Friday, November 21, 2008

In Like a Lion, Out Like a...Lion

Hey, remember last year when Sam started going to karate twice a week and I did a lot of whining about how I was going to have to murder Jack and/or Quinn or that I would have to take a lot of sedatives myself?


Well, I was thinking it. I sometimes dreaded going because both Jack and Quinn were insane there. I tried taking books, dry-erase boards, coloring books, trains, and toy cars and airplanes. All of them worked to one degree or another, but we always caused a scene, and Jack usually took a big swiping "Hello, there!" swing at a stranger on our way out. I often had to chase them around while they tried to evade me, and there was that first day when Sam accidentally locked himself in the changing room from the inside and couldn't get out.

I mean, I don't really blame them 'cause they had to kill 45 minutes there twice a week, but, F.U.C.K!

Then Vtech and LeapFrog came along and quite possibly saved my sanity. At the very least, they vastly improved my life. Each of those companies, for which I have life-long devotion, sent me review samples of their hand-held video games.

My karate life changed drastically.

I know there are people out there who disapprove of this type of electronic babysitting, but I couldn't fucking care less. Prior to those game systems, I was stressed, angry, and a wreck. Afterwards, I was still stressed, angry, and a wreck, but less so.

Today was Sam's last day at karate. We're taking a break for a variety of reasons, some financial, some due to Sam's whining whenever I tried to get him ready for class, and some due to the fact that we have two or three therapy sessions a week for Jack now. I just can't pack it all in.

Today, which was a graduation day (Sam got his purple striped belt), was busy, loud, and chaotic. But we were all chill. We got there a little early, so got good seats. Sam went to practice. Quinn had fallen asleep in the car and was sleeping happily on my chest. Jack was playing video games. All was well.

And all stayed well. For a while.

The instructors did some speechifying after the belt presentations and Quinn woke up. And he woke up MAD. We had to remove ourselves to the lobby just a few feet away, but let Jack stay in his chair where he was quietly playing, oblivious to the hubbub around him.

The next few minutes are a little blurry, but I do remember a lot of people looking at me. But really, short of going out to the parking lot, there wasn't a lot I could do. Then Jack got up and went to the bathroom without closing the door, which incidentally is something Sam did after his first or second class.

At some point Quinn was shrieking, Jack was "investigating" the moving parts of the lobby's decor, and Sam showed up to ask if I'd gotten a group photo, which of course I hadn't.

But I DID get this awesome shot.
I specialize in tiny, fuzzy, and terrible.

Then Sam couldn't find his bag, and I almost said forget about it because we're not coming back anyway, but figured that would be a bad way to leave, with Quinn AND Sam shrieking at me.

So we ventured into the fray, all four of us, because Quinn was sobbing and Jack can't be trusted to not wander into the parking lot. We generally made a nuisance of ourselves until some friendly mom found the bag under her chair, across the aisle from where Sam had left it.

We said goodbye to the instructors and I started trying to herd the dudes out the door, when Jack gave one of those swipes of greeting I spoke about above. Those swipes I do not believe to be malicious in the slightest, but rather a way of interacting with people. But they always lead to a confused looking child or adult looking at us and wondering why the unprovoked attack, as I frantically try to apologize, get Jack to apologize, and tell Jack not to hit, while explaining proper social interaction all at the same time.

In case you're wondering, it's super effective. < /sarcasm>

Then, while hoisting Quinn into my arms because he refused to walk, I ripped his shoe off and dropped it on the floor. All while someone kept trying to foist the studio's December calendar on me.

By the time I left, I was stressed, angry, and a wreck. And the sentimental feeling I felt watching Sam at his last class? Gone. And it seemed fitting to go out the way we came in a year ago.

I'd like to get him back there someday, but I'm okay with not having to wrangle Jack and Quinn at karate for a while.


  1. Ugh. I feel your pain. This seems very similar to my weekly hour of hell that is dance class (but I only have to wrangle 1 child once a week as opposed to you wrangling 2 twice a week). I apparently need to get some V-tech products on the Christmas list. I am very glad for you that your torture is over.

  2. Well, shit. I was sooo hoping it would have turned out to be all joyful and kumbaya-inducing but...well, shit happens.

    Glad you've got a break, sort of. BUt hey, you guys stuck it out even when you had a bajillion reasons not to. "Good on you, mate" as one of my Brit bosses used to say. Good on you!

  3. ugh. I did love the "In case you're wondering, it's super effective. < /sarcasm>" line. I've been there so many times, saying the same things because I think I'm supposed to say them and because I want the person to know I don't think it's OK to hit people, but not having the time to hold a social skills101 class to explain to them that he's not trying to injury them.

    Hope you had a nice glass of wine tonight!!!

  4. I feel your pain. I make sure our activities are outside (if possible), or drop off because I cannot trust Meenie and Moe together (or Moe alone) to behave. Or I pawn the child going to the activity off on unsuspecting friends!

  5. I haven't had to do anything like this yet - and I am dreading it...

  6. The karate thing definitely sucks. Glad your torture is over.

    On another note, Chee used to be a pro at "hitting hello." We called it doinking. She'd run up to a stranger and hit them, usually men. And she's 4, so about half the size of a grown up, so you can imagine what part of the anatomy her doinking usually hit. Uh huh. Yes.

    After hitting she'd laugh hysterically and say, "oops, sorry about that."

    I have no idea what that was about.

    She doesn't do it anymore. I'm sure Jack will move past this phase. I wouldn't make too big a deal out of it.

  7. I love "the first time he locked himself in a bathroom" - so casual! HA!

    We went through this when Josie was younger and in gymnastics twice a week. Patrick was HORRIBLE. But, you know what? So are a lot of other children, and I really didn't care. People who DO care what other people's kids are doing, and yet have kids, should get over themselves.

  8. Oh, and AMEN to electronic fun during waiting for ANYTHING. Without Patrick's DS, my life would be much harder. What the hell else is there to do in waiting rooms and piano lessons for other people and long waits at the MVA?

  9. That sounds really, really tough. And it also sounds like you handled it the best way that any person could.

  10. I unabashedly bribed with candy to get my kids out of speech and language therapy once a week for a couple of years. It was only a little bit of candy but it was something they knew was coming if they left the doggone place without giving me a stroke. Sometimes you just do what you gotta do.

  11. We laughed til we cried on this one--the similarities are so frightening!

    Reminds me of the karate class where Sue fell and 'blooded' her lip while Joseph simultaneously got a bloody nose and Edward (during the actual class) had to get up and pee without, of course, closing the door or washing his hands.

    Funny how this place was big on the 'six month commitment' but after we completed our sixth month, nobody called or emailed us.

    Ever again...


Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.