children, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Belts VS. Suspenders

As a Mom you are always questioning if the decisions you are making today will have positive outcomes for your children’s future.

I don’t know if having my boys in tae kwon do at such an early age is the right decision.  I have a bunch of logical reasons to keep them in it.  Structure, channeling high energy into something good and enforcing respect, good behavior and manners are all elements of tae kwon do that I like.

Am I asking too much of them?  On the days that T.Puzzle fights me to go to practice, will he have permanent psychological scars?  Will he never be able to be in a room with a person wearing a colored belt without breaking into a sweat of fear?  Is he doomed to a life of wearing only suspenders?

I. Don’t. Know.

I do know I have seen his confidence improve and it is finally clicking that the color of the belts is meaningful.

He rightfully earned his yellow belt.

Yes he is proud and so am I.  Does that make it right for a three year old?

I. Don’t. Know.

children, life in pictures, marital blissishness, mommyhood

Yin and Yang

Mad Dog is a quietly persuasive force. He is a man of few words and when he speaks, each word is chosen with careful precision. Before I knew what hit me, Mad Dog had me convinced that Full Speed should be signed up for the ‘leadership series’ in tae kwon do. This means he is eligible for more classes each week and has more chances to spar and use weapons.


Apparently Full Speed is having the time of his life. He thinks he is a major baddie and is completely jacked up to do three classes in a row on the same day.

I just don’t get it.

I’m grateful that Mad Dog is all over this and pushing Full Speed’s limits in something he actually seems to like and excel at. Mad Dog is the sort of parent that symbolically throws the boys in the deep end of the pool without a life jacket and is confident that not only will they swim, but they will be swimmers of Olympic caliber. If I had it my way, they would wear floaties until they are fourteen and only go in a deep end that is heavily supervised by a professional lifeguard.

You can see we are the two extremes of the parenting paradigm.

Thank goodness we cancel each other out.

Thus, the perfect balance of yin and yang parenting is established.

Or something like that.

Full Speed, on the left, gets ready to attack during a sparring match.
children, mommyhood, tantrums, terrible threes


I have been experimenting with the boys’ tae kwon do schedules. Of course it means more work and planning for me, but I think it is necessary. I am now splitting them up into a junior’s class for Full Speed and keeping little T.Puzze in the tiny tigers class.

The results have been significant especially for little T.Puzzle. He has shown great improvement with the absence of Full Speed in his class. As for Full Speed, he is concentrating better surrounded by the older crowd of the junior’s class. Overall, this new schedule change seems to be a win-win.

These great improvements haven’t completely erased my bad tae kwon do memories. As little T.Puzzle was lining up for the start of tiny tigers yesterday, a new student was crying and didn’t want to go on the mat. By the end of class the new student had adjusted and wound up having a great time. The instructor wanted to commend him and that’s when talk shifted to, “If you think this kid’s start was rough, let’s all remember how T.Puzzle  was when he first started and where he is now.”

Before you know it, parent after parent threw in their own unique memory and story of how little T.Puzzle was practically out of his mind not wanting to do tae kwon do when he started.

“Remember how he hid under the table in the corner?” one said.

Another piped in, “Or how he would refuse to do jumping jacks or listen to anything the instructor would say?”

“Don’t forget how he would throw himself on the floor and not move,” said another.

Ah, this is the stuff of which legends are made…

children, mommyhood

My Nugget(s) of Wisdom

Little T.Puzzle had an excellent tae kwon do class. This morning he went to the childcare at my gym without complaint.

I think he is truly growing and expanding as a human being.


I’m getting better at bribery.

If only all conflict could be solved with the promise of chicken nuggets and fries…

children, gratitude, mommyhood

The Purple Belt

Ah, the week of weaponry and mommyhood angst has drawn to a close. During this time I have felt as if Full Speed and Mad Dog were living in an alternate universe. A place where a sword weilding five year old is ‘awesome!’ and where high kicks, angry yells and mean faces are ‘cool!’. Frankly, I’d much rather be at a quiet spa sipping a super-girlie drink instead of dodging flying nunchuks but what can I say?

An alternate universe ain’t so bad if the likes of T.Puzzle, Full Speed and Mad Dog are in it.

Full Speed showing off his bow staff skills at the weapons graduation.
Mad Dog and I help tie Full Speed’s newly earned purple belt.

Way to go Full Speed!!