMAZING teacher.  We are really going to miss him!!!

The good news was that we were headed over to Connie and Charles home after the ceremony to have dinner.  So, the kids were focused on that afterwards and were quite happy to be heading there instead of dreading the possibility of another explosion by yours truly.  I love their resilience.  I'm so proud of how fast they have come and what they can do in just 3 short months of Taewkwondo!   
It's amazing!

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