So my little girl and I were at a special tutorial session for her karate class in preparation for the SE Regionals, July 29th, here in Knoxville. She, being four, has the typical concentration and stage-fright “problems” one would expect so some extra lessons could help her get over that (or not - we’ll see). Also, this is the only formal activity she has ever done (she has yet to enter preschool) and we’re interested in seeing how she reacts.
So, anyway, the usual group of mothers and kids were there, including two children, A and B, who were with B’s mom, C. B is four, A is three. C is my age (30s).
B had a superball <thwock!> that he found very entertaining <thwock!>, especially in his ability <thwock!> to make it bounce <thwock!> higher than his head <thwock!>. I sat there and watched <thwock!> his mom do nothing for 10 minutes* while B bounced <thwock!> the ball, twice having it <thwock!> end up on the mat where the <thwock!> students (including my precious, don’t forget that! ) were <thwock!> concentrating on their <thwock!> work.
It was <thwock!> annoying to say the thwocking least.
The students were then asked to do their routines in front of the other students (helping with stage fright). A couple of people went prior to my daughter, the ball ending on the mat during one of their acts. Then my daughter gets up, looking at me shyfully, and then her eyes focusing on the ball <thwock!> .
“Young man, we are in a classroom here!”
“We are in a classroom, the students are concentrating, and you should not be bouncing that ball, distracting others. Give it to your mother and pull something out of that box of toys” …pointing… “that makes no sound at all. Do you understand me?”
Shit! That was me! Correcting another child in front of his mother!
But fuck it, I ain’t gonna take it back. I focus on the kids eyes all the while, he finally backing down, giving the ball to C (who is most decidedly not looking at me), and going to the box of toys that don’t make the noise**.
When he sat down and pulled out something, I said
“Thank you, B. I really appreciate you being so polite - that’s such a big kid thing to do!”
… wait, it gets better…
See, the only reason why I was there is that Mom was hosting the film discussion group last night - she usually handles Sophie+karate stuff as it happens during the day, and, in fact, Mom is relatively involved in the dojo, and…
… uh, you know…
… well… shit!…
Mom, is, in fact, rather good friends with C. :idiot!:
Good enough that we’re all going, me, Mom, Sophie, C, B, and D (B’s sister) to the sneak preview of Monster House tonight at East Town Mall. (A was somebody else’s kid (I think?))
Today is also Karate day - Mom is going to meet C to discuss dojo stuff, the tournament, and plans for the movie.
I did talk to C after the “incident”, about the movie, telling her how much we were looking forward to it. C lives in Gettysvue, which is close, so I was telling her the best way to get to the mall if she wants to avoid I-40 (I find Knoxville ridiculously easy in which to get around).
The thing with the kid wasn’t mentioned, nor should it have been: the situation was as it was, something needed to be done, and I was there to do it… so I did. C’est la vie.
Nor did I bring it up with my wife. If C wants to mention it, that’s her prerogative. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over and done with.
But I had to tell the tale to somebody!
*C would counter:
“But I told him to stop!” Yes, many times, and not once did you actually take the ball from him and redirect him to a more quiet activity. Words are useless if they’re not followed by actions.
**Bonus points: Guess the originator the paraphrased quote?