Sunday, May 31, 2009


The word 'hate' is a very powerful word and I rarely use it. I can say however that I hate karate. Not so much the sport, but the experience for me.

Mini-me does karate twice a week. We signed her up for it as we thought it would be good for her and it has been. It's a sport that can increase her confidence and her social skills without being too confronting for her in that area. She can improve her coordination, which given that she's my daughter, certainly needs improving! She likes it.

I however hate it.

Twice a week (of course, on the days I have meetings and don't get to leave school early) we have the karate shuffle. I race out of school meetings and head over to kindy to collect the boys and Mini-me from after school care. It seems to take forever to bundle them all in the car while the child care worker is usually wanting to tell me stories about the boys not eating all of their food. Never mind that they have enough food to feed an entire karate squad. Those slices of ham that get played with seem to be a BIG DEAL for the girls at kindy. Given that they have just turned three and are well into size 4 clothing, I think they're fine.

Anyway, we finally get through the last minute toilet stops, the collection of shoes, jumpers, artwork and bags and spend at least five minutes trying to cajole the boys into sitting in their booster seats. Finally, we're on our way!

We race home and Mini-me races inside and gets changed into her karate suit. The boys stay with me in the car because quite frankly, after the effort it takes to get them in there once, there's no way I can repeat the process again! Mini-me usually dashes out quickly bringing with her some snacks I've left on the bench - anything not too messy in the car is fair game.

So we set off to karate. We drive about 10 minutes, usually with Mr Cheeky and Mr Smoochy screaming out to me the whole way. 'Mum, open dis.' 'Mum, what you doin?' 'Mum, I saw a truck!' 'Mum, that's my truck!' 'No Mum, it's my truck'. You get the idea. It's not a peaceful drive by any means.

Once we arrive, the fun really begins! All three of us trundle into the office to pay for Mini-me's lesson. During this time I try to keep my cool while both boys are madly running around screaming with glee at being out of the car. In fairness, Mini-me does try and help herd them back my way but it's not an easy task by any means!

After a lesson about 4 months ago, the boys are not welcome in the classroom any longer. One afternoon the trainer was extemely rude to me in front of all the students, parents and other instructors. She went off saying they had to leave as they were noisy and 'couldn't I control them?'. Two year old twins watching a group of older children run around apparently are expected to stay seated and silent. Apparently I am a crap parent as I couldn't manage them to do that during a warm up run. It was the proverbial straw that afternoon and poor coparent arrived to find me in tears sitting outside the room, trying desparately to keep both boys on my lap.

So Mini-me goes in by herself and I go back out to the car with the boys. In summer we used to go to the park and play I Spy or sing or play with balls but now it's dark and cold so we wait in the car. Coparent usually arrives about 10-15 minutes later and collects them from me. Damn it, but it's the most annoying 10-15 minutes of the day. They are crazy being cooped up. Last week was especially lovely when Mr Cheeky had an 'accident' of the poo kind and I had to try and change him in the passenger seat. Oh the joys!

Karate haven't helped the situation. When we signed her up, the lessons started at 6pm. Definitely doable. Then it got changed to 5:30pm which is when the fun begain. Plus the lessons were shortened to 45mins and the price went up. I sit there and seethe over how annoyed I am.

Every Tuesday and Thursday I end up feeling like I'm being a crap parent to all of them. I miss the first part of Mini-me's classes and the boys are shuffled along at every turn with no fun for them. Unless you count smearing food on their booster seats as fun. In which case, they're having a ball!!

But I do it. Because she loves it and I love her. But if you have any suggestions on how to do this better, by all means, let me know!

Because I really hate karate.

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