When you're just so sick of it that you've gotta say something...

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! :wink: ) 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! :wink:


*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? :wink:



They really have South East regional competition for three and four year olds? That sounds a bit ridiculous on it’s face. Maybe it makes sense, but I’m having trouble getting past that to the motherthwocker.

I don’t really know: I pay $100+ a month for the kid to take karate lessons, there’s some regionals coming up in a week, and she is doing something.

I don’t see where you did anything wrong. Perish forfend that somebody go to a dojo and learn discipline and self-control…

Takes a village to raise a kid. You did good.

Wow. I hate it when parents don’t make their children be polite. That’s my big issue.

A friend of mine has a 5-year-old daughter. B is adorable, I love her to death, but C, my friend, has GOT to get on teaching her her please’s and thank-you’s. My boyfriend’s five-year-old is much more polite and is two months younger.

C and I are talking and B walks in and starts trying to talk to us. C starts paying attention to her and I stop her.

“B,” I say, calmly and very politely, “Is the house burning down?”

“No.” She says.

“Is someone bleeding?”


“Is someone dying?”


“Is it an emergency?”


“Unless it’s an emergency, please don’t interrupt anyone when they’re talking. You may wait until we finish our conversation, and then you may talk to us.”

B pondered that over while C gave me an irritated look. Hey, I told her “Unless it’s an emergency.” I can’t stand ANYONE who interrupts conversations for stupid shit, be they child or otherwise. And B only wanted to know if she could watch Sailor Moon on Moxi, which is like TiVo, so it could have waited a minute while we finished what we were talking about.

I already told C that if B is in my house, or my car, she has to follow my rules. And one of my rules is not interrupting people. I can’t stand rude children, it speaks badly of their parents.


Yeah, the Princess from up the road used to have the obnoxious habit of bellowing “Excuse me!” while others were have a conversation. She seemed to think that as long as she said “excuse me”, it was OK to interrupt. And she would say “I said excuse me” like she was supposed to be praised for interrupting politely. :rolleyes:

Denis Leary.

A fairly close friend has raised a child using the principal of least resistance.
In other words, if the kiddo bitches and moans enough, she get her way.
Now the Little Darling is a teenager.
Last summer, her mother invited me to join her in escorting LD and a friend to a water park.
The highway was pretty torn up and my friend missed her exit.
No big deal, right?
LF launched into her mother telling her how stupid she was to have missed the exit and what a bad driver she was in general.
My friend just sat there.
I turned around, gave LD the glare of death and said “LD, your mother is a friend of mine and no one talks to my friends like that when I’m around. So sit there and be very very quiet for the next ten minutes.”
LD shut up.
What’s really sad is that LD can be a nice kid, well behaved kid-when her parents aren’t around.

Actually, to defend “LP” (and I’m assuming the child in question is 3-5 years old), it does sound as if her parents are teaching her manners, it’s just that the child was applying them wrong at that point in her life. Kids are like that: you tell them to say “Thank you”, and then you have to tell them to say “Thank you” in a quiet voice, then you have to tell them they don’t have to say “Thank you” every time something happens, then, some time in their life, they’ll say “Thank you” in an unbelievably mocking, sarcastic manner and you get to deal with that. :wink:

Doesn’t sound like LP interrupts now (“used to have…”), does she still interrupt? When she does, does she say a phrase like “Excuse me”, or is she skilled/old enough to make a valid point in the conversation?

Sophie will quote movies to us… my wife and I were talking about metaphorical puppets (“she has him on a string like a puppet”) one day and Sophie shouts out “Pull the string! Pull the string!”

See… she had, uh, somehow seen that portion of Ed Wood and found it hysterical, remembering it a few weeks later. We usually don’t intend to show movies about transvestites to our daughter, but, well, somehow life doesn’t work to one’s intentions. She also likes Moulin Rouge!, but that’s all my fault.

Personally, I think you were too easy on everybody.

The mom deserved some crap for not controlling her child. The dojo, or perfect master, or WTF the karate master is called, should also have stepped up and stopped that kind of behavior.

BTW, I think it’s a bad idea to teach small children martial arts. You might have to slap them silly some day, and you don’t want them all the sudden coming back at you and breaking your arm. :smiley:

JohnT I am glad to see that I am not the only one doing this, although it seems that way most often. I agree with your actions and restraint. The follow-up meeting with the Mom went as it should, IMO. The situation had passed and perhaps a few embarrassing events like this will move her to acting on it herself.
Our Almost-Five-Year-Old (in two weeks) is in karate also and it has been a great experience for him.
As for

he’s aware that I know were he sleeps. Age and guile will overcome youth and enthusiasm every time.

That’s fine, the important thing is that the threat and fear is felt.

But would it have really been a minute? I’m not sure I blame C for giving you an irritated look. Doesn’t B have any right to talk to her mother? Were the three of you in your house at that time? I can’t stand people who think that nothing a kid has to say is ever important, and everything adults have to say is always important. Sounds to me like all you did was show your ass.

Of course she has every right to talk to her mother-when the other person is finished with her sentence first. Just because that’s her mother doesn’t give her the right to interrupt.

Yes, but I’ve been in enough situations as a child, and witnessed many more as an adult, when “as soon as we’re finished” means “sometime in the next hour”. And meanwhile, the question and answer would probably have taken thirty seconds.

[Random bitching]I hate it when people tell stories and use letters and numbers instead of names. By the end I’m thinking "wait, am I supposed to be irritated at B or sympathize with Q? Which one was T? Why don’t people just use random first names if they’re so worried about potential identification?[/random bitching]

On topic: it would have taken all my self-control not to take the superball and <thwock> the kid with it when his mom wasn’t looking :wink:

Well, to be the Devil’s Advocate, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for a kid to be bouncing a ball. And kids that are competing have to learn to concentrate and block out distrations.

There used to be a girl at the barn where I boarded my horse. When she was on her horse, she’d be irritated and vocal when the people across the road would mow their grass, or when people at the barn would be noisy. She thought that when she was riding the earth should stand still and she should be allowed to ride with no distractions.

The world doesn’t stop revolving because your precious child is on the mat. Kids need to learn to be quiet, to be polite, to understand that they aren’t the only people that count. That means both your kids and the little kid with the ball. I’d say that he should’ve been stopped if he was deliberately throwing the ball on the mat or at the other kids. But playing by himself and not making a deliberate nuisance? Let him be a kid.



Wrong answer! :wink:

The kids “on the mat” are participating in a class.

However, if you think it is perfectly reasonable to bounce a superball during math, or, since we’re talking about PE, baseball instruction, then I guess I see your reasoning here.

But as far as I’m concerned the kids were part of a paid Karate instruction, to which I expect full attention to be paid and rules of silence observed…

At least while my daughter is up. :wink: