Today was the boys’ first day of Karate lessons. Boy7 and Boy9 have been looking forward to this for months. Months and months. That’s because I’ve been procrastinating signing them up for months. Months and months.
This day has been a decade in the making.
First, we had to come up with some sort of sport that Darling Husband and I could stomach. I’ve told you about my complete failure at anything sports related except for archery, but I’ve never told you about Darling Husband.
He’s worse than me.
While we’re both miserable failures at sports, at least I can almost dance. The last time Darling Husband tried to dance was when the song, “Everybody Dance Now” was out.
He tried to dance to it in the kitchen of our apartment. Here’s the article they ran on it in The Baltimore Sun:
Toys R Us Employee Attempts Dance
This afternoon in the 7800 block of the Tall Pines apartment complex in Glen Burnie, a local man, Bryan Valko, attempted to dance to an early 90’s rap song in his kitchen. Valko is a Toys R Us employee who has won the regional Fastest Checkout Clerk award three years running.
While listening to the song Everybody Dance Now, by C + C Music Factory , he allegedly attempted to lift his knee to waist height in time to the music. However, his other foot slipped out from under him at the same moment, windmilling Valko’s arms and propelling his raised knee into the sharp corner of the oven door handle.
“I warned him that Toys R Us employees who drive orange MG midgets and like British sci-fi television have no business dancing to rap music,” Mrs. Valko said. “But he just had to dance, and look what happened. I told him so.”
His injuries left him writhing on the floor, clutching at his knee, with his unsympathetic wife standing over him shaking her head in condemnation. Paramedics were not called to the scene.
When asked why he attempted such a risky venture, Valko replied, “Well, I just liked the song, you know? I couldn’t help myself.”
Come to think of it, maybe I should temper my statements about Darling Husband’s abysmal ability in sports. He’s pretty good at ping pong and bowling. And we played tennis together, once, and he beat me at it. I think he also beat me at pool once, too. I suppose that in the right crowd, he can hold his head high.
Back to the point of this post: Once we had children, we had a problem. What if our children wanted to play sports? This was a repulsive thought and needed to be handled delicately. There had to be a way to balance our children’s potential interest in sports against our deep aversion to them. There’s no way we’re going to stand on the side of a soccer field in the blazing sun and boiling heat. Or a baseball field. Or a lacrosse field. Or a freezing cold football field.
What sports can be played indoors, in the heat and air conditioning? Swimming? No. We don’t want our sons to wear speedos in front of their friends. Wresting? See speedo. Basketball? When I suggested that, Darling Husband said, with such anguished distress that his voice cracked, “Are you crazy, woman? Look at me! No child of ours is going to play basketball!” We’re sort of on the short side. (See this post about our Elfin cottage.)
We shelved the problem for a while. Our sons were only toddlers, so we had time.
And then, it dawned on us: Karate! Karate is played indoors and the uniforms are baggy! With many viewings of The Karate Kid and Jackie Chan movies, we brainwashed the children, “Ka-ra-te, you-want-to-learn-ka-ra-te,” until they announced to us, completely unprompted, “We’d like to learn karate.” “What? Really? Wherever did this come from?” (Secretly high-fiving each other behind their backs. Yes!)
So, today I took the kids to the 10:30 Homeschooler class.
And it was with complete horror that I watched through the window as the karate teacher guy placed 72 balls in the middle of the room, divided the children into mobs, and then stood back allowing the carnage to begin.
Dodge ball! You have got to be kidding me.
I’m so glad I wrote this post about Dodge Ball. It’s come in handy to refer back to it so many times. I don’t have to keep re-writing my tale of woe over and over. But if you haven’t read it, you might want to pop over there and read it so you understand what horror I felt when I saw my sweet babies being subjected to such an atrocity.
Fortunately, my friend, Becky’s, son is in the karate class, and she was there to tend to me. As I swooned and nearly fainted out of my plastic porch chair, she distracted me with tales of her Camp Out Trips From The Underworld. There was the time Uncle Ralph’s sleeping bag zipper got stuck and he had to go to the bathroom reallyreally bad, and he lay in his tent shouting out cuss words while he fought with the zipper, looking like Frodo stuck in that big spider web in The Lord of the Rings.
Or how about the time that they camped near a train track and the freight trains rumbled by their heads every hour on the hour, all night long? The only people who slept through the freight trains’ passing were the ones who were snoring.
And can you believe that they were camping during that crazy lightning storm we had a few days ago, and the camp site lost their electricity? They had to sleep in their camper with no air conditioning. Oh, the misery! And they’d paid extra for the electricity hook up. Such camping tribulation.
Fortunately, the boys escaped unscathed from their first exposure to Dodge Ball. Boy9 said, “I just sort of aimlessly wandered around the room, and no one hit me with the ball.” I guess the DBV shot they got at the pediatrician’s office worked. You know: the Dodge Ball Vaccine. They’ll need a booster shot once they hit middle school.